The Christian Science Monitor

'Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy' argues for a more serious re-reading of 'Little Women'

When conversation turns to the classic book "Little Women" and its chronicles of the adventures of Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, images of domesticity and quiet, feminine backdrops are most likely to come to mind. But look beyond the fiction to the real-life Louisa May Alcott, and the domestic tranquility obscures a more turbulent reality.

The fact is, the Alcott household was progressive; one could even say it was “woke” for its time. The family were ardent abolitionists participating in the Underground Railroad, and hanging out with the likes of Emerson and Henry David Thoreau (whom Louisa May Alcott seemed to have a crush on as a teen-ager).

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