Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Inheritance” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
The Inheritance
Louisa May Alcott
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Inheritance

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  4,114 Ratings  ·  478 Reviews
(Wheeler Large Print (Feature Selection))
Published (first published 1849)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Inheritance, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Inheritance

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
From IMDb:
At the lush Evenswood estate in Concord, Massachusetts, Edith Adelon, a beautiful orphan, lives as the paid companion to the daughter of the wealthy Hamilton family, although they regard her as one of their own. Years ago, Henry Hamilton saved Edith from an Italian orphanage at the request of his long-deceased brother. Now, Edith is his daughter Amy's prized friend and confidante. As the Hamiltons await a trio of visitors for the annual Greens Cup horse race, Beatrice Hamilton asks for
Laura Verret
Edith Adelon is comfortably provided for by her beloved friends, the Hamiltons, who, though she was but a lowly Italian orphan when they discovered her, have treated her with kindness and generosity beyond what she could have hoped. The two young Hamiltons, Amy and Arthur, treat her as a beloved sister, and Lady Hamilton, though not as warm as her children, expresses a degree of affection which she deems stately. The only member of the household who dislikes Edith is Cousin Ida who, scheming and ...more
Jun 12, 2012 Lynette rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 01, 2009 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
Only a seventeen year old could write this book. The fact that it is Louisa May Alcott only explains why a seventeen year old is writing books, but that is as far as it goes because this is no “Little Women.”. Alcott scholars were so excited to find the manuscript of her first book, “The Inheritance” during the summer of 1988. Up until then, it had never been published. There was a reason for that. The heroine, Edith Adelon, is so sweet and good that she makes the Disney princesses look like bra ...more
Jan 05, 2013 Sophie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
Throughly enjoyable! This was my first Allcot and I was given it for Christmas by a wonderful friend and I am so glad she did!
The hero who was so kind and loving and caring! The heroine was sweet and the whole story was delightful. There were some very dislikable characters (who had me shouting at the book!) and some bubbly characters who were great to read about! There were a few events in the plot that were left hanging or that seemed to sort themselves out rather quickly but it didn't matter
Jun 03, 2008 Faith rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was Alcott's first novel, written when she was 17. Had I not known that, I don't think I would have been able to get through it. But I was interested in seeing how her earlier works of fiction compared to Little Women, and later books. I think the point made to Jo in Little Women, that you should write about what you know, may have been learned by Louisa in early attempts at writing, such as this one. This book was just so sterile--none of the characters seemed real and the storyline was ve ...more
È vero, L'eredità è né più né meno una fanfiction. L'hanno già scritto in tanti, e forse sono un po' ripetitiva, però è ciò che rende commovente questo librino: è uno scorcio sulla giovane donna che diventerà Jo March e che scriverà un libro immortale quand'era ancora alle prime armi con la scrittura. Ci svela la sua ammirazione per i romanzi di Jane Austen per la struttura della trama e di Walter Scott, a cui sembra fare un omaggio neanche troppo velato con le tante citazioni dei suoi titoli, m ...more
Oct 13, 2014 NancyHelen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I should be more lenient towards this novel as Alcott was only 17 when she wrote it and her life experience at the time must have been minimal. Furthermore, she was writing for a market - sentimental, romantic fiction was all the rage and exactly what most women read at the time. But the characters were cardboard, it was so sentimental that saccharine would have seemed bitter by comparison, and the plot (what little there was) was predictable and a bit ridiculous. Everyone seemed to cry at the d ...more
Maria Kinsley
Sep 11, 2010 Maria Kinsley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was so excited to find this book at the library and couldn't wait to dive into Alcott's first novel. I was sorely disappointed and can only fathom that it was not what I had hoped because she wrote it at 17 and had not developed her style yet. I felt this book was badly in need of editing. This novel is so sentimental it seemed more like a bad soap opera than the beautiful, albeit moral, tale I expected from the author of "Little Women," which is one of my favorite stories. There were a few ch ...more
I give this book 5 stars as it is a pure romantic english story that I so much missed reading :)
The plot is slightly predictable but, as it usually happens in the books that were written many many years ago, it has got a hapy ending (view spoiler) :)
I also liked the fact that I did NOT come across a little dystopian novel but one of the not-so-famous classic books ^__^ It was a totally random "p
Sep 17, 2015 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Circumstances almost always color our perceptions and this happens to be an obvious example. Had I not already enjoyed this author's acclaimed works...were I not curious about her young life and early talents...could I not imagine Jo, hunched over her melodramatic text, pouring out her 17 year old heart, then I most certainly would have read one chapter of this little book and let it slide out of my hands, along with it's oozing idealism. BUT, I have enjoyed, I was curious, I can imagine, and I ...more
Bailey Marissa Bowers
Short, adorable, and typical Alcott writing.

I saw the movie a long time ago, and it's very different, so if you're reading this after the movie, prepare yourself.

(Also Thomas Gibson from 'Criminal Minds' is Lord Percy in the movie [it's on YouTube but I don't know how to link anything on Goodreads ugh]. You're welcome.)

May 22, 2011 Noelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this genre of literature. Wealthy families in 1800's England with nothing to do but explore their extensive grounds and castles, gossip, overreact, and fall in love. If it was a movie, I would watch it again and again until my husband ran mad by my quoting it. Very Austen-like.
Sofia Aguilar
Apr 23, 2016 Sofia Aguilar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
The story follows Edith as a poor orphan child who was adopted by her father's brother, but has endured unkindness and yearned for tenderness all throughout her life. Throughout the novel, she may find love and sanctuary, if she would only allow herself to care for the well-being of herself, and not only of others.

Louisa May Alcott is one of my favorite and most inspiring authors that I have ever read since I read "Little Women" a little over a year ago, and reading what she dubbed as "her firs
Really two-dimensional characters, hackneyed plot, but oddly readable despite those things. Perhaps it's just because Alcott's style is so familiar and beloved?
Aug 06, 2016 Jamie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, I've been meaning to read this book pretty much since the made-for-TV movie came out back in the 90s. I've had the book for nearly ten years now, and I finally buckled down and read it.

You can definitely tell it was written in a different time and that it was Alcott's first book. But, it was a quick and quite enjoyable read. It also seems either unrealistic, or makes you wish you could go back in time to when men knew their own mind, were honorable in their dealings and when women left somet
Dhara Mehta
Dec 12, 2009 Dhara Mehta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 14, 2009 AngieA rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
"The Inheritance" by Louisa May Alcott is a posthumously published story by the 17 year old author found in the archives at Harvard. If I had read it without knowing the author, I doubt I would have finished it. It was predictable and trite. The plot revolves around a governess, Edith, rescued by the Hamilton family as an orphan in Italy. As Amy's companion, Edith is treated better than a servant, but not really one of the family. LMA's use of dialog and exposition are typical of the florid lang ...more
May 26, 2011 Alice rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading Louisa May Alcott's "first novel" written at seventeen. I was impressed with her ability at such a young age. I saw the movie not too long ago (which I enjoyed as well) and towards the end of the book, I made the connection that this book was what the movie was based on. (I am a little slow sometimes.) Anyway, it was a sweet little story with definite characters showing virtue and vice. I enjoy reading good clean books, that may seem a little surreal sometimes, but it reminds m ...more
Aug 08, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this book written by Louisa May Alcott...dug up out of the attic, after so many years, as Louisa's first novel! I found that thought fabulous. I read it without high expectation and having read negative reviews, wasn't expecting much. I think this helped in my enjoyment level. Taken into consideration that this was her very first novel, written at only age seventeen; I thought it was great! For the very same reasons so many reviewers did not like the story, I had the adverse reaction. I ...more
Feb 24, 2012 Molly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book when I was 13 after getting it at my school library's annual discarded books give away thing. Having loved all the other Louisa May Alcott novels I was happy to read this one. Since it's been a while since I read it, I honestly don't remember much of what happend. However I do remember really liking it, and doodling pictures of the characters as I read it in my spare time in math class(no joke it is a funny memory)
Of course having been written as Louisa's first book when she wa
Aug 27, 2012 Marija rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Halfway through my Balzac novelettes, my mind, immersed in the depressing realism of 19th century Parisian life, needed a momentary break. Alcott’s The Inheritance was the perfect answer. Essentially, The Inheritance is sugar and spice and everything nice. Some sections are so sugary sweet that they are almost painful to read:

As they went though the park, Lord Percy stooped and lifted from the ground a handkerchief her name was on, and ’twas wet with tears. He laid it unseen in his breast, and
Nov 16, 2014 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: classic lovers, Jane Austen Fans, Louisa May Alcott fans, sweet romance lovers
This is Louisa May Alott's first novel, written at the age of seventeen. Among the short stories, plays and poems she wrote in her teens, she apparently also succeeded in a entire book. I haven't read Little Women, as unfortunate as that sounds, though I do have a copy of the book. I tend to pick up shorter stories to read first, which is why this was read first.
This book is a romance, and a very sweet one. It is about a young lady named Edith, who serves as a governess (Though practically the s
May 12, 2012 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Louisa May Alcott was just 17 years old when she wrote this book, The Inheritance. In the book Edith, an orphan who lives with the wealthy Hamiltons, is a very kind and caring person. She is very good to the Hamilton daughter Amy. Also living at the Hamilton home is their cousin Ida. She is the opposite of Edith-- very self centered. Lord Percy comes, and falls in love with Edith, which causes Ida to be very jealous, so she forces Edith not to talk to him. But through Ida's dishonesty, and Edit ...more
I have a profound inability to focus. I love classic literature. Does that work? You tell me.

I brought this home from the library, along with a stack of about seven other books, all needing to be read within three weeks. And I had two library books at home already, barely started. I hadn't gotten any books from the library in a while, so I of course couldn't help myself. Picked this one up because it looked like a fairly quick, easy read, and I loved the movie.

I was right about it being a quic
Melody McBride
Jul 19, 2014 Melody McBride rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-again
Maybe it's because I grew up with the movie (which, honesty, barely resembles the book), but I love this story. I've read it before, but got it again at the library today and wanted to read it again.

So many stories today praise selfishness or doing things for yourself, even if they hurt others. This story isn't like that in the least. Forever praising purity of heart and kindness in the face of cruelty, this book speaks to me. I've always tried to be a good person, and always thought that might
Jun 17, 2011 Josephine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fun-books
I'm feeling generous enough to give this book 3 stars because it was laugh out loud funny. Really. There was rarely a page go by that didn't mention someone's pale face or someones eye's welling with tears. I'm not kidding.
Anyway, I picked it up because I recently bought the movie and read that the movie was much better than the book. Well, the movie was pretty funny too, so I just had to know what the book was like. Now I know.
For those who don't know, this was the first novel written by Louisa
Jul 15, 2016 Tabuyo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clásicos
Es la primera novela que escribió la autora de Mujercitas con tan solo 17 años. Aunque es bastante predecible y moralista me ha encantado.
Dec 05, 2015 Ke marked it as just-not-that-into  ·  review of another edition
I found the book hard to follow, so I decided not to finish it. The book "told" more than "showed," especially about Italian culture.
Feb 07, 2015 Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books of all time. And the fact that it was a hidden gem that wasn't published until after she died? Awesome.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Mother
  • Carney's House Party (Deep Valley, #1)
  • Kilmeny of the Orchard
  • Lysbeth: A Tale of the Dutch
  • A School of Her Own (Grandma's Attic #6)
  • Mr. Harrison's Confessions
  • The Harvester
  • Clover (Carr Family, #4)
  • To Have and to Hold: A Tale of Providence and Perseverance in Colonial Jamestown
  • Tales of Angria
  • The Well-Beloved
  • Tales of the Resistance (Tales of the Kingdom, #2)
  • The Wide, Wide World
  • Pollyanna Grows Up (Pollyanna #2)
  • Louisa May Alcott: A Biography: With an Introduction to the New Edition
As A. M. Barnard:
Behind a Mask, or a Woman's Power (1866)
The Abbot's Ghost, or Maurice Treherne's Temptation (1867)
A Long Fatal Love Chase (1866 – first published 1995)
First published anonymously:
A Modern Mephistopheles (1877)

Louisa May Alcott was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania on November 29, 1832. She and her three sisters, Anna, Elizabeth and May were educated by their father, philosopher/ t
More about Louisa May Alcott...

Share This Book