"Clear the lulla!" was the general cry on a bright December afternoon, when all the boys and girls of Harmony Village were out enjoying the first good snow of the season. (from the first line)
Louisa May Alcott grew up in Concord, Massachusetts, the daughter of Bronson Alcott, a well-known transcendentalist, philosopher, and educator. The family's home was a stop on the Underground Railroad, and Alcott's father insisted that she and her sisters always be clothed in linen because linen did not exploit the slaves who picked cotton. The Alcott sisters were educated at home, and were introduced to some of the great thinkers of the times including Emerson and Thoreau. To assist with the family finances, Louisa worked at various occupations from an early age, including sewing and teaching; her novel "Little Women" was published in 1868 and was wildly popular; it has never been out of print. As a result of her success, her family was freed forever from financial distress. Alcott never married; by the time of her death at age 55, she had written hundreds of stories, novels, poems, and essays. She is best known for her children's novels. "Little Women", her best-known book, was based on the life of her family. "Little Men" was written in 1871 specifically for the children of her sister Anna (Meg in "Little Women") after the death of their father.