Louisa May Alcott

“The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely.”

Abolitionist and feminist Louisa May Alcott began writing from an early age, often taking inspiration from her own life. For Little Women, Alcott set the story at her family home known as Orchard House, basing the four March sisters loosely on herself and three sisters Abigail, Elizabeth, and Anna. Along with praise at the time of its publication, Little Women has remained a popular story among adults and children alike, receiving multiple film adaptations in the past few decades. In the past, RR Auction has successfully sold Alcott pieces for our consignors with amazing results.

Louisa May Alcott's letter to her publisher signed with her initials, "L. M. A."
Louisa May Alcott's letter to her publisher signed with her initials, "L. M. A."
Louisa May Alcott’s letter to her publisher signed with her initials, “L. M. A.”

Written in 1868 ahead of Little Women’s publication, this handwritten letter by Alcott successfully sold for $24,995. In this letter, Alcott writes to her publisher Thomas Niles of Roberts Brothers discussing final edits before the novel’s publication. She suggests a second title for the novel, “we think if a second one is needed, ‘Meg, Jo, Beth, & Amy’ simply, is enough.” The novel’s first printing also featured illustrations by Abigail May Alcott, Louisa’s younger sister and the inspiration for the young Amy March. Louisa also makes mention of her younger sister writing, “My sister does not want to be identified as one of the little women & prefers to have it stand – ‘illustrated by May Alcott.’” The mention of Alcott’s successful classic and her sister being the basis for one of the novel’s main characters made this a remarkable consignment for RR Auction.

A signed copy of Alcott's book, Eight Cousins, printed by Roberts Brothers in 1884.
A signed copy of Alcott’s book, Eight Cousins, printed by Roberts Brothers in 1884.

While handwritten material has remained desirable at auction, photographs and autographs are also in demand, like this rare cabinet portrait of the 19th-century author featuring her signature on the lower border. This signed copy of Alcott’s 1884 novel, Eight Cousins, received over $3,000 in bids. Signed on a free end page, the inscription reads, “Churchill, from his friend, L. M. Alcott, Aug. 1884.” 

The influence of Alcott’s work has failed to waver, and our buyers are always looking for new pieces, especially those relating to Little Women. Contact us today at 800-937-3880 or click the consign button below to see what your Alcott pieces could go for at auction! We’re here to help you write the next chapter for your memorabilia!

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