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10 Louisa May Alcott Quotes That Show The Little Women Author At Her Best

“I'd rather take coffee than compliments just now.”

29/11/2016 09:17 | Updated 3 days ago

Author Louisa May Alcott was a novelist, a feminist, opposed slavery and worked as a nurse in the Civil War. 

She based her classic American novel, Little Women, published in 1868, on her own impoverished and hardworking, intellectual upbringing with her three sisters in Concord, Massachusetts (Jo, the literary sister, is a self-portrait).

Tuesday marks the 184th birth anniversary of Alcott, who followed Little Women with Good Wives, Little Men and Jo’s Boys, which tells what happens when the sisters grow up.

Celebrated in a Google Doodle, here are some of her most enduring quotes…

  • “I'd rather take coffee than compliments just now.”
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    An undated portrait Louisa May Alcott. (Quote from Little Women)
  • “I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”
    Culture Club via Getty Images
    Portrait of Meg's sisters helping her pack from chapter IX: Meg Goes To Vanity Fair. Illustration by British artist Harold Copping, 1913. (Quote from Little Women.) 
  • “Let us be elegant or die!”
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    American actress Katharine Hepburn stands behind costars (left to right) Frances Dee, Joan Bennett and Jean Parker as they pose for a publicity portrait to promote the 1933 film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's book 'Little Women' directed by George Cukor. (Quote from Little Women.)
  • “I want to do something splendid… Something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead… I think I shall write books.”
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    A postage stamp honouring writer Louisa May Alcott.
  • “I've got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen.”
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    Signed portrait of Louisa May Alcott.
  • “Your father, Jo. He never loses patience, never doubts or complains, but always hopes, and works and waits so cheerfully that one is ashamed to do otherwise before him.”
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    Amos Bronson Alcott, father of Louisa May Alcott. (Quote from Little Women.)
  • “The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely.”
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    Orchard House was the home of Louisa May Alcott and her family when they were staying in Concord.
  • “Watch and pray, dear, never get tired of trying, and never think it is impossible to conquer your fault.”
    Kevin Fleming/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images
    A simple stone marks the resting place of author Louisa May Alcott at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts.
  • “Love is a great beautifier.”
    MGM Studios via Getty Images
    Actors June Allyson, Janet Leigh, Peter Lawford, and Richard Wyler on set in a still from an adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's book 'Little Women' directed by Mervyn LeRoy, 1949. 
  • “Don't try to make me grow up before my time…”
    Universal History Archive via Getty Images
    Photographic portrait of Louisa May Alcott dated 19th Century. (Quote from Little Women.)
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