Language: English | Number of Pages: 704 | Format: eBook | In other languages: (other languages) Chi traditional , Spanish , German , Turkish , Italian , Korean , French , Catalan , Japanese , Portuguese , Swedish , Dutch
Isbn-13: 9781442457744 | Publish date: 20/03/2012
Contributor: Joan W. Blos
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"As young readers like to know ‘how people look’, we will take this moment to give them a little sketch of the four sisters, who sat knitting away in the twilight, while the December snow fell quietly without, and the fire crackled cheerfully within." Louisa May Alcott, writes the author.
We are in the middle of the nineteenth century and we go in a comfortable room, though the carpet is faded and the furniture very plain, for a good picture or two hung on the walls, books filled the recesses, chrysanthemums and Christmas roses bloomed in the windows, and a pleasant atmosphere of home peace pervaded it.
There is an old sofa, it is a regular patriarch of a sofa— long, broad, well-cushioned, and low, a trifle shabby, as well it might be, for the girls had slept and sprawled on it as babies, fished over the back, rode on the arms, and had menageries under it as children, and rested tired heads, dreamed dreams, and listened to tender talk on it as young women. They all love it, for it is a family refuge.
The parents are the refuge of the four sisters: their mother, is always ready to be their confidante, their father, who will come soon from the war, to be their friend, and both of hope and trust that their daughters, whether married or single, will be the pride and comfort of their lives.
Mrs March, their mother, believes it is important to help one another, to have daily duties which male leisure sweet when it comes, and to bear and forbear, that home might be comfortable and lovely to them all.
Work is a blessed solace. Hope and keep busy, and whatever happens, they have to remember that they never can be fatherless.
Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success, in spite of poverty.
Mrs. March is not ambitious for a splendid
fortune, a fashionable position, or a great name for her girls. She knows, by experience, how much genuine happiness can be had in a plain little house, where the daily bread is earned, and some privations give sweetness to the few pleasures.
The girls give their hearts into their mother’s keeping, their souls into their father’s, and to both parents, who live and labor so faithfully for them, they give a love that grows with their growth and bound them tenderly together by the sweetest tie which blesses life and outlives death.
Mrs. March knows that experience is an excellent teacher, and when it is possible she leaves her children to learn alone the lessons.
She always explains to her daughters that, poverty seldom daunts a sincere lover. Some of the best and most honored women she knew were poor girls, but so love worthy that they were not allowed to be old maids.
It is important to leave these things to time.
Time changes everything: for the fifteen- year-old Jo, who devoted herself to literature and to writing novels, love will make her show her heart one day.
And so the babies, whom Jo loves tenderly. Grief is the best opener of some hearts, and Jo is nearly ready for the bag.
Jo is a tomboy, she isn’t a heroine of the novel she likes writing, she is only a struggling human girl like hundreds of others, and she just acts out her nature, being sad, cross, listless, or energetic, as the mood suggested.
Her anger never lasts long, her sisters use to say that they rather like to get Jo into a fury because she is such an angel afterward.
Poor Jo tries desperately to be good, but her bosom enemy is always ready to flame up and defeats her, and it takes years of patient effort to subdue it.
She often says she wants to do something splendid, no matter how hard, and now she has her wish. She decides that she will try and in her first attempt she finds the helps.
Jo has a sorrow, she is lonely, without the comfort of true love, until Professor Bhaer intends to marry her. She understands he carries the talisman that opens all hearts, and these simple people warmed to him at once, feeling even the more friendly because he was poor. For poverty enriches those who live above it, and is a sure passport to truly hospitable spirits.
Time changes everything, their mother is right: also for Margaret, the eldest of the four. She is sixteen and very pretty. She is ‘fond of luxury’ and her chief trouble is poverty. She finds it harder to bear than the others because she can remember a time when home was beautiful, life full of ease and pleasure, and want of any kind unknown. She tries not to be envious or discontented, but it is very natural that the young girl should long for pretty things, gay friends, accomplishments, and a happy life.
But as years passed, Meg spends her time in working as well as waiting, growing womanly in character, wise in housewifely arts, and prettier than ever, for love is a great beautifier.
Thanks to her marriage, Meg improves a lot:
how well she can talk, how much she knows about good, womanly impulses, thoughts, and feelings, how happy she is in husband and
children, and how much they are all doing for each other.
Time changes the destiny of Beth: Elizabeth, or Beth, as everyone called her, is a rosy, smooth- haired, bright-eyed girl of thirteen, with a shy manner, a timid voice, and a peaceful expression which is seldom disturbed. Her father calls her ‘Little Miss Tranquility’, and the name suits her excellently, for she seems to live in a happy world of her own, only venturing out to meet the few whom she trusts and loves.
As time goes by, Beth remains delicate long after the fever was a thing of the past. Not an invalid exactly, but never again the rosy, healthy creature she has been, yet always hopeful, happy, and serene, and busy with the quiet duties she loves, everyone’s friend, and an angel in the house, long before those who love her most learned to know it.
It is the shadow of pain which touches the young face with such pathetic patience, but Beth seldom complains and always speaks hopefully of ‘being better soon’.
When Beth leaves the old home for the new, she is joyful as her parents think her to meet death without fear.
Time changes everything, how true this sentence is!
Amy, the youngest of the four sisters, is a regular snow maiden, with blue eyes, and yellow hair and always carrying herself like
a young lady mindful of her manners.
Amy is with truth considered ‘the flower of the family’, for at sixteen she has the air and bearing of a full-grown woman, not beautiful, but possesses of that indescribable charm called grace. Her nose afflicts her, for it never would grow Grecian, so does her mouth,
being too wide, and having a decided chin.
One of her weaknesses is a desire to move in ‘our best society’.
Money, position, fashionable accomplishments, and elegant manners are most desirable things in her eyes, she cultivates her aristocratic tastes and feelings, so that when the opportunity came she may be ready to take the place from which poverty now excludes her.
She wishes to be an artist, and go to Rome, and do fine pictures, and be the best artist in the whole world.
‘Little Raphael,’ as her sisters call her, has a decided talent for drawing, and is never so happy as when copying flowers, designing fairies, or illustrating stories with queer specimens of art.
She is a great favorite with her mates, being good-tempered and possessing the happy art of pleasing without effort. Her little airs and graces are much admired, so are her accomplishments, for besides her drawing, she can play twelve tunes, crochet, and read. She is so ambitious, but her heart is good and tender, and no matter how high she flies, she never will forget home.
And when she and Laurie, their rich neighbor, discover their mutual love, Amy understands
it is so beautiful to be loved as Laurie loves her.
Amy’s nature grows sweeter, deeper, and more tender. Laurie grows more serious, strong, and firm.
Amy is the sun and Laurie the wind, in the fable, and the sun manages the man best.
She would have married him if he hadn’t had a penny.
She is prouder of her handsome husband than of all his money. Laurie believes that rich people had no right to sit down and enjoy themselves, or let their money accumulate for others to waste.
They can have a good time themselves,
and add an extra relish to their own pleasure by giving other people a generous taste.
‘Oh, my girls, however long you may live, I never can wish you a greater happiness than this!’ says Mrs March.
Her girls thanks to their parents' teaching, were now women with moral values, such as honesty, respect for life and self-control and
respect of the others.
The values that we choose help determine our behavior, our priorities, the ties that will make and the moral guidance we give to our children.
Cri1967 said on Dec 31, 2016, 09:16
Ho provato a leggerlo, approfittando dello sprone di un gdl qui su anobii, ma non ce la faccio... dopo qualche decina di pagine, giunto all'inizio del cap.4 getto la spugna... ho altri libri che mi attraggono di più.
Questo testo è un po' troppo semplice, un classico ecc. ecc. ma non ce la fo per più di 300 pagg. Mi resta un caro pensiero alle 4 piccole donne-sorelle (e al bel film visto da piccolo, un super-classico), ma non altro :)
gio' said on Dec 29, 2016, 15:55
Nel primo libro " piccole donne" vediamo le sorelle March, ancora bambine che dovranno affrontare le difficoltà della famiglia dopo che il loro amato papà, dovrà allontanarsi per la guerra. Si daranno forza l'un l'altra e le più grandi Meg e Jo faranno da mamme alle loro sorelline più piccole.
$TREGHETT@ said on Dec 25, 2016, 19:11
Come quasi tutti i lettori ho dei bellissimi ricordi dell'infanzia legati a Piccole donne che mi regalò mio padre all'inizio dei miei anni da "piccola donna" assieme a Jules Verne, Pattini d'argento e tanti altri.
In occasione del Natale ho voluto rileggere il primo volume della serie.
Le scene descritte dalla Alcott sono molto vivide e questo romanzo è una bella doccia fredda di umiltà e getta uno sguardo dolce ma severo sul modo di vivere più semplice possibile, senza chiedere niente a nessuno ma guadagnandosi il pane quotidiano col duro lavoro.
Come le fanciulle che hanno letto questo libro nei primi anni della loro giovinezza, ho avuto poca sopportazione per Amy e amato Jo e Laurie sperando, col tempo, in un fidanzamento, ahimè per ora mancato.
Sebbene Piccole donne sia un libro basato sull'insegnamento, sull'amore per la famiglia e i propri amici, in certi passaggi l'ho trovato un po' troppo artefatto, sull'onda della paranoia specialmente riguardo il tema religioso o le scene e i dialoghi di Beth.
Quella delle piccole donne è una storia secolare che tiene incollati i lettori di tutte le età e, dal canto mio, ho saputo riapprezzare questa lettura ed i suoi insegnamenti. Avevo proprio bisogno di una lettura simile, che infondesse speranza, dolce ma che rivelasse anche qualche lato oscuro della vita e come saperlo affrontare.
Una bellissima e dolce rilettura!
Postcards from... said on Dec 15, 2016, 14:15
Piccole donne (Little Women, 1868 ) di Louisa May Alcott
"Piccole donne" è il capolavoro di Louisa May Alcott, il romanzo che l'ha resa celebre e che ha conosciuto innumerevoli versioni cinematografiche (tra le quali spicca quella con Susan Sarandon e Wynona Rider). Conosciamo la famiglia March in un momento critico: ha subito rovesci economici e il padre è stato chiamato a partecipare alla guerra di Secessione; così le quattro figlie e la mamma restano sole ad affrontare piccoli e grandi problemi. La capricciosa Amy, la vivace Meg, la delicata Beth e soprattutto la ribelle e impulsiva Jo compongono un quartetto in cui diverse generazioni di lettrici si sono identificate e si identificano.
E così alla mia avanzata età (meglio tardi che mai come si suol dire) ho letto i primi due romanzi che compongono la quadrilogia di Piccole donne (gli altri due sono Piccoli uomini e I ragazzi di Jo). La Alcott ci narra la vita della famiglia March, composta da quattro sorelle (Margaret sedicenne, Josephine quindicenne, Elizabeth tredicenne ed Amy dodicenne) dal Natale 1860 a quello del Natale successivo. E' un romanzo sulla "sorellanza" (purtroppo non esiste il termine in italiano, c'è solo fratellanza!), cioé mette in evidenza la grande forza di queste donne (inclusa la madre) che si sostengono reciprocamente, evidenziando la principale e autobiografica caratteristica che è riconoscibile in tutti i romanzi della Alcott, ovvero l'emancipazione-maturazione delle donne, rispetto invece al servilismo agli uomini che c'era nell'Ottocento.
Frahorus said on Nov 22, 2016, 10:02
Ho letto questo libro solo da adulto perché le letture "da maschi" dei ragazzi erano altre. Penso sia un libro meraviglioso ed educativo se letto nell'età giusta (10-12 anni). Ovviamente un po' ingenuo per un adulto, ma resta comunque una lettura tenera e dolce anche per i "bambini" più cresciuti.
Reynard said on Nov 02, 2016, 07:08
Nasten'ka said on Aug 19, 2016, 22:09
Piccole donne è un grande classico, una storia prettamente femminile ricca di sentimenti. Credo che Jo sia entrata nei cuori di milioni di persone.
Sicuramente è un libro da recuperare e rivalutare. Bello.
Gabriele Torchetti said on Aug 15, 2016, 12:38
Letto da grande perchè da piccola non riuscivo a digerirlo. Le protagoniste erano troppo lontane dall'immagine dell'infanzia e dell'adolescenza da me vissuta. Da adulta ho cambiato opinione, un libro decisamente pulito, svelto e piacevole. Unica pecca di questa edizione è l'elevato numero di errori tipografici che va ad inficiare la lettura. Poichè è un'edizione pensata per ragazi credo che questo aspetto dovrebbe essere maggiormente curato per non creare problemi nella comprensione delle frasi.
SbiruLinA said on Jun 29, 2016, 21:08
Sandina said on Jun 19, 2016, 19:33