May 08, 2012

by English Muse

My quest of reading great books by great women continues this week. I’m actually re-reading Little Women. Have you read it? I love the main character, Jo, so much. Did you know that Louisa May Alcott based Jo on herself? They were both born in November, they were both writers and they were both feminists.  Also, both, Louisa May Alcott and Jo, had a great desire to broaden their experiences through travel.

Opening scene in Little Women:

“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.  “It’s so dreadful to be poor!” sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress. “I don’t think it’s fair for some girls to have plenty of pretty things, and other girls nothing at all,” added little Amy, with an injured sniff.

“We’ve got Father and Mother, and each other,” said Beth contentedly from her corner. The four young faces on which the firelight shone brightened at the cheerful words, but darkened again as Jo said sadly, “We haven’t got Father, and shall not have him for a long time.” She didn’t say “perhaps never,” but each silently added it, thinking of Father far away, where the fighting was.

Nobody spoke for a minute; then Meg said in an altered tone, “You know the reason Mother proposed not having any presents this Christmas was because it is going to be a hard winter for everyone; and she thinks we ought not to spend money for pleasure, when our men are suffering so in the army. We can’t do much, but we can make our little sacrifices, and ought to do it gladly. But I am afraid I don’t.” And Meg shook her head, as she thought regretfully of all the pretty things she wanted.

“But I don’t think the little we should spend would do any good.  We’ve each got a dollar, and the army wouldn’t be much helped by our giving that. I agree not to expect anything from Mother or you, but I do want to buy Undine and Sintram for myself. I’ve wanted it so long,” said Jo, who was a bookworm.

What are you reading this week?



{Vintage images via here and here.}


This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 8th, 2012 at 4:10 pm. It is filed under Books and tagged with . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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8 Responses to “What I’m Currently Reading”

  1. Crysta says:

    There is so much more to know and say about LMA, including her relationship to Jo and the March family. I highly recommend the biography Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women, by Harriet Reisen. It could be interesting reading in tandem with Little Women, but I found it fascinating stand-alone. Enjoy!

  2. Luli says:

    Oh thank you Crysta. I will check it out from the library. It’s funny that you mention it because I wasn’t satisfied with the short timeline and short biography on LMA inside the first few pages of my book.

  3. Naomi Bulger says:

    I must re-read this book, it’s been too long!

  4. Lu says:

    I love this book and first read it as a child. In fact I still have the 1947 edition that belonged to my aunt. It’s falling to pieces now, but I still love it!

  5. Wendy says:

    I have it on my iphone and will be reading it after I finish 11/22/63. 🙂

  6. Sally says:

    I’m familiar with the story, but I haven’t actually read it and have been meaning to for ages. So thank you for the inspiration! This week I’m finally getting around to reading Water for Elephants and am completely engrossed. So many books, so little time!

  7. Katie says:

    I still remember the cover of one of the versions I read–the one in the second image in this post. It was an old copy from the library. My best friends and I used to play Little Women–there were four of us (two sets of sisters), and I was always Meg–not just because I was the oldest at nine years, but because I was always the responsible one. My sister and two friends still call me Meg sometimes!

    So…I read Little Women, a few times, and love it dearly, as you might imagine now. 🙂

  8. Jessica says:

    I did an original ballet version of ‘Little Women’ when I was 16. I was cast as Amy. IT was that moment that I realized that I might be percieved as selfish, petty, and vain. And resolved to never change! (Just kidding). I’m reading ‘Beatrice and Virgil’ by Yann Martel- because I liked Life of Pi so much, and because it had animals on the cover.

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