The first work published by Louisa May Alcott, “Flower Fables” (1854) is a charming collection of fantastical stories originally written for Ralph Waldo Emerson's daughter, Ellen Emerson. The stories arose from Alcott's experiences telling stories to the children of her neighbours in Concord, Connecticut, and contain themes of fantasy, love, and adventure. This wonderful collection is perfect for children and would make for ideal bedtime reading material. Contents include: “The Frost King: or, The Power of Love”, “Eva's Visit to Fairy-Land”, “The Flower's Lesson”, “Lily-Bell and Thistledown”, “Little Bud”, “Clover-Blossom”, “Little Annie's Dream: or, The Fairy Flower”, “Ripple, the Water-Spirit”, and “Fairy Song”. Louisa May Alcott (1832 – 1888) was an American short story writer, novelist, and poet most famous for writing the novel “Little Women”, as well as its sequels “Little Men” and “Jo's Boys”. She grew up in New England and became associated with numerous notable intellectuals of her time, including Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Henry David Thoreau. Other notable works by this author include: "An Old-Fashioned Girl" (1886), "Eight Cousins" (1869), and "A Long Fatal Love Chase" (1875). Many vintage books such as this are becoming increasingly scarce and expensive. We are republishing this volume now in an affordable, modern, high-quality edition complete with the original text and artwork.
Written for Ralph Waldo Emerson's daughter, Ellen, when Alcott was 16, and first published in 1855, these six prosy fairy tales were chosen from a 1992 collection, Louisa May Alcott's Fairy Tales and Fantasy Stories, edited by Daniel Shealy; Shealy provides an informative afterword here. Readers meet a cast of elves, fairies, brownies and sprites with such Shakespearean names as Willy Wisp, Moonbeam and Thistledown, and the children who occasionally dally with them. Thinly disguised morality lessons told in an over-upholstered style, they instruct the audience in the importance of various virtues. In "The Frost King," for example, elves resolve to conquer the ice-hearted ruler of winter through peaceable means ("Let us teach you how beautiful sunshine and love and happy work can make you"). More than a little dated, the stories grow tedious with lofty homilies (e.g., "little Annie dwelt like a sunbeam in her home, each day growing richer in the love of others and happier in herself"). Preiss's (The Pig's Alphabet) garish artwork further hampers an emotional connection to the stories. The lack of tonal subtlety is aggravated by a self-consciously multicultural-esque grouping of fairy folk with oversize but misshapen eyes and bizarrely pointed ears and chins. Even the typeface, which has distractingly flowery ligatures, is overdone. All but the most die-hard Alcott fans can skip this one. Ages 5-12.