Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1868. Item #02506
First Edition, First Issue of “Little Women” and "Little Men" in the Original Cloth
ALCOTT, Louisa M[ay]. Little Women or, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. Illustrated by May Alcott.
Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1868.
First edition, first printing, with no note at the foot of p. 341 regarding Little Women, Part Two, without “Part One” on the spine, and with Little Women priced $1.25 on the third page of the advertisements (p. 11). Twelvemo signed in eights. iv, -341, [1, blank], [6, ads (numbered 3, 2, 11, 12, 8, 11)] pp. Frontispiece and three wood-engraved plates (facing pages 116, 135, and 320).
Original green sand-grain cloth with covers ruled in blind and spine decoratively stamped and lettered in gilt. Original brown coated endpapers. Plate opposite page 116 with minor marginal repair.
ALCOTT, Louisa M[ay]. Little Women; or, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. Part Second. With Illustrations.
Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1869.
First edition, BAL State 1, with no notice for Little Women, Part First, at p. iv. Twelvemo signed in eights. [i-iii] iv, 5-356 , [8, ads (numbered 16, 12, 11, 3, 2, -, -, 14)] pp. Frontispiece and three wood-engraved plates (facing pages 44, 142 and 193).
Original green sand-grain cloth with covers ruled in blind and spine decoratively stamped and lettered in gilt. Original brown coated endpapers. Plate opposite page 142 with small piece of upper corner and tiny piece of lower corner torn away.
The original cloth bindings on both volumes of Little Women have been expertly and almost invisibly rebacked by master book restorer Bruce Levy with the original spines laid down.
ALCOTT, Louisa M[ay]. Little Men: Life at Plumfield with Jo’s Boys. Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1871.
First American edition (published about two weeks after the London edition), first issue, with Pink and White Tyranny listed as “nearly ready” in the ads. Small octavo. [4, ads], , 376 pp. Frontispiece and three wood-engraved plates (facing pages 13, 251, and 369).
Original terra-cotta sand-grain cloth with covers ruled in blind and spine decoratively stamped and lettered in gilt. Original brown coated endpapers. Half-inch closed split to top of upper joint, inner hinges split, spine extremities with minimal strengthening, otherwise a very fine copy.
In summary, this is an excellent all first edition, first issue set in the original cloth of what has become a notoriously rare book to find in it's original state.
Little Women housed in a green morocco backed clamshell case and Little Men in a matching red morocco backed clamshell case. The two cases then housed together in a cloth slip case.
"In one of the early chapters of Little Women, Laurie says, somewhat pathetically, that occasionally the March family next door forgets to draw the curtain in the evening and he sees them all, sitting together in the circle of the lamplight. Jo assures him impulsively that they will never draw the curtain again, so that the lonely boy will always have a share in the warm happiness of that friendly little household.
It is in some such way, and with the same warm impulse, that Louisa May Alcott has left open for us the curtain of her own life. We do not remember, today, how brave a spirit it must have taken to write so frankly and truly of all that was the most intimate in her family history. In an age when there prevailed a prim ritual of manners and an exaggerated reticence in the matter of all private affairs, Louisa Alcott suddenly spoke out. She has told all, unhesitatingly, down to the small quarrels, the impetuous mistakes, the rebellion against unwelcome duties which go to make up every person's early experience of life. There is no doubt that it is this courageous candor which has made Miss Alcott's greatness. She is not, in this her centenary year, simply a famous woman; she is a person beloved by all those young spirits who are pursuing the same road of struggling development which makes little women into citizens of the world. So truly has she taken us into her confidence concerning that battle of life which changes so little in the course of a century, that she is loved today much as she was loved then, not for what she gave, but what she shared." (Cornelia Meigs, Louisa May Alcott - An Appreciation).
BAL 158, 159, and 167. Peter Parley to Penrod 30. Grolier 100. American, 74. Lucile Gulliver. Louisa May Alcott. A Bibiography.