Updated: Jul 21, 2020
Came for Timothée Chalamet and stayed for the story? No matter how deep your history with Little Women goes, here are some things you might not have known about this tale that has captivated us for decades.
1. What happens after the movie ends? Well, for once, you can find out.
Little Women is part of series of three books: Little Women, Little Men, and Jo's Boys, which were first published in 1868, 1871, and 1886, respectively. Little Men centers around the lives of the boys (and girls) at Jo's Plumfield school, and Jo's Boys follows the children into adulthood. In these sequels, we get glimpses of our beloved favorites: Laurie (affectionately called "Uncle Laurie" by the boys), Meg and John Brooke, Mr. and Mrs. March, and of course Jo and her husband Professor Bhaer. We also get to see the children of the March sisters grow up, pursue their dreams, fall in love...
2. Just how many Little Women adaptations are there? Six, for now.
While you may be aware of the 1994 version starring Winona Ryder, Kirsten Dunst, and Susan Sarandon, the list of movie adaptations goes much further back in time! The first instance of Little Women on the big screen is thought to be a British silent film released in 1917, starring Ruby Miller as Jo. Unfortunately, it is considered lost. Also notable are the 1933 version with Katherine Hepburn, and the 1949 version with June Allyson. Find a list of all movie and TV adaptations here.
3. Sure it's a heartwarming story, but how realistic is it? Pretty realistic, actually.
The characters and setting of Little Women are all vaguely autobiographical. Louisa May Alcott was the second oldest of four sisters, like Jo. Marmee was closely based on Alcott's own mother, who was a strong and self-sufficient woman. Similarly, Alcott's father resembles philosophical Mr. March, as he was a leader of the Transcendentalist movement. The Alcott home was often a meeting spot for Transcendentalist thinkers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.