The Annotated Little Women – by Louisaa May Alcott and John Matteson

I read Matteson’s Eden’s Outcasts several years ago (2007?) and greatly appreciated it. I think I may have read it twice, once for myself and once for a group. Then the 19th Century Lit group decided to read Little Woman by Alcott and Matteson had just released the annotated version. Oh my heart.

The Annotated Little Women
by Louisa May Alcott
(annotated by John Matteson
1868 / 736 pages (Kindle)

* 11/2018 – Matteson version
rating – 10 / classic US children’s tale and wonderful annotations


*Note: The first part – Book 1 – is read by Anna Koval – 8h 49m – but that’s only about 1/2 the story. She was good and I wish she’d done the whole book.

The group discussion never did come ooff but I read the novel anyway – slowly, enjoying most of its but finding other parts kind of draggy.

The novel is as it always was, but the addition of Matteson’s annotations is a delight informing readers of all manner of things from the colors corresponding to characters to the nature of bonbons. I was surprised to find there were episodes I’d forgotten. There are also many photos and graphics dealing with some background in Alcott’s life and later film stills.

The footnotes are wonderfully well done, but that’s the point of the book! They are identified by number within the text which is linked and brings up a box for that one note. Then they are listed at the end of each chapter and this is where the links go so you can read them all in chapter order.

The extra-narrative material in the Introduction, Biographical Note, and Chronology etc. are fascinating, dealing with Alcott’s life, the times, and other relevant material – it’s taken from Eden’s Outcasts I believe.

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6 Responses to The Annotated Little Women – by Louisaa May Alcott and John Matteson

  1. jameswharris says:

    I loved Eden’s Outcasts. I’ve been meaning to reread it. Didn’t know about his annotated LIttle Women. Very cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jameswharris says:

    DANG!!! The Kindle version is $19.00, only $1 cheaper than the hardback.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know what you mean, but this has lots of color photos in it. Alcott’s sister May was the basis for Amy and she became a fairly important artist. Some of the photos are of her art. Most of it is Alcott memorabilia in their museum in Concord (I think). Matteson is an expert on Louisa and Bronson Alcott (her father).

      That happened with another book I have, an art book – David McCulloughs book about 19th century Americans in Paris. Lots color of photos of art work. I think they do that with books of maps or other reasons.


  3. neuravinci says:

    i just saw little women 2019 – well worth a watch – they stay true to the book but with a flavor that even alcott didn’t have in her writing

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love this book although I know the actually writing is not as “literary” as it could be This is a classic because the 19th century girls and parents loved it so. It was more realistic (American realism stuff) than almost anything else on the market for them. The girls are so individualized – something which very much appeals to young readers. I love the book and the annotated version was wonderful – but it may not be for everyone


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