Louisa May Alcott
- Women have been called queens for a long time, but the kingdom given them isn't worth ruling.
- An Old-Fashioned Girl (1870), Ch. 13 : The Sunny Side
- The child has talent, loves music, and needs help. I can't give her money, but I can teach her; so I do, and she is the most promising pupil I have. Help one another, is part of the religion of our sisterhood, Fan.
- An Old-Fashioned Girl (1870), Ch. 13 : The Sunny Side; this has often been quoted as "Helping one another, is part of the religion of our sisterhood."
- I believe that it is as much a right and duty for women to do something with their lives as for men and we are not going to be satisfied with such frivolous parts as you give us.
- Rose in Bloom (1876), Ch. 1 : Coming Home
- If I can do no more, let my name stand among those who are willing to bear ridicule and reproach for the truth's sake, and so earn some right to rejoice when the victory is won.
- From a letter ("Louisa M. Alcott to the American Woman Suffrage Association", October 1885) in support of women's voting rights, quoted in Elizabeth Cady Stanton et al., History of Woman Suffrage, 1883-1900 (1902), p. 412.
- Is it not meningitis?
- Last words (6 March 1888), as quoted in Women Who Win, or, Making Things Happen (1896), by William Makepeace Thayer, p. 258
- Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.
- As quoted in Elbert Hubbard's Scrap Book (1923) by Elbert Hubbard, p. 62
Little Women (1868)
- "Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents," grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
"It's so dreadful to be poor!" sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress.
"I don't think it's fair for some girls to have plenty of pretty things, and other girls nothing at all," added little Amy, with an injured sniff.
"We've got Father and Mother, and each other," said Beth contentedly from her corner.
The four young faces on which the firelight shone brightened at the cheerful words, but darkened again as Jo said sadly, "We haven't got Father, and shall not have him for a long time." She didn't say "perhaps never," but each silently added it, thinking of Father far away, where the fighting was.
- Ch. 1 : Playing Pilgrims, First lines
- You think your temper is the worst in the world, but mine used to be just like it. ... I've been trying to cure it for forty years, and have only succeeded in controlling it. I am angry nearly every day of my life, but I have learned not to show it; and I still try to hope not to feel it, though it may take me another forty years to do it. ... I've learned to check the hasty words that rise to my lips, and when I feel that they mean to break out against my will, I just go away for a minute, and give myself a little shake for being so weak and wicked.
- Marmee March to Jo, in Ch. 8 : Jo Meets Apollyon
- Housekeeping ain't no joke.
- Ch. 11 : Experiments
- If people really want to go, and really try all their lives, I think they will get in; for I don’t believe there are any locks on that door, or any guards at the gate. I always imagine it is as it is in the picture, where the shining ones stretch out their hands to welcome poor Christian as he comes up from the river.
- Beth's views on the Celestial City, in Ch. 13 : Castles In The Air
- It takes people a long time to learn the difference between talent and genius, especially ambitious young men and women.
- Ch. 22 : Artistic Attempts
- Love is a great beautifier.
- Ch. 24 : Gossip
- She had a womanly instinct that clothes possess an influence more powerful over many than the worth of character or the magic of manners.
- Ch. 34 : Friend
- Girls are so queer you never know what they mean. They say no when they mean yes, and drive a man out of his wits just for the fun of it.
- Laurie to Jo, in Ch. 35 : Heartache
- It was not a fashionable place, but even among the pleasant people there, the girls made few friends, preferring to live for one another.
- Ch. 36 : Beth's Secret
- Simple, sincere people seldom speak much of their piety. It shows itself in acts rather than in words, and has more influence than homilies or protestations. Beth could not reason upon or explain the faith that gave her courage and patience to give up life, and cheerfully wait for death. Like a confiding child, she asked no questions, but left everything to God and nature, Father and Mother of us all, feeling sure that they, and they only, could teach and strengthen heart and spirit for this life and the life to come. She did not rebuke Jo with saintly speeches, only loved her better for her passionate affection, and clung more closely to the dear human love, from which our Father never means us to be weaned, but through which He draws us closer to Himself. She could not say, "I'm glad to go," for life was very sweet for her. She could only sob out, "I try to be willing," while she held fast to Jo, as the first bitter wave of this great sorrow broke over them together.
- Ch. 36 : Beth's Secret
- Love is the only thing that we can carry with us when we go, and it makes the end so easy.
- Ch. 40 : The Valley Of The Shadow
- When women are the advisers, the lords of creation don't take the advice till they have persuaded themselves that it is just what they intended to do. Then they act upon it, and, if it succeeds, they give the weaker vessel half the credit of it. If it fails, they generously give her the whole.
- Ch. 41 : Learning To Forget
- The invigorating air did them both good, and much exercise worked wholesome changes in minds as well as bodies. They seemed to get clearer views of life and duty up there among the everlasting hills. The fresh winds blew away desponding doubts, delusive fancies, and moody mists. The warm spring sunshine brought out all sorts of aspiring ideas, tender hopes, and happy thoughts. The lake seemed to wash away the troubles of the past, and the grand old mountains to look benignly down upon them saying, "Little children, love one another."
- Ch. 41 : Learning To Forget
- I love my gallant captain with all my heart and soul and might, and never will desert him, while God lets us be together. Oh, Mother, I never knew how much like heaven this world could be, when two people love and live for one another!
- Amy, in Ch. 42 : All Alone
- The Louisa May Alcott Society
- Louisa May Alcott, the real woman who wrote Little Women
- "Louisa M. Alcott Dead" The New York Times (7 March 1888)
- "Obituary : Miss Louisa M. Alcott" Minneapolis Tribune (7 March 1888)
- Biographical information
- Encyclopaedia Britannica, Louisa May Alcott
- Annotation of Hospital Sketches
- Works by Louisa May Alcott at Project Gutenberg
- Works by Louisa May Alcott at Internet Archive
- Works by Louisa May Alcott at Online Books Page
- Works by Louisa May Alcott at Project Gutenberg Australia
- Index entry for Louisa May Alcott at Poets' Corner