Little Women 150th Anniversary Anthology

My copy of Little Women, shown here on my daughter’s bed, is over 40 years old. My mother read it to me and I was happy to read it to my daughter when she was about 12.


This scene, of a mother and daughters gathered around a piano singing together, has always touched me, even though it is more substantial to me in imagination than in real life.

In real life I’m a shy, tremulous singer and a self-taught one-finger picker of keyboard melodies. Instead I have found a voice on the violin and viola, and in writing. My family members are not singers either, although both my kids have played, or still play, various non-piano instruments. We played together when they were younger, but teenagers tend not to want to play with mom so much.

Several years ago, when Susan Cain’s book Quiet, the Power of Introverts came out, I was reading Little Women to my daughter, then in 7th grade. We lived in the Boston area then, close enough that we could visit Orchard House, and we did so twice, once for the Girl Scout troop my daughter was a member of, and again years later for her Coming-of-Age class at our UU church.


I started to think about the March girls according to their temperaments, introvert or extravert. In particular, I was able to put my feelings about Beth March in a different context. In the past I had always been a little ashamed that I identified so strongly with Beth. In the book, she was too quiet and introverted to live. What did that mean for me and others like me? I wrote these thoughts down and put them first in a blog post, and then in an essay that I submitted to a new anthology for the 150th Anniversary of Little Women.

I just found that my essay has been accepted for publication in the anthology, which will be coming out later this year, from Pink Umbrella books.

newpinkumbrellalogoFor generations, children around the world have come of age with Louisa May Alcott’s March girls. Their escapades and trials punctuated our own childhoods—maybe we weren’t victims of “lime-shaming,” like Amy, and we probably didn’t chop off our locks for the cause, like Jo, but Alcott’s messages of society and independence, family love, and sacrifice resonate over a century later. 2018 marks the 150th anniversary of Little Women, published to wide acclaim in 1868.





10 thoughts on “Little Women 150th Anniversary Anthology”

  1. I would LOVE to read the Little Women anthology. Sounds exciting!

    You mentioned that you identify a lot with Beth. I have some Beth in me too, I think, with a dash of Jo. 🙂

    Would you be interested in joining my Louisa May Alcott reading challenge this June? (+ there’s a giveaway!) Details are on my blog.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m going to be traveling in Europe for much of June. I’m leaving on the 10th, and I’m only planning to take Kindle books with me because of space considerations. The two of those that I’d be most interested in–Long Fatal Love Chase, and Becoming Little Women–don’t seem to be available in Kindle editions, unfortunately. But thanks for the recommendation list! I might look for those titles when I get back.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to confess, I’ve never read Little Women. Not sure how as an introverted and voracious-reader-child I missed it, but I did. I think it’s time to remedy that. Thanks for inspiring me to pick it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, sometimes that happens with these classics of the 19th century. I never read Anne of Green Gables as a child, and didn’t remedy that until I read the whole series to my daughter when she was a tween. But I loved it then, as an adult. Maybe because it’s a series, I actually found it more complex and relevant than Little Women, in many ways. In particular Anne’s brothers’ experiences in World War I really stand out, even years later after I read them. Little Women touches American history certainly–the Civil War, the Transcendentalists–but I found it more limited in scope and experience.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Shoot, now I have to add Anne of Green Gables to the list, too. What the heck was I reading back then? Not having children, I didn’t get that second chance to pick up books I missed and read them to my kids. Maybe I can rent a kid somewhere.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome! I look forward to reading it! Susan, I think I found out about this anthology indirectly through you. I found your blog and started following it when you commented on my blog years ago!


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