Brown - Dark
Germantown, Pennsylvania, USA
Place of Death
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Claim to Fame
Profile Bio Text
Louisa May Alcott (November 29, 1832 – March 6, 1888) was an American novelist. She is best known for the novel Little Women, set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts and published in 1868. This novel is loosely based on her childhood experiences with her three sisters. Alcott continued to write until her death. Alcott suffered chronic health problems in her later years. Alcott and her earlier biographers attributed her illness and death to mercury poisoning: During her American Civil War service, Alcott contracted typhoid fever and was treated with calomel, a compound containing mercury. Recent analysis of Alcott`s illness suggests that mercury poisoning was not the culprit. Alcott`s chronic health problems are associated with autoimmune disease, not acute mercury exposure. Moreover, a late portrait of Alcott shows rashes on her cheeks characteristic of lupus. Alcott died in Boston on March 6, 1888 at age 55, two days after visiting her father on his deathbed. Her last words were "Is it not meningitis?" The story of her life and career was initially told in Ednah D. Cheney`s Louisa May Alcott: Her Life, Letters and Journals (Boston, 1889) and then in Madeleine B. Stern`s seminal biography Louisa May Alcott (University of Oklahoma Press, 1950).
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Full Name at Birth
Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott (November 29, 1832 – March 6, 1888) was an American novelist best known as author of the novel Little Women and its sequels Little Men and Jo's Boys. Raised by her transcendentalist parents, Abigail May and Amos Bronson Alcott in New England, she grew up among many of the well-known intellectuals of the day such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau. Nevertheless, her family suffered severe financial difficulties and Alcott worked to help support the family from an early age. She began to receive critical success for her writing in the 1860s. Early in her career, she sometimes used the pen name A. M. Barnard. With her pen name Louisa wrote novels for young adults in juvenile hall.
Bronson Alcott (father)
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