Little Women

by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women

Little Women concerns the lives and loves of four sisters growing up during the American Civil War. It was based on Alcott's own experiences as a child in Germantown, Pennsylvania with her three sisters, Anna, May, and Elizabeth.

Source: Alcott L. M. (1868). Little Women.Boston, MA: Roberts Brothers.

Part 1, Chapter 1: Playing Pilgrims
With their father away at war, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy make plans for Christmas. A letter from their father arrives.
Part 1, Chapter 2: A Merry Christmas
The girls awake Christmas morning to find gifts from their mother, and decide to help out a less fortunate family.
Part 1, Chapter 3: The Laurence Boy
Jo and Meg decision to attend a New Year's Eve party causes quite a commotion.
Part 1, Chapter 4: Burdens
A good deal of Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy's personalities are divulged to the reader.
Part 1, Chapter 5: Being Neighborly
Jo pays a visit to Laurie.
Part 1, Chapter 6: Beth Finds the Palace Beautiful
The Meg, Jo, Amy, and a reluctant Beth pay a visit to Mr. Laurence's home.
Part 1, Chapter 7: Amy's Valley of Humiliation
Amy's difficulties at school lead Ms. March to take action.
Part 1, Chapter 8: Jo meets Apollyon
Jo's refusal to invite Amy has unintended consequences. A near tragedy brings the sisters back together.
Part 1, Chapter 9: Meg Goes to Vanity Fair
Meg's stay with the Moffats introduces her to the life of a young lady.
Part 1, Chapter 10: The P.C. and P.O.
The secretive Pickwick Club is disclosed to the reader.
Part 1, Chapter 11: Experiments
The girls decide to experiment with laziness.
Part 1, Chapter 12: Camp Laurence
Laurence invites the girls to go camping.
Part 1, Chapter 13: Castles in the Air
The children discuss their dreams. Laurie and Meg argue about the future.
Part 1, Chapter 14: Secrets
Jo runs into Laurie and the two trade secrets.
Part 1, Chapter 15: A Telegram
Mrs. March departs after receiving word of Mr. March's health. Jo makes a sacrifice to provide for the family.
Part 1, Chapter 16: Letters
The girls each write a letter to their mother.
Part 1, Chapter 17: Little Faithful
Beth's visit to the Hummel family has unintended consequences.
Part 1, Chapter 18: Dark Days
Mrs. March is sent for as Beth's condition worsens.
Part 1, Chapter 19: Amy's Will
Amy's interaction with Esther leads her to write her will.
Part 1, Chapter 20: Confidential
Mrs. March returns and visits Amy. Mr. Brooke's intentions towards Meg are disclosed.
Part 1, Chapter 21: Laurie Makes Mischief, and Jo Makes Peace
Laurie's prank on Meg angers the girls. Jo talks to Mr. Laurence in order to restore peace.
Part 1, Chapter 22: Pleasant Meadows
Mr. March arrives just in time for Christmas Day.
Part 1, Chapter 23: Aunt March Settles the Question
Mr. Brooke pays a visit to the Marches to make a request of Meg.
Part 2, Chapter 24: Gossip
Three years have passed and Mr. March has come home. Meg is preparing for her marriage, while Jo pursues a writing career.
Part 2, Chapter 25: The First Wedding
At a small ceremony, Meg marries Mr. Brooke.
Part 2, Chapter 26: Artistic Attempts
Amy's luncheon with her art class goes badly.
Part 2, Chapter 27: Literary Lessons
Jo starts to sell her stories to provide for the family.
Part 2, Chapter 28: Domestic Experiences
Meg discovers that married life is not as easy as she thought.
Part 2, Chapter 29: Calls
Amy and Jo exhibit their personality differences while visiting several families.
Part 2, Chapter 30: Consequences
Mrs. Chester's fair allows the girls to show off their individual talents. Aunt Carrol's decision leaves Jo dissapointed.
Part 2, Chapter 31: Our Foreign Correspondent
While in Europe Amy runs into Fred Vaughn, an old acquaintance from Camp Laurence. Amy continues to write letters to her mother and sisters.
Part 2, Chapter 32: Tender Troubles
Jo, intending to help her sister's relationship with Laurie as well as her own writing, decides to move to New York.
Part 2, Chapter 33: Jo's Journal
Jo, now in New York, writes her family to tell them of her experiences.
Part 2, Chapter 34: Friend
Joe continues to write, but decides not to write sensational stories anymore. As summer arrives, Jo returns home to her sisters and mother.
Part 2, Chapter 35: Heartache
Jo's return home leaves Laurie with a broken heart.
Part 2, Chapter 36: Beth's Secret
Beth divulges a secret to Jo concerning her health.
Part 2, Chapter 37: New Impressions
On Christmas Day, an older Laurie and Amy rediscover each other.
Part 2, Chapter 38: On the Shelf
Meg and John's marriage experiences another crisis. Marmee's advice yields positive results for Meg and John.
Part 2, Chapter 39: Lazy Laurence
Amy, realizing that Laurie is heart broken, gently reprimands Laurie for his behavior.
Part 2, Chapter 40: The Valley of the Shadow
Beth's room is prepared to make her final days as comfortable as possible. Jo's poem has a profound effect on Beth.
Part 2, Chapter 41: Learning to Forget
Amy, having learned of Beth's passing, is joined by Laurie in Europe.
Part 2, Chapter 42: All Alone
Jo is deeply affected by Beth's passing, and begins to reminisce about her time in New York with Professor Bhaer.
Part 2, Chapter 43: Surprises
Laurie and Amy return home with some surprising news. Professor Bhear, in town on business, pays a visit to Jo.
Part 2, Chapter 44: My Lord and Lady
Laurie and Amy discuss their plans for the future.
Part 2, Chapter 45: Daisy and Demi
The reader is introduced to Meg and John's twins.
Part 2, Chapter 46: Under the Umbrella
Jo and Professor Bhear divulge their true feelings to one another.
Part 2, Chapter 47: Harvest Time
After the sudden death of Aunt March, Joe and the Professor inherit Plumfield. The novel closes as Mrs. March celebrates her sixtieth birthday surrounded by her daughters and extended family.
  • Year Published: 1868
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 7.6
  • Word Count: 197,524
  • Genre: Romance
  • Keywords: 19th century literature, american literature, little women
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