Friday, April 1, 2016

The Annotated Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Edited by John Matteson

Little Women--it's the classic children's story of the March sisters living in Concord in the 1860-1870s, figuring out their place in a world dominated by men. If you haven't read (or seen any version of the movie), The Annotated Little Women might be the version you want to pick up. Not only does this rather large book contain all of Alcott's Little Women, but the margins of this classic are peppered with notes, observations, and interesting facts about the story. Included are images from the movies, photographs of some of the individuals Alcott mentions in the story, and interesting tidbits of history that even the brightest historian won't know. Fans or first time readers of this version of Little Women will be fascinated by the information contained in this book.

Perhaps one of the most interesting parts of this book is the introduction by John Matteson. He spends quite a bit of time explaining how Little Women became the classic that it is today. Much emphasis is given to the time period, and the fact that Alcott's father raised his daughters to be enlightened thinkers, a rarity for the time. Matteson's forward also sheds light on how much the members of the March family were modeled after the Alcotts. Filled with fascinating stories about Louisa May Alcott, this annotated version is for true Little Women fans.