The Best of Louisa May Alcott: A Charming Illustrated Collection of Little Women, Little Men, and 24 Short Stories
"A splendid edition-the first contemporary collection of Louisa May Alcott's novels and stories; one that includes the art of the great nineteenth ... Show synopsis "A splendid edition-the first contemporary collection of Louisa May Alcott's novels and stories; one that includes the art of the great nineteenth-century illustrator Frank T. Merrill." --Madelon Bedell, author of "The Alcotts: Biography of a Family" Louisa May Alcott was a writer who liked to be in intimate touch with the reader. There is a confidential immediacy to her style, often punctuated with sly stabs of satire and irony. One of the principal charms of her writing is her great warmth for her characters, and theirs for one another. Nowhere is this better displayed than in the classics "Little Women" and "Little Men," which are here in their entirety. The short stories in THE BEST OF LOUISA MAY ALCOTT come from the period of Alcott's most powerful and mature writing, which began in the 1860s, when she dealt forcibly with real issues and real people. These stories touch on strong human qualities-joy, compassion, humor, courage, dignity, heart-tugging poignancy, guilt, or fancifulness-and portray the moments when those qualities come into focus. Alcott's work has a wonderful range. There are delicious romance, like the frankly autobiographical "My Boys," a rollicking account of some of the author's experiences, full of her salty, sardonic humor and generosity of spirit. There is also "Cupid and Chow-Chow," still very relevant today, dealing with courage and guilt, and sexism in the nursery. There is comedy and suspense in "Clams," a marvelous ghost story. There are wonderful animal stories, including "Rosa's Tale," the heroine of which is a horse, as well as a description of a day at the zoo in "My May-Day Among Curious Birds and Beasts." There are also holiday stories here, like "An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving," and two Christmas stories: "How It All Happened," and "Tessa's Surprise." And perhaps most moving of all is "A Night," from "Hospital Sketches," the story of a nurse's vigil at the bedside of an extraordinarily brave and dignified soldier wounded in the Civil War. This charming collection, enhanced by beautiful original illustrations, makes clear the timeless appeal of Louisa May Alcott's work.