From the Publisher
First published in 1950, Madeleine B. Stern's biography remains the standard work on Louisa May Alcott; in 1995 Alcott scholar Barbara Sicherman wrote that this is still "the classic biography." Stern shows how the breadth of Alcott's work, ranging from Little Women to sensational thrillers and war stories, serves as a reflection of a life dotted with poverty and riches alike, hard menial work (Alcott was a domestic servant and a nurse in the Civil War), physical suffering relieved by opiates, and the acclaim of literary success. As Stern recounts in her new Introduction, Alcott's fascinating and complicated life has been reinterpreted as new stories have been published. This edition includes an updated bibliography.