Little Men: Life at Plumfield with Jo’s Boys.

"The house seemed swarming with boys, who were beguiling the rainy twilight with all sorts of amusements": First edition, first state of Louisa May Alcott's Little Men

Little Men: Life at Plumfield with Jo’s Boys.

ALCOTT, Louisa May.


Item Number: 111024

Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1871.

First edition, first issue of the second book it Alcott’s Little Women trilogy. Octavo, original green cloth with gilt titles and tooling to the spine and front panel, illustrated with plates including tissue-guarded frontispiece. In near fine condition. A desirable example.

In 1865, while serving as editor of Merry Museum, a Boston children’s magazine, Alcott received encouragement to write a book for girls. Drawing on memories of childhood, the author portrayed the daily lives of Amy, Jo, Beth and Meg March—portraits of the four Alcott sisters. One of the most popular juvenile books ever published, “Little Women is an outstanding achievement of 19th-century American literature, and the first children’s novel written in that country to have become an enduring classic.” “It is one of the first fictional texts for children to convey the difficulties and anxieties of girlhood, and… suggests that becoming a ‘little woman’ is a learned and often fraught process, not an instinctual or natural condition of female development” (Foster & Simon, 87). Published in 1871, Little Men recounts six months in the life of the students at Plumfield, a school run by German Professor Friedrich and Mrs. Josephine Bhaer. The idea of the school was first suggested at the very end of Little Women, Part Two when adult Jo inherited the estate from her late Aunt March.

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