University of Virginia Library University of Virginia
Early American Fiction Collection

EAF Author: Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888)

Works in the Collection    Manuscript Materials    Biographies    Other Resources

Louisa May Alcott, the most sucessful and prolific writer for young people of her day, was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania on November 29, 1832. The daughter of transcendentalist and education reformer A. B. Alcott, young Louisa was for a time the pupil of Henry David Thoreau. Early on, she was a frequent contributor to magazines, using the pseudonym A. M. Barnard. Her Hospital Sketches, which relates her experiences as an Army nurse during 1862, was published in 1863, and won her some critical acclaim. Her 1865 novel Moods proved less successful. In 1869, Alcott published Little Women, a book modeled upon her family and other people she knew in New England, to great popular success. Though some of her novels for adults were well received, Alcott remains best known as a children's author. She died on March 6, 1888--two days after her famous father.

Works in the EAF Collection

Hospital Sketches (1863)

Hospital Sketches and Camp and Fireside Stories (1869) (Restricted)

Moods (1865)

On Picket Duty, and Other Tales (1864) (Restricted)

Work: A Story of Experience (1873)

Contemporary Biographies

From Oscar Fay Adams, A Dictionary of American Authors (1901)

From Samuel Austin Allibone, A Critical Dictionary of English Literature (1900)

Other Resources

Alcott's works in the Modern English Collection from the Electronic Text Center

Guides to Louisa May Alcott manuscript holdings from UVA Special Collections:
Alcott, Louisa May Collection: #6255 through 6255-j