Monday, November 29, 2010

Litttle (for Little)

Our typo for today is Litttle, which comes up five times in OhioLINK, making the word little just a little bit bigger. (You get seven hits if you truncate after the three T's, the other two being Littterature [sic] and Litttéraires [sic].) Louisa May Alcott, who was born on this day in 1832, is perhaps best known for the novel Little Women and its several sequels, which are based on her childhood and family life (like Jo March, Louisa also had three sisters) in Concord, Massachusetts. Her father, Amos Bronson Alcott (with whom she shared a birthday), was a leading light in the Transcendentalist movement, along with Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller, all family friends from whom Louisa received an early education. (She later chronicled her experience with these utopians in an newspaper article entitled "Transcendental Wild Oats.") Louisa was an abolitionist and a feminist. She wrote short stories for the Atlantic Monthly, along with a variety of novels and other works, including "wholesome" books for children (one being a three-volume set she composed for her niece, agreeably entitled Lulu's Library). She also produced a number of potboilers and steamy stories involving crime and romance under the nom de plume A. M. Barnard. (I especially like the title of this one: A Long Fatal Love Chase.) Louisa herself was unlucky in love, but quite lucky (or plucky) in work. The story of her own remarkable life is told in the 2010 documentary Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women.

(Louisa May Alcott at around age 20, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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