Little Women Literary Reference List and Alcott Reading Challenge
When I was rereading Shirley, a lot of footnotes reminded me how often older authors were well-versed in literary works to be constantly referencing all their works, and this caused the list of Little Women literary references to mind, and then Tarissa’s Alcott Reading Challenge reminded me again.
I thought I’d found a list, I’m pretty sure I did, but I guess it wasn’t comprehensive so I made my own? Back in 2017, I’d posted all the literary references I’d collected in various posts, but I’m going to compile them and put them in a page on here like with my Classics Club list. I need to see if I can remember to compile lists from other author’s works like this as well.
I’d like to read some things off this list as part of the challenge as well as re-read some actual Alcott works.
I know I re-read Old-Fashioned Girl recently, but I’ve been meaning to reread the Little Women, Little Men, Jo’s Boys trilogy as well as the Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom duo. And maybe A Long Fatal Love Chase. I’d like to get pretty copies of all these, so we shall see what I get too.
Little Women Blog Party Tag
I’m joining Molly Rebekah’s A Ramble Through the Woods Little Women blog party; Abby from Lavender Spring is her co-host. I think the focus is mainly on the 1994 film version, so that is how I will be answering the tag questions (also, I strongly advise listening to the soundtrack Molly uploaded whilst answering the questions). I’m a glutton for punishment; Jo and Laurie’s ending is one of the most devastating storylines in literature.
1.) Is there anything from the book that you wish were in the movie?
Well, I wish nothing had been changed (that I liked; I would totally be okay with the directors putting Laurie and Jo together). The John and Meg proposal scene is one of my favorite proposals in literature. I love the chapter “Secrets” and the ensuing results (note: the Anne of Avonlea movie plagiarizes part of this chapter as well as other parts of Little Women; I’ve been meaning to go into that into more detail, and I even purchased the screenplay just for that purpose . . . one day, one day).
2.) If you could change one point of the plot, which would it be?
I think we all know my answer to this one. Jo and Laurie. I think I need to re-read and devote an entire post to this.
3.) In Chapter 13, the March sisters and Laurie talk about “Castles in the Air,” basically their unrealistic but lovely hopes and dreams. What is your castle in the air?
I’m pretty sure mine is basically like Meg’s.
4.) What would you most like to see in a new adaptation of Little Women, whether in book or film? Any specific actors, setting, or time period changes?
An accurate portrayal with actors and actresses the CORRECT ages (most of those girls looked way too old or weren’t even girls anymore). I would prefer better costumes, they were very underwhelming.
5.) What is your favorite dress from the movie?
The peach one Amy wears when she gets her letter about Beth. This one; I cannot for the life of me find a better photo that shows the lovely skirt. I also love her hair style.
6.) Which March sister(s) do you relate to most?
I’m probably like all of them, except Beth. I have Jo’s temperament with Meg’s domesticity and wishes and Amy’s taste and some of her wishes.
7.) Do you have a favorite film adaptation of Little Women?
I like parts of 90’s film (music and Laurie) and part of the 30’s one (most accurate John and Meg proposal scene).
8.) What is your favorite quote from Little Women? (Movie quotes count!)
Hard to pick and I’m too lazy to get out of bed, walk two steps and grab the book, and peruse it. So I will grab a light one from Goodreads and hope it is accurately quoted.
“Jo’s nineteen hair-pins all seemed stuck straight into her head, which was not exactly comfortable; but, dear me, let us be elegant or die!”
9.) Do you have a favorite scene from Little Women?
I’m going to go by book “scenes.” The proposal as before mentioned; the whole saga of Jo submitting her story/Laurie’s secret as before mentioned; the picnic . . . yeah the book is better.
10.) Aside from the March sisters, who is your favorite character from the story?
Um, LAURIE!!!!!!! I do like John Brooke in the book though, the movie doesn’t get him at all right.
Literary Journey via Literary References in Little Women: Plays, Periodicals, and Miscellaneous Writings
I cannot vouch for these works; I just thought a list would be fun to compile of these references. I’ve made bold the titles I’ve read.
How many have you read?
Mary Stuart by Schiller
Merchant of Venice
Midsummer Night’s Dream
The Beaux’ Stratagem by George Farquhar
The Rivals by Richard Sheridan
Punch or The London Charivari
The Rambler created by Samuel Johnson
~“Discourse of Sallets”
Essay by John Evelyn
~“North Wind and the Sun”
Fable from Aesop’s Fables (Little Women also mentioned these more generally)
~“Steadfast Tin Soldier”
Fairytale by Hans Christian Anderson
~“The House that Jack Built”
~The Parent’s Assistant
A collection of children’s stories by Maria Edgeworth
Literary Journey via Literary References in Little Women: Poetry and Songs
I cannot vouch for these works; I just thought a list would be fun to compile of these references.I haven’t read any of these or I don’t remember if I have. I may have read “Bonnie Dundee,” I certainly plan to after reading the Sutcliff novel of the same name.
How many have you read?“A Dream of Fair Women” Tennyson“Bonnie Dundee” Scott“Come Ye Disconsolate” by Thomas More and Thomas Hastings“Do You Know the Country” by Goethe in Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship“Endymion” Keats“Evelyn Hope” Robert Browning“Judas Maccabeas” Handel (an oratorio)“Lakes of Killarney” by Lady (Sydney) Morgan (I couldn’t find any information about this, perhaps the author featured this ballad in a book)“Land O’ the Leal” by Richard Burns“Little Jenny Wren”“Nothing to Wear” (Flora McFlimsey is mentioned)“The Rainy Day” Longfellow
Literary Journey via Literary References in Little Women: Books
Since many of these novels are well-known, I’ve only included the author on lesser-known titles. I cannot vouch for these works; I just thought a list would be fun to compile of these references. I’ve made bold the titles I’ve read.
How many have you read?
~A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott (I read this ages ago, at least I think I read it in full; it isn’t as scandalous as implied by many, just for her audience at the time; I have, however come across her “Jo March is rebuked by Professor Bhaer writings” which are scandalous)
~Corinne by Madame de Staël
~Dombey and Son
~Evelina by Frances Burney (this is the least sappy of the three Burney novels I’ve read and the one I have hitherto decide to keep; the other two I’ve read are Camilla and Cecilia)
~Heir of Redclyffe
~Mable on a Midsummer Day by Mary Howitt
~Odyssey (Telemachus is specifically mentioned)
~Old Man and the Sea
~Patronage by Maria Edgeworth
~Pilgrim’s Progress (Dad read this aloud to us, but I’m not counting that)
~Rasselas by Samuel Johnston
~Tailor Retailored or Sartur Resartus by Thomas Carlyle
~The Flirtations of Captain Cavendish (probably Cavendish, or the Patrician at Sea by William Johnson Neale according to this blog)
~The Life of Samuel Johnson James Boswell
~The Wide, Wide World by Susan Warner under the pseudonym Elizabeth Wetherell
~Tom Brown’s School Days by Thomas Hughs
~Uncle Tom’s Cabin
~Undine and Sintram stories by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué
~Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith
Literary Journey via Literary References in Little Women: Authors
When we grew up reading Little Women I always enjoyed the literary references even when I didn’t understand the background of most of them because I just thought it was fun to be able to do reference with such ease. Now, I recognize more of there references plus I have a copy of Little Women that has footnotes (these are addictive, and now I want that for the rest of the trilogy) for each reference, and I compiled a massive reading list from them. I love reading lists. I cannot really follow them religiously but there is just somethings so addictive and alluring about them.
Little Women features literary references of all sorts: quotes, mention of an author, mention of a work, vague allusion. I organized by type of work and then included a list of authors mentioned by name (their works may or may not also have been referenced in the book) which I’m including here for day one. I only included first names of the obscure authors.
I compiled my lists awhile back, so I hope that they are complete and accurate enough. I’ve used bold on the authors I’ve read, and I make a sorry showing today! I cannot vouch for these authors; I just thought a list would be fun to compile of these references.
How many of these authors have you read?
Columella, Lucius Junius
Raymond, Richard John
Sherwood, Mrs. Mary Martha
Little Men (1934)I love Nat and Dan, especially Dan, and since this film focused on these two characters and portrayed them well, I really enjoyed it, despite inaccuracies elsewhere. I do not expect anything other than stylized acting in early films, and that is what all these actors provided. The film was quite short, and the novel Little Men takes place over several years, so naturally this film could not capture everything and what it did felt rushed, but as I mentioned before, the film developed certain characters well and the spirit of the movie matched the book except in one significant particular.Professor Bhaer was AWFUL. For one thing, the age difference is noticeable (exaggerated?), and he is creepy. And he is not large in heart and mercy as he was in the book, he is not even just. The film accurately portrays Nat’s punishment for lying, but this is totally out of character with the film’s overall depiction of the professor.
Romeo or Benedick? Knightley or Tilney?
Romeo or Benedick?
Knightley or Tilney?
Jack or Algernon?
John Brooke or Laurie?
Gilbert or Barney?
Do you prefer the more traditional romantic leading men? Or the ones with personality. You can probably tell from that whom I prefer :/
How about the more popular or the overlook/rejected?
Will or Norrington?
Darcy or Bingley?
Rochester or St. John Rivers?
Pip or Herbert?