Unfinished story by Little Women author Louisa May Alcott published in The Strand

Aunt Nellie’s Diary, from author’s ‘sentimental period’, features in Strand magazine with a call for writers to complete it

Louisa May Alcott
Photograph: Hulton Deutsch/Corbis via Getty Images


An early story from a young Louisa May Alcott, in which the Little Women author writes of two teenage girls vying for the attentions of a handsome young man, has been published for the first time.

Written in 1849, when Alcott was 17, Aunt Nellie’s Diary is told from the perspective of a 40-year-old woman bringing up her orphaned niece, Annie. When Annie’s friend Isabel comes to stay, Nellie becomes concerned that the girl’s attractive exterior hides a “darkness within”.

“Isabel is not what I thought her. I fear under a fine gay manner of a light laughing face she conceals a cold unfeeling heart, bent only on the accomplishment of her wishes,” writes Alcott in the unfinished story, which appears in the current issue of the Strand Magazine, a quarterly publication.  You can read the full article as published in The Guardian here.

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