She was asked to write a story for young women and decided to write a novel based on her life growing up with her sisters. The four March sisters of “Little Women” are based on Louisa and her siblings, with Jo March representing herself.
“Little Women” is famous for addressing the role of women in the 1800s, family matters, love, personal growth, women’s rights, etc.
Once published under her name in 1868, it became a great success, and Louisa quickly became known as one of the most popular novelists of the 19th century. The first edition of the book sold out two weeks after being published.
In the 1870s, Louisa spent much of her time getting involved in the women’s suffrage movement. She became one of the founders of the Women’s Educational and Industrial Union in Boston in 1877, which served to help women and children living in an industrial city.
As the women’s rights movement progressed, she became the first woman to register to vote in her hometown of Concord.
In 1879, while living in Boston, Louisa took in and looked after her niece “Lulu” after her younger sister, May, passed away. Unfortunately, Louisa suffered from declining health as she entered her 50s. She had many chronic health problems, and some scholars believe she was dealing with an autoimmune disease.
Louisa passed away in March 1888 at the age of 55. While many of us wish she could have lived longer, her legacy lives on, and her story continues to be cherished. You can still visit her childhood home in Concord and see her Boston home along the Boston Women’s Heritage Trail.
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