Louisa May Alcott (1832--1888) is best known for her cherished novel, Little Women, which she wrote in two parts. The first volume, alternately titled Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, was published in 1868, and the second volume, Good Wives, was published in 1869. Though Alcott penned her first novel at age seventeen, it went unpublished for nearly 150 years until two researchers at Harvard University stumbled across the handwritten manuscript in 1997. She also published numerous short stories, novelettes, and articles for the Atlantic Monthly.
Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775, at Steventon near Basingstoke, England, the seventh child of the rector of the parish. As a girl Austen wrote stories including burlesques of popular romances. During her lifetime, she anonymously published four novels, all considered literary classics: Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), and Emma (1816). Two other novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, were published posthumously in 1818 with a biographical notice by her brother, Henry Austen, the first formal announcement of her authorship. Persuasion was written in a race against failing health in 1815-1816. She left behind several unpublished works including Lady Susan, a short epistolary novel, and two unfinished longer novels, The Watsons and Sanditon, a fragmentary draft of which still survives.
Charlotte Brontë was an English novelist and poet, the eldest of the three Brontë sisters whose novels became classics of English literature. Brontë's works were revolutionary for their time, reflecting an unblinking truthfulness about love and relationships--an uncommon literary subject in Victorian-era England. While Jane Eyre was, and continues to be, Charlotte Brontë's most popular work, she published numerous works during her short life, including juvenilia, poetry, and the novels Shirley and Villette. Charlotte Brontë died in 1855, outliving both of her sisters, Anne and Emily. Collectively, the Brontë sisters novels are considered literary standards that continue to influence modern writers.