Little Women or Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. Part First and Part Second - Louisa May Alcott 1870 - Roberts Brothers, Boston - Early Printing Two matching little volumes of Alcott’s classic work, scarce in original cloth, each one illustrated with four full page wood engraved plates. An early printing of the ‘Part First’, and first edition of ‘Part Second’. Published separately in consecutive years (1868, 1869), the first part of ‘Little Women’ “did not sell at first. ‘Part Second’ was therefore also issued in a small edition, but it went like wildfire, and pulled ‘Part First’ along with it’ [Grolier 74].

‘Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth - four "little women" enduring hardships and enjoying adventures in Civil War New England. The charming story of the March sisters, Little Women has been adored by generations. Readers have rooted for Laurie in his pursuit of Jo's hand, cried over little Beth's death, and dreamed of traveling through Europe with old Aunt March and Amy. Future writers have found inspiration in Jo's devotion to her writing. In this simple, enthralling tale, Louisa May Alcott has created four of American literature's most beloved women.’ [
Penguin]
  Part First’ is an early printing of 1870, which was first published in 1868. ‘Part Second’ is the second state of the first edition, with notice about ‘Part First’ on page iv; four entries on the fourth page of the terminal advertisements (page 364); the sixth page of the ads (page 366) headed ‘Handy Volume Series / I. / Happy Thoughts’.

References: BAL 158; 159. Peter Parley to Penrod pp. 30; 36. Grolier, ‘
American 100’, 74.

Two duodecimo volumes (book size 17.3x12.6cm), pp. [2] iv [2] 7-341 [1] [10 (publisher’s ads with pages numbered as follows - 10, 17, 12, 14, [1 (without number)], 20, 21, [3 (without number)])] [2]; [2] iv 5-359 [1] [8 (publisher’s ads with pages numbered as follows - 16, 12, 11, 3, [3 (without number)], 14)] [2]. Part 1 in publisher’s green cloth lettered and decorated in gilt to spine and front panel, panels with single line border stamped in blind, brown coated endpapers]; Part 2 in publisher’s terracotta cloth, lettered and decorated in gilt to spine and front panel, panels with single line border stamped in blind, terracotta coated endpapers.
  Condition: Near fine, ‘Part First’ re-cased, both with minor wear to corners and spine ends, generally clean internally but for the occasional light finger marks.   Ref: 110358   Price: HK$ 6,000