Tuesday 29 November 2016

Google Doodles for Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888)

Louisa May Alcott headshot
Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888),
via Wikimedia Commons
Louisa May Alcott – best known as the author of Little Women – is the latest literary figure to be subject of the accolade that is the Google Doodle, on the occasion of the 184th anniversary of her birth, on this day (29 November) in 1832.

Born in Pennsylvania, her family later moved to Boston and much of her life was spent around Massachusetts. Financial circumstances were such that Louisa, along with her sisters, had to seek work from an early age – as a teacher, seamstress, governess, domestic helper, and writer. It is said that "writing became a creative and emotional outlet for Alcott."

Her family were also practising transcendentalists, which brought them into the circles of famous literary figures of the day, such as Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Margaret Fuller. She was also active, from an early age, in abolitionist and feminist causes.

The publication of Little Women, in 1869, secured her literary fame, though she had been writing and publishing for many years previously. It was an instant success and followed by two sequels that were eagerly received. The novel is loosely autobiographical, detailing both her own life and that of her sisters, following their passage from childhood to womanhood. It is considered a landmark work in the emergence of female literature of the 19th century. It remains a widely read classic and has been adapted numerous times for stage and cinema.

Google Doodle - scene from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott's 184th birthday

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