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Alcott, Louis May) Cheney, Ednah D.

Louisa May Alcott, The Children's Friend.


[Alcott, Louisa May] Cheney, Ednah D. Louisa May Alcott, The Children's Friend. Illustrated by Lizbeth B. Comins. Boston: L. Prang and Co., (1888).
8vo.; full color frontispiece illustration with tissue-guard picturing Alcott surrounded by dozens of children and holding a copy of Little Women; with additional black and white illustrations throughout; 1" tear near top left corner of p. 25; pale blue and navy cloth; stamped in silver; ornate front panel decoration.   
First edition of Cheney's children's biography of Louisa May Alcott. Cheney writes in her preface:
No explanation can be necessary for offering to the children of America a memorial of Louisa May Alcott, to whom a whole generation looks up with honor and affection as their benefactor and friend. This slight sketch of her life is not intended to take the place of a full biography … The aim has been to show how truly her writings represented herself, and came out of her own varied and fruitful life.
Cheney dedicates the book to "the children of America" and traces Alcott's upbringing and earliest writings through quotations and anecdotes from her teachers and family members, as well as excerpts from Alcott's childhood short stories. Many of events that take places in Little Women and Alcott's other books are based off of actual incidents in her life, which is why, according to Cheney, her writing rings true for so many young people. Also included are a variety of illustrations of places where Alcott lived and images taken from her poetry and books. The final eleven pages of the book contain some of Alcott's poems written for members of her family, as well as poetry written by her family members about her.
The following year, Cheney edited the work for which she is most remembered for today: Louisa May Alcott: Her Life, Letters and Journals (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1889), which is still regarded as the definitive Alcott biography.

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