Writing was an early passion
for Louisa who had a rich imagination.
At age 15, troubled by the
poverty that plagued her family,
she vowed, "I will do something by and by.
Donít care what, teach,
sew, act, write, anything
to help the family
and Iíll be rich and famous and happy
before I die, see if I wonít!"
Confronting a society that
offered little opportunity to
women seeking employment,
Louisa was determined.
For many years she did
any work she could find,
teacher, nurse, seamstress, governess,
household servant, and travel companion.
Louisa May, whose literary
earnings had become the support
of her entire family,
had written her two
best-selling novels at Orchard House
after spending time as
a Civil War nurse and
a traveling companion
on a European jaunt.
Little Women in 1868 and Little Men in 1871
the sequel inspired by her
sister Anna's plight
as a recent widow.
In the 1970s,
it came out that Louisa
also had a pseudonym,
This secret identity allowed her
to write gothic "potboilers"
that were filled with delightfully
feminist femmes fatales, intrigue, and
"smut" at least by Victorian standards.
Her final novel, Jo's Boys,
was published in 1886.
Two years later, on March 6, 1888,
two days after her father's death,
Louisa May Alcott
died as a result
earlier in her life to treat typhoid.
She was laid to rest in
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord.
In death as in life,
her neighbors were the Hawthornes,
Emersons, and Thoreaus.
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