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Little Women Abroad: The Alcott Sisters’ Letters from Europe, 1870-1871

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In 1870, Louisa May Alcott and her younger sister Abby May Alcott began a fourteen-month tour of Europe. Louisa had already made her mark as a writer; May was on the verge of a respected art career. Little Women Abroad gathers a generous selection of May’s drawings along with all of the known letters written by the two Alcott sisters during their trip. More than thirty dra In 1870, Louisa May Alcott and her younger sister Abby May Alcott began a fourteen-month tour of Europe. Louisa had already made her mark as a writer; May was on the verge of a respected art career. Little Women Abroad gathers a generous selection of May’s drawings along with all of the known letters written by the two Alcott sisters during their trip. More than thirty drawings are included, nearly all of them previously unpublished. Of the seventy-one letters collected here, more than three-quarters appear in their entirety for the first time. Daniel Shealy’s supporting materials add detail and context to the people, places, and events referenced in the letters and illustrations.By the time of the Alcott sisters’ sojourn, Louisa’s Little Women was already an international success, and her most recent work, An Old-Fashioned Girl, was selling briskly. Louisa was now a grand literary lioness on tour. She would compose Little Men while in Europe, and her European letters would form the basis of her travel book Shawl Straps. If Louisa’s letters reveal a writer’s eye, then May’s demonstrate an eye for color, detail, and composition. Although May had prior art training in Boston, she came into her own only during her studies with European masters. When at a loss for words, she took her drawing pen in hand.These letters of two important American artists, one literary, the other visual, tell a vibrant story at the crossroads of European and American history and culture.


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In 1870, Louisa May Alcott and her younger sister Abby May Alcott began a fourteen-month tour of Europe. Louisa had already made her mark as a writer; May was on the verge of a respected art career. Little Women Abroad gathers a generous selection of May’s drawings along with all of the known letters written by the two Alcott sisters during their trip. More than thirty dra In 1870, Louisa May Alcott and her younger sister Abby May Alcott began a fourteen-month tour of Europe. Louisa had already made her mark as a writer; May was on the verge of a respected art career. Little Women Abroad gathers a generous selection of May’s drawings along with all of the known letters written by the two Alcott sisters during their trip. More than thirty drawings are included, nearly all of them previously unpublished. Of the seventy-one letters collected here, more than three-quarters appear in their entirety for the first time. Daniel Shealy’s supporting materials add detail and context to the people, places, and events referenced in the letters and illustrations.By the time of the Alcott sisters’ sojourn, Louisa’s Little Women was already an international success, and her most recent work, An Old-Fashioned Girl, was selling briskly. Louisa was now a grand literary lioness on tour. She would compose Little Men while in Europe, and her European letters would form the basis of her travel book Shawl Straps. If Louisa’s letters reveal a writer’s eye, then May’s demonstrate an eye for color, detail, and composition. Although May had prior art training in Boston, she came into her own only during her studies with European masters. When at a loss for words, she took her drawing pen in hand.These letters of two important American artists, one literary, the other visual, tell a vibrant story at the crossroads of European and American history and culture.

30 review for Little Women Abroad: The Alcott Sisters’ Letters from Europe, 1870-1871

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bethany Michelle Planton

    I can't do better than the synopsis. "Little Women Abroad gathers a generous selection of May's drawings, along with all of the known letters written by the two Alcott sisters during their trip. Daniel Shealy's supporting materials add detail and context to the people, places, and events referenced in the letters and illustrations. These letters of two important American artists, one literary, the other visual, tell a vibrant story at the crossroads of European and American history and culture." I can't do better than the synopsis. "Little Women Abroad gathers a generous selection of May's drawings, along with all of the known letters written by the two Alcott sisters during their trip. Daniel Shealy's supporting materials add detail and context to the people, places, and events referenced in the letters and illustrations. These letters of two important American artists, one literary, the other visual, tell a vibrant story at the crossroads of European and American history and culture." Louisa May Alcott is one of my favorite authors, so I always enjoy a book where I can learn more about her.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    I want more May now!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

    An indispensable volume to Alcott studies. Louisa and May Alcott's letters written during their 1870-1871 trip to Europe, have been annotated and published by one of the foremost scholars in the field, Daniel Shealy. Filled with wit, humor, pathos, and autobiographical richness, this collection is a treasure. An indispensable volume to Alcott studies. Louisa and May Alcott's letters written during their 1870-1871 trip to Europe, have been annotated and published by one of the foremost scholars in the field, Daniel Shealy. Filled with wit, humor, pathos, and autobiographical richness, this collection is a treasure.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Janine Jensen

    I only wish I could have read the letters that we sent to them as well.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Also great for the illustrations which are hard to find and the old photos of Concord.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sophia West

  7. 5 out of 5

    Janis Valdes

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Barden

  9. 4 out of 5

    Belinda

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Sousa

  11. 5 out of 5

    Holly

  12. 4 out of 5

    Candace Gallagher

  13. 4 out of 5

    G

  14. 4 out of 5

    Philippian Ebisawa

  15. 5 out of 5

    Treena

  16. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne Ramée

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

  18. 4 out of 5

    Khansaa Hito

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michael M

  20. 4 out of 5

    Joe

  21. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Whitehead

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bibliovixen

  23. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cristina Fisher

  25. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Douet

  26. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

  27. 5 out of 5

    Beth

  28. 5 out of 5

    Margie

  29. 5 out of 5

    Marcy

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mary Jo

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