Publish Date: 12/30/2010
Three young men stood together on a wharf one bright October day, awaiting the arrival of an ocean steamer with an impatience which found a vent in lively skirmishes with a small lad, who pervaded the premises like a will-o'-the-wisp, and afforded much amusement to the other groups assembled there. (from the first line)
|"Yes, there they were, by the ocean liner''s railing. Uncle Alec was swinging his hat like a boy, with Phebe smiling and nodding on one side and Rose kissing both hands delightedly on the other as she recognized familiar faces and heard familiar voices welcoming her home." |
""Bless her dear heart, she''s bonnier than ever, with that blue cloak round her, and her bright hair flying in the wind!" said Charlie excitedly as they watched the group upon the deck with eager eyes."
Archie, Phebe, Mac, Charlie and Rose: they were friends separated by an ocean for some years -- and now the changes they saw in one another, when reunited at the dock, were to be wondered at. Most marvelous at all, at least in the eyes of the young men, was how Rose had transformed: for the girl they had left behind had become a woman.
Louisa May Alcott (1832-88) was one of the most popular writers of the 19th century, known especially for her series of novels beginning with "Little Women."
This sequel to "Eight Cousins" continues the story of orphan Rose Campbell and her friendship with her seven male cousins.
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.