“Hatred, the deepest and bitterest, was written on her sternly beautiful face, courage glowed in her glance, power spoke in the nervous grip of the slender hand that held the weapon, and the indomitable will of the woman was expressed.”
Little Women Behind a Mask: or, A Woman's Power
Born this day in 1832: Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888), author of the popular and placid Little Women and, as it turns out, lurid potboilers featuring fierce, independent women
Louisa May Alcott grew up in Concord, Massachusetts, amidst reformers and transcendentalists. To help support her family Alcott began writing, but not the moralistic children’s tales she became famous for (“moral pap,” as she called it), but violent potboilers—her “blood and thunder stories.” In fact, it was not until the mid-twentieth century that this side of her career became known. Her dual career seemed to reflect a struggle she internalized, a struggle between the rigid obedience her family practiced and the freedom it preached. In all she wrote more than 300 titles. Among them were feminist tracts and a semi-autobiographical feminist novel, Work: A Study of Experience (1873).
Check it out! Behind a Mask: or, A Woman's Power, like many of her more colorful tales, was written under the pseudonym A. M. Barnard.
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