These Louisa May Alcott quotes reveal the author’s thoughts on books, life, and love.
Louisa May Alcott was an American novelist, most known for writing the book Little Women. The story is about four sisters coming of age among societal expectations that challenge their dreams.
Is Little Women a true story, though? Louisa May Alcott based the book on her experience of growing up with her three sisters, and Jo March wants to be a writer, so the answer is that it is loosely true.
What makes Louisa May Alcott an important historical figure? She is a literary icon, in a time when female writers were scarce. Little Women was an instant success, and the book has always been in print.
However, she also had some other notable historic achievements. She was a nurse during The Civil War and she also took part in the Women’s suffrage movement. In fact, she was the first woman to register to vote in Concord, Massachusetts.
Keep reading these Louisa May Alcott quotes to learn more about the incredible woman behind one of the most popular stories about women.
Don’t forget to also check out these Hedy Lamarr quotes about life, love, and stardom.
Best Louisa May Alcott quotes about books and reading
1. “She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.” ― Louisa May Alcott
2. “Human minds are more full of mysteries than any written book and more changeable than the cloud shapes in the air.” ― Louisa May Alcott
3. “Take some books and read; that’s an immense help, and books are always good company if you have the right sort.” ― Louisa May Alcott
4. “Keep good company, read good books, love good things, and cultivate soul and body as faithfully as you can.” ― Louisa May Alcott
5. “Now and then, in this workaday world, things do happen in the delightful storybook fashion, and what a comfort that is.” ― Louisa May Alcott
6. “That is a good book, it seems to me, which is opened with expectation and closed with profit.” ― Louisa May Alcott
7. “Some books are so familiar that reading them is like being home again.” ― Louisa May Alcott
8. “I like good strong words that mean something…” ― Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott quotes about love
9. “Love is a great beautifier.” ― Louisa May Alcott
10. “Be worthy of love, and love will come.” ― Louisa May Alcott
11. “Love is a flower that grows in any soil, works its sweet miracles undaunted by autumn frost or winter snow, blooming fair and fragrant all the year, and blessing those who give and those who receive.” ― Louisa May Alcott
12. “Love is the only thing that we can carry with us when we go, and it makes the end so easy.” ― Louisa May Alcott
13. “Life and love are very precious when both are in full bloom.” ― Louisa May Alcott
14. “He was the first, the only love her life, and in a nature like hers, such passions take deep root and die-hard.” ― Louisa May Alcott
15. “The humblest tasks get beautified if loving hands do them.” ― Louisa May Alcott
16. “I wish I had no heart; it aches so…” ― Louisa May Alcott
17. “Love covers a multitude of sins…” ― Louisa May Alcott
18. “Marriage, they say, halves one’s rights and doubles one’s duties.” ― Louisa May Alcott
19. “I love my liberty too well to be in a hurry to give it up for any mortal man.” ― Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott quotes about men and women
20. “The emerging woman … will be strong-minded, strong-hearted, strong-souled, and strong-bodied… strength and beauty must go together.” ― Louisa May Alcott
21. “A real gentleman is as polite to a little girl as to a woman.” ― Louisa May Alcott
22. “Nothing is impossible to a determined woman.” ― Louisa May Alcott
23. “Women work a great many miracles.” ― Louisa May Alcott
24. “Nothing provokes speculation more than the sight of a woman enjoying herself.” ― Louisa May Alcott
25. “Men are always ready to die for us, but not to make our lives worth having. Cheap sentiment and bad logic.” ― Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott quotes to live by
26. “I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.” ― Louisa May Alcott
27. “The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely.” ― Louisa May Alcott
28. “A faithful friend is a strong defense and he that hath found him hath found a treasure.” ― Louisa May Alcott
29. “Watch and pray, dear, never get tired of trying, and never think it is impossible to conquer your fault.” ― Louisa May Alcott
30. “Let us be elegant or die!” ― Louisa May Alcott
31. “Don’t try to make me grow up before my time…” ― Louisa May Alcott
32. “You don’t need scores of suitors. You need only one… if he’s the right one.” ― Louisa May Alcott
33. “Conceit spoils the finest genius.” ― Louisa May Alcott
34. “Some people seemed to get all sunshine, and some all shadow…” ― Louisa May Alcott
35. “Wild roses are fairest, and nature a better gardener than art.” ― Louisa May Alcott
36. “I am lonely, sometimes, but I dare say it’s good for me…” ― Louisa May Alcott
37. “Preserve your memories, keep them well, what you forget you can never retell.” ― Louisa May Alcott
38. “It takes two flints to make a fire.” ― Louisa May Alcott
39. “For it is the small temptations which undermine integrity unless we watch and pray and never think them too trivial to be resisted.” ― Louisa May Alcott
40. “It’s amazing how lovely common things become if one only knows how to look at them.” ― Louisa May Alcott
41. “Well, if I can’t be happy, I can be useful, perhaps.” ― Louisa May Alcott
42. “I like adventures, and I’m going to find some.” ― Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott quotes about herself
43. “I’d rather take coffee than compliments just now.” ― Louisa May Alcott
44. “Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.” ― Louisa May Alcott
45. “I’ve got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen.” ― Louisa May Alcott
46. “I want to do something splendid…something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead. I don’t know what, but I’m on the watch for it and mean to astonish you all someday.” ― Louisa May Alcott
47. “I could have been a great many things.” ― Louisa May Alcott
48. “I hate ordinary people!” ― Louisa May Alcott
49. “I don’t like favors; they oppress and make me feel like a slave. I’d rather do everything for myself and be perfectly independent.” ― Louisa May Alcott
50. “I do think that families are the most beautiful things in all the world!” ― Louisa May Alcott
What did you learn from these Louisa May Alcott quotes?
Louisa May Alcott wrote about love and had many thoughts on the subject. However, she never married or had her own children, although she raised her niece. Alcott had intended for Jo to remain unmarried at the novel’s end, however, she felt pressured by her readers and her publisher to provide them with the ending they wanted.
The obsession with women marrying frustrated her, as evidenced in her journal entry: “Girls write to ask who the little women marry as if that was the only end and aim of a woman’s life. I won’t marry Jo to Laurie to please anyone.”
This is your spoiler alert, so if you haven’t seen Little Women yet, you might want to skip this part. The ending to the film was a perfect shout-out to the author, and if she could see it today, I think she would be proud. Just as Jo arrives at the train station to accept Bhaer’s proposal, they gift us with a cut scene. In this scene, Jo is talking to her publisher, Mr. Dashwood, and he asks her:
“So who does she marry?”
Jo responds, “Neither of them. It isn’t the right ending.” As any Little Women fan knows, Jo has been against marriage.
Dashwood presses the issue exclaiming, “Who cares! Girls want to see women married, not consistent. If you end your delightful book with your heroine a spinster, no one will buy it. It won’t be worth printing.”
In the end, Jo agrees with her publisher to marry the character to Bhaer, but only after securing full ownership of the rights to her novel. Jo March has always been a hero of mine from the first time I read Little Women as a young woman. As a girl, I wanted Jo to find a happy ending, and overcome her aversion to marriage because of the power of love. As a grown woman, living life in 2021, I have much respect for who Louisa May Alcott created Jo to be. This twisty ending is perfect.
What’s your biggest takeaway from these Louisa May Alcott quotes and sayings? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.
April 16, 2021 7:00 AM EST