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About the book
  • Published: 27 March 1998
  • ISBN: 9780140436662
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208
  • RRP: $34.00

The Inheritance


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Alcott's enchanting debut novel

Written in 1849, when Louisa May Alcott was just seventeen years old, The Inheritance is the captivating tale of Edith Adelon, an impoverished Italian orphan who innocently wields the charms of virtue, beauty, and loyalty to win her true birthright. A long lost letter reveals her secret inheritance, nothing less than the English estate on which she is a paid companion. But Edith is loath to claim it–for more important to her by far are the respect and affection of her wealthy patrons, and the love of a newfound friend, the kind and noble Lord Percy.
Her first novel shows a young Alcott writing under the influence of the gothic romances and sentimental novels of her day. In their introduction, Professors Myerson and Shealy, who recovered Alcott's unpublished manuscript, explore how her unconventional upbringing and early literary influences shaped The Inheritance, and consider it in the light of her mature style, particularly that of her classic, Little Women.

Edited with an Introduction and Notes by JOEL MYERSON and DANIEL SHEALY
 

  • Pub date: 27 March 1998
  • ISBN: 9780140436662
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208
  • RRP: $34.00

About the Author

Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott was born on 29 November 1832 in Pennsylvania. Her father was friends with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Thoreau. Alcott started selling stories in order to help provide financial support for her family. Her first book was Flower Fables (1854). She worked as a nurse during the American Civil War and in 1863 she published Hospital Sketches, which was based on her experiences. Little Women was published in 1868 and was based on her life growing up with her three sisters. She followed it with three sequels, Good Wives (1869), Little Men (1871) and Jo's Boys (1886) and she also wrote other books for both children and adults. Louisa May Alcott was an abolitionist and a campaigner for women's rights. She died on 6 March 1888.

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