Jo Refuses Laurie

In my final post on Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, I want to focus not on the death of Beth, which is the climax of the novel, but on that peculiar narrative twist that Alcott was so proud of: Laurie doesn’t end up with Jo.  Let’s put this deferred romance in perspective. If you look … Continue reading

New book: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

What is it about 19th century English literature that is so infuriating? I say English literature because, until Walt Whitman and Mark Twain liberated the American tongue, there is little that the amateur student can distinguish between British novelists and American ones. The Americans, in fact, were aspirant imitators of their British peers. Consider how Poe milks … Continue reading