Little Women

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Name: Little Women
Abbreviation(s): LW
Creator: Louisa May Alcott
Date(s): 1868-1886
Medium: Books
Country of Origin: United States
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Little Women is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888), loosely based on the author's childhood. It follows a year in the lives of four teen-aged sisters in New England while their chaplain father is with the Union Army of the northern States during the American Civil War. The book, published in 1868, was an immediate success, and was followed a year later by a sequel, originally entitled Good Wives, which follows the sisters into young adulthood. (Since 1880, the two have usually been published in a single volume.)

The most popular of the sisters, the next-to-oldest, Jo(sephine) March, is based on Alcott herself. The first volume sees her evolve from a tomboy into a strong-minded young lady, while the second follows her to a job in New York, where she meets Prof. Friedrich Bhaer, whom she eventually marries. A sequel, Little Men (1871), focuses on the students at the boys' school they establish. The final volume, Jo's Boys (1886), follows these students' adult careers.

Fanfic in Little Women

Chapter 10 of Little Women shows the March girls writing fanfiction for Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers.

Fandom

The book is well-loved among fans of classic literature, and has been wildly popular since its publication. Jo is the most popular character with Amy being the least, while Beth is either beloved or despised for being a sweet, quiet, tragic figure. Beth's death is considered one of literature's biggest tearjerkers.

Shipping

The most popular noncanonical pairing is probably Jo/Laurie, in which Jo hooks up with rich-boy-next-door, Theodore Laurence. The fandom is notably the host of possibly the world's oldest shipping war; many fans demanded Alcott marry Joe off to Laurie, and she ardently declined, pairing Jo with Bhaer and Laurie with Amy instead. This has led to widespread hatred for Bhaer and Amy that continues to this day among fans of the book.

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