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Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women

Louisa May Alcott: A Series of Programs

San Jose State University's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library is proud to sponsor a series of programs in spring and fall 2011 that explore the life of Louisa May Alcott, one of the most famous Americans of the 19th century. The King Library is one of 30 libraries across the U.S. that have received funding for programs from the American Library Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities that feature Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women, a documentary film co-produced by Nancy Porter Productions, Inc. and Thirteen/WNET New York’s American Masters, and a biography of the same name written by Harriet Reisen.

This guide includes information about the events organized by the King Library, as well as further resources that individuals can use to explore the fascinating life of Alcott.

Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women

Postcard courtesy of the American Library Association

Who was Louisa May Alcott?

Louisa May Alcott, 1858

Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) was one of the most fascinating people of the 19th century. She is mostly known for her book Little Women, but did you know that:

  • some of her early teachers were Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Nathaniel Hawthorne?
  • she was an ardent abolitionist and early feminist?
  • she served as a nurse during the Civil War?
  • she wrote over 200 works, including poetry, stories about race relations and interracial marriage, and "pulp fiction"?
  • she was not a "little woman" but was nearly 6 feet tall?
  • the Alcott home functioned as an Underground Railroad stop for fugitives?

Come and explore the life of Louisa May Alcott though the King Library's series of events and other resources about this remarkable American.

Photo courtesy of Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House/L. M. A. Memorial Association