The Early Stories of Louisa May Alcott, 1852-1860

The Early Stories of Louisa May Alcott, 1852-1860

Book - 2000
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Since the republication of her thrillers, Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) has enjoyed a broad resurgence of interest, shedding the limitations of her erstwhile reputation as a children's author. Despite the renewed interest, still very little is known about the stories Alcott wrote during the formative years of her career. Only one story from that period, The Cross on the Church Tower, was reprinted in her lifetime, and since then, just six other stories have been collected.The Early Stories of Louisa May Alcott, 1852-1860 comprehensively restores to print her earliest published stories, bridging a major bibliographic gap that exists between her first book, Flower Fables (1855), and her second, Hospital Sketches (1863). Comprising nineteen stories, this landmark collection traces the emergence of one of America's greatest writers -- from her earliest contributions (The Rival Painters, The Masked Marriage) to her mature stories (The Monk's Island, Love and Self-Love). The stories appeared in mass-market gazettes -- Olive Branch, Dodge's Literary Museum, Saturday Evening Gazette, American Union, and The Atlantic Monthly -- which proliferated in the mid-nineteenth century and played a pivotal role in the development of popular fiction.During this period, Alcott experimented with a variety of genres: romance, juvenile literature, horror, and domestic drama. Contained in this collection are the earliest examples of her thrillers (The Rival Prima Donnas, Mabel's May Day, Agatha's Confession) and of her archetypal feminist heroine, made famous in the incarnation of Jo March. Her early stories anticipate such later masterpieces as Moods (1865, 1882), Little Women (1868,1869), Little Men (1871), and A Modern Mephistopheles (1877) and affirm her special place in the pantheon of American literature.With an Introduction by the noted scholar and author Monika Elbert of Montclair State University.

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