Louisa May Alcott Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1832 1888 *** Full Name: Louisa May Alcott *** Date of Birth Birthday): He was born on November 29, 1832 *** Place of Birth: Louisa May Alcott was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania, United States *** Family background: Her father was an educator called Amos Bronson Alcott *** Early life and childhood: Louisa May Alcott grew up and spent the majority of her life in Boston, Massachusetts *** Education: Louisa May Alcott was educated at home by her father *** Louisa May Alcott died on March 6, 1888 at the age of 55 ***
Louisa May Alcott Fact 1: Louisa May Alcott was born on November 29, 1832 in Germantown, Pennsylvania in the United States.
Louisa May Alcott Fact 2: She was a famous American author and poet most notable for writing the novels of Little Women and its sequel Little Men.
Louisa May Alcott Fact 3: Her parents names were Amos Bronson Alcott and Abby May. Her father was a teacher and philosopher, and her mother was a social worker. Louisa May Alcott had three sisters of which she was the second eldest. Her sisters names were Anna Bronson Alcott Pratt (1831-1893), Elizabeth Sewall Alcott (1835-1858) and Abigail May Alcott Nieriker (1840-1879).
Louisa May Alcott Fact 4: In 1834, she moved with her family to Boston where her father, Amos Bronson Alcott, formed an experimental school. Despite his occupation as a teacher, he struggled to provide for his family financially and this created a number of set backs and problems. They had to move several times before settling at 'Hillside' in 1845. Hillside (The Wayside) was the name given to the historic house in Concord, Massachusetts where the Alcott family resided.
Louisa May Alcott Fact 5: As a child, she was educated mainly by her father whose strict ethics inspired Louisa May Alcott to strive for perfection. She was also taught by various other educators including American author and poet Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862).
Louisa May Alcott Fact 6: Financial pressures meant that Louisa May Alcott had to seek work at the age of fifteen but she didn't mind as she was determined to help her family. She sought work as a seamstress, writer, domestic helper and governess.
Louisa May Alcott Fact 7: Her father's occupation as an educator meant that Louisa May Alcott was fortunate enough to associate with prominent writers and poets including Ralph Walso Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller. She was inspired by these incredible writers who gave advice and helped shape her future career as a poet and writer.
Louisa May Alcott Fact 8: The title of Louisa May Alcott's first book was Flower Fables, it was completed in 1849 and published in 1854 by George Briggs. Flower Fables was a compilation of stories written for the daughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ellen, and despite its success, Louisa May Alcott only received approximately $35 from her publisher.
Louisa May Alcott Fact 9: Her family were anti-slavery supporters and once helped an escaped slave to safety. They allowed the fugitive to hide in their house for a week. The Alcott home formed part of the secret network of routes known as the Underground Railroad. Louisa May Alcott later became an abolitionist.
Louisa May Alcott Fact 10: As an up and coming female writer and poet, Louisa May Alcott worked hard to establish a successful career as a women during the mid-19th century. She was a feminist and supporter of women's suffrage. She was highly impressed by the Declaration of Sentiments (1848), a document of rights which was signed by 100 people, including men.
Louisa May Alcott Fact 11: The 1850s proved tough for the Alcott family who were faced with financial hardship. Louisa May Alcott wrote powerful tales of emotion. Her literary works offered a form of escapism from her prevailing problems.
Louisa May Alcott Fact 12: Life became so tough that Louisa May Alcott considered taking her own life in 1857. She was faced with further hardship in 1858 when her sister Elizabeth died. At this time, Louisa May Alcott found comfort and inspiration from the literary works of Charlotte Brontė.
Louisa May Alcott Fact 13: During the American Civil War (1861-1865), Louisa May Alcott served as a nurse for 6 weeks at the Union Hospital at Georgetown, D.C. Her appointment was short as she contracted typhoid. The letters that she sent home during the American Civil War later inspired a compilation of sketches published in 1863 under the title Hospital Sketches.
Louisa May Alcott Fact 14: Her children's novel 'Little Women' is based on four sisters called Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March and it achieved instant success. The first volume was published in 1868 followed by the second volume (Good Wives) in 1869. The book is based loosely on the Alcott family, namely Louisa May Alcott and her sisters, at their home in Concord, Massachusetts.
Louisa May Alcott Fact 15: Little Women is still a popular novel today and has been used as a basis for television series and films many times following its publication. The storyline was adapted and used for two silent movies, four movies with sound, four television series, and a Broadway musical.
Louisa May Alcott Fact 16: People were eager to know more about the characters from Little Women so Louisa May Alcott continued to write stories which involved the March sisters. She published two more children's novel featuring the much loved characters. The novels were called Little Men (1871) and Jo's Boys (1886).
Louisa May Alcott Fact 17: Little men is a popular children's novel, also known as Life at Plumfield with Jo's Boys. The story is based on a character called Jo Bhaer and the students at Plumfield Estate School. The story earned great success and since its publication, has been made into films and television series.
Louisa May Alcott Fact 18: Jo's Boys, and How They Turned Out, is the sequel novel to Little Men. Jo's Boys tells continues the story of Jo Bhaer's sons and students of Plumfield Estate School now they have grown up.
Louisa May Alcott Fact 19: She published more than 30 books and stories during her lifetime including Hospital Sketches, An Old Fashioned Girl, Will's Wonder Book, Eight Cousins, Rose in Bloom, Under the Lilacs, and Jack and Jill: A Village Story.
Louisa May Alcott Fact 20: She died on March 6, 1888 at the age of 55. Her death occurred two days following the death of her father and came as a result of a stroke. Her body was buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts.
Influence and Legacy: Louisa May Alcott was a famous children's author and poet. Amongst her most notable literary works are the highly successful novels of Little Women, Good Wives, Little Men and Jo's Boys.