I won’t marry Jo to Laurie to please any one

Little Women, first edition (2 volumes)

Now considered a seminal work in both American literature and feminist canon, Little Women was originally published in the 1860s as two separate volumes, the first of which Louisa May Alcott completed in two months after being asked by her publisher to “write a girl’s book.” The second installment came on 1st January of the next year, 1869, two months after she penned the following entry in her diary.

The Diary Entry

November 1st [1868]

Began the second part of “Little Women.” I can do a chapter a day, and in a month I mean to be done. A little success is so inspiring that I now find my “Marches” sober, nice people, and as I can launch into the future, my fancy has more play. Girls write to ask who the little women marry, as if that was the only end and aim of a woman’s life. I won’t marry Jo to Laurie to please any one.

Further Reading

In 1889, shortly after Alcott’s death, some of her diary entries were published in Louisa May Alcott, Her Life, Letters, and Journals, edited by Ednah D. Cheney. That book, long out of copyright, can now be read at the Internet Archive.


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