Louisa May Alcott
Born in Massachusetts in 1832, Alcott was a popular writer and reformer, a feminist and abolitionist, and the creator of some of the most beloved characters in American literature. Her family, who were often poor, were active in the Transcendentalist movement, and Alcott was heavily influenced by thinkers like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Henry David Thoreau, men she knew as a girl. Alcott’s books chronicling the lives of the March sisters were received warmly by critics and were commercial successes. Little Women, the first of these books, was published in 1868. They were some of the first novels to focus on the inner lives of women and issues women faced, including the domestic sphere, equality, love, and work. Alcott died in 1888, at age 55, and was buried on Authors’ Ridge in Concord, near Emerson and Thoreau.