Wednesday, 11 November 2009

On this day...

American novelist Louisa May Alcott's first book, 'The Rival Painters: A Story of Rome', was published in the 'Saturday Evening Gazette', in 1852. Alcott was born in 1832 into a family of transcendentalists; a philosophical movement which believed the ideal spiritual state was achieved by the induvidual, rather than the doctrines of established religions. Her father founded a school based on the principle, but after six years it failed, leaving Alcott to support the family; a feat she managed by writing. Her breakthrough in this field came in 1863. Working as a nurse for Union troops in the civil war a year earlier, she used her experiences to write 'Hospital Sketches', a novel, which critics say, transformed her into a serious literary writer. Her most famous work, is 'Little Women'; a novel which attracted huge commercial success and has been adapted multiple times for stage and screen.

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