Little Women Literary References

I compiled this from posts from 4 years ago. I think I’d found a list but didn’t find it comprehensive so I made my own based I assume on the references from the copy of Little Women, I had? So if I’m missing anything (and I aimed to include any reference, general and specific, quoted or alluded to) please tell me. I think I’d like to remember to see if I can catch anything from her other works and well as try to get into the habit to do this with more authors.

Also, I think I mostly chose correctly the first time between italics and quotes, but I thought I’d look up to be sure, here is a handy reference for that purpose.

I’ve bolded any authors, works, etc. that I’ve read.




Bremer, Frederika
Columella, Lucius Junius
Cowley, Abraham
Edgeworth, Maria
More, Hannah
Raymond, Richard John
Rousseau, Heloise
Sherwood, Mrs. Mary Martha
Southworth. E.D.E.N.
Tusser, Thomas




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

David Copperfield

Dombey and Son

Don Quixote

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, edit: I recently purged, rather regret, maybe I can find a prettier copy; the other two I’ve read are Camilla and Cecilia).

Heir of Redclyffe

Ivanhoe. Mom read this aloud to us, but I’m not sure if I’ve read it on my own or not.


Little Dorrit

Mable on a Midsummer Day by Mary Howitt

Martin Chuzzlewit

Nicholas Nickleby

Odyssey (Telemachus is specifically mentioned)

Old Man and the Sea

Oliver Twist

Patronage by Maria Edgeworth

Pilgrim’s Progress (Dad read this aloud to us a couple times, but I’m not counting that)

Rasselas by Samuel Johnston

Tailor Retailored or Sartur Resartus by Thomas Carlyle

The Bible

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 by 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


Poetry and Song


“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






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




Belsham’s Essays.

“Discourse of Sallets.” Essay by John Evelyn.

Greek Myths

“North Wind and the Sun.” Fable from Aesop’s Fables.

Aesop’s Fables

“Steadfast Tin Soldier.” Fairytale by Hans Christian Anderson

“The House that Jack Built.” Nursery rhyme.

The Parent’s Assistant. A collection of children’s stories by Maria Edgeworth