Louisa May Alcott, who spent much of her childhood amid an intellectual circle that included Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Thoreau, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, embarked on her own literary efforts at an early age. Her recently discovered first novel, The Inheritance, written when Alcott was just 17,... show more
Louisa May Alcott, who spent much of her childhood amid an intellectual circle that included Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Thoreau, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, embarked on her own literary efforts at an early age. Her recently discovered first novel, The Inheritance, written when Alcott was just 17, offers readers a fascinating look at the birth of a remarkable career.Influenced by the melodrama of the contemporary theater, the sentimental romances she read as a child, and the popular gothic novels of the time, Alcott weaves a tale far removed from the reality of her everyday life in Boston. The Inheritance, set in an English country manor, is the story of Edith Adelon, an Italian orphan brought to England by Lord Hamilton as a companion for his children. With a charm reminiscent of Jane Austen's novels, Alcott's plot sets love and courtesy against depravity and dishonor -- and with the help of a secret inheritance, allows virtue to prevail.In their Introduction, Joel Myerson and Daniel Shealy relate their fortuitous discovery of Alcott's manuscript draft of The Inheritance (preserved at the Houghton Library of Harvard). They explore the forces -- both literary and personal -- that shaped the novel, and study how it foreshadowed Alcott's later work.
Publish date: February 1st 1998
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Pages no: 208
Edition language: English
If you're in the mood for a quick, predictable romance then The Inheritance is perfect for you. As far as the historical record goes, I'm quite glad that this previously unpublished work has now seen the light of day. It's fascinating to see the first novel from one of America's most beloved authors...
Halfway through my Balzac novelettes, my mind, immersed in the depressing realism of 19th century Parisian life, needed a momentary break. Alcott’s The Inheritance was the perfect answer. Essentially, The Inheritance is sugar and spice and everything nice. Some sections are so sugary sweet that they...
2 1/2 stars. It is obvious that this was Louisa May Alcott's first attempt at a novel and that she was a teen with an overly romanticized brain when it was written. I liked the TV movie I saw years ago that was based on this a lot better than I liked the book. I think the story had potential, but th...
Read the official review at Tales Between the PagesThis is Louisa May Alcott’s very first book, written 20 years before Little Women. it reminds me a lot of Jane Austen’s first novella, Love and Friendship. I think Alcott was very much influenced by the sentimental genre because The Inheritance is v...
Sappy and melodramatic in the extreme, but it is a very early attempt by an author that never really grew out of the latter, if either. It still is a nice little story, with an almost Gothic feel at times.