Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-7f7b94f6bd-lv2sk Total loading time: 0.302 Render date: 2022-06-28T10:21:45.571Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

Book contents

Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 September 2009

Beverly Lyon Clark
Affiliation:
Wheaton College
Beverly Lyon Clark
Affiliation:
Wheaton College, Massachusetts
Get access

Summary

At the start of her career Louisa May Alcott followed the reviews of her books with interest. In January 1865 she writes in her journal, “Notices of ‘Moods’ came from all directions, & though people didn't understand my ideas owing to my shortening the book so much, the notices were mostly favorable & gave quite as much praise as was good for me.” Yet she seems not to have dwelled long on the reviews even then: to James Redpath, who published Hospital Sketches in 1863, she writes, “I send the few notices I have kept, but as I do not see many papers I have not much to offer in the way of vanities, though I often hear others speak of notices they have seen.” She continued to track reviews with some interest in the early 1870s – whether she herself clipped the ones that have survived and are now in the Houghton Library at Harvard University, or they were clipped by family members and friends, or they were sent by her publisher with an eye to advertising copy.

As for the reviews themselves – although Alcott's Flower Fables garnered several notices when it appeared in 1855 (more later, in 1887, when it was retitled and augmented), her first book to receive serious attention from reviewers was Hospital Sketches (1863), a slightly fictionalized account of her experience as a Civil War nurse in Washington, D.C. The reviewer for the New-York Tribune may have been uncomfortable with the foregrounding of “the comic aspects of hospital life,” but most reviewers agreed with the Boston Evening Transcript in finding the book “[f]luent and sparkling in style, with touches of quiet humor and lively wit, relieving what would otherwise be a topic too sombre and sad.’

Type
Chapter
Information
Louisa May Alcott
The Contemporary Reviews
, pp. xi - xx
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2004

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×