Louisa May Alcott Quotes: Wisdom from the Author of Little Women

Louisa May Alcott 1862

Louisa May Alcott, best known for the Little Women series, was a fountain of wisdom and comfort. She had her share of struggles throughout her 56-year life — poverty, ill-health, and loss. Yet though it all she managed to see what was sweet in life and took greatest comfort in the love and companionship of her immediate family.  Here are some of the best-loved Louisa May Alcott quotes.

“Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.”

“Do the things you know, and you shall learn the truth you need to know.”

“I like to help women help themselves, as that is, in my opinion, the best way to settle the woman question. Whatever we can do and do well we have a right to, and I don’t think any one will deny us.”

Louisa May Alcott young

You might also like: Sketch of Childhood by Louisa May Alcott

“Women have been called queens for a long time, but the kingdom given them isn’t worth ruling.” (An Old-Fashioned Girl, 1870)

“I can only say to you as I do to the many young writers who ask for advice — There is no easy road to successful authorship; it has to be earned by long and patient labor, many disappointments, uncertainties and trials.” (From a letter to a reader, 1878)

“Read Charlotte Brontë’s life. A very interesting, but sad one. So full of talent; and after working long, just as success, love, and happiness come, she dies. Wonder if I shall ever be famous for people to care to read my story and struggles. I can’t be a C.B., but I may do a little something yet.” (From her journal, entry dated June, 1857)

“We all have our own life to pursue, Our own kind of dream to be weaving … And we all have the power To make wishes come true, As long as we keep believing.”

“Life is my college. May I graduate well, and earn some honors.”

Louisa May Alcott quotes

“Painful as it may be, a significant emotional event can be the catalyst for choosing a direction that serves us — and those around us — more effectively. Look for the learning.”

“We’ve got minds and souls as well as hearts; ambition and talents as well as beauty and accomplishments; and we want to live and learn as well as love and be loved. I’m sick of being told that is all a woman is fit for! I won’t have anything to do with love until I prove that I am something beside a housekeeper and a baby-tender!” (Rose in Bloom, 1876)

“My head is my study, & there I keep the various plans of stories for years some times, letting them grow as they will till I am ready to put them on paper. Then it is quick work, as chapters go down word for word as they stand in my mind & need no alteration.” (From a letter to journalist Frank Carpenter, 1887)

“He who believes is strong; he who doubts is weak. Strong convictions precede great actions.”

“She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.” (Work: A Story of Experience, 1873)

“The love, respect, and confidence of my children was the sweetest reward I could receive for my efforts to be the woman I would have them copy.” (Little Women, 1868)

“I want to do something splendid…something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead. I don’t know what, but I’m on the watch for it and mean to astonish you all someday.” (Little Women, 1868)

“Nothing is impossible to a determined woman.” (Behind a Mask: The Unknown Thrillers Of Louisa May Alcott, 1866)

“The emerging woman … will be strong-minded, strong-hearted, strong-souled, and strong-bodied…strength and beauty must go together.” (An Old-Fashioned Girl, 1870)

“Keep good company, read good books, love good things and cultivate soul and body as faithfully as you can.” (Rose In Bloom, 1876)

“Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success.” (Little Women, 1868)

Louisa May Alcott Quote from Little Women

“It’s amazing how lovely common things become, if one only knows how to look at them.” (Marjorie’s Three Gifts, 1899)

“I shall keep my book on the table here, and read a little every morning as soon as I wake, for I know it will do me good, and help me through the day.”

“Human minds are more full of mysteries than any written book and more changeable than the cloud shapes in the air.” (Abbot’s Ghost: A Christmas Story, 1867)

“It takes people a long time to learn the difference between talent and genius, especially ambitious young men and women.” (Little Women, 1868)

“Some books are so familiar that reading them is like being home again.”

“Self-abnegation is a noble thing but I think there is a limit to it, & though in a few rare cases it may work well yet half the misery of the world seems to come from unmated pairs trying to live their lie decorously to the end, & bringing children into the world to inherit the unhappiness & discord out of which they were born.” (From a letter to a friend, 1865) 

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