The Inheritance
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The Inheritance

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  3,161 ratings  ·  392 reviews
(Wheeler Large Print (Feature Selection))
Audio Cassette, Abridged
Published by Penguin Audiobooks (first published January 1st 1997)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Laura
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
Soph
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...more
Faith
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
Laura
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
Lynette
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maria Kinsley
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
Irene
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...more
Noelle
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.
Dhara Mehta
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
AngieA
"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
Alice
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
Laura
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
Molly
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...more
Marija
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...more
Hannah
Nov 22, 2013 Hannah rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
Alex
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
Lynette
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...more
Melody McBride
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...more
Josephine
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...more
A.B.
Louisa May Alcott, wrote this, her first novel, in 1849, she was 17-years old. The novel wasn’t published until 1997. At 147 pages, the novel is not long, but this classic tale gives an insight into Ms. Alcotts unconventional upbringing and how early literary influences shaped her writing.

Blurb from penguin books, 1998 – The Inheritance


“… the captivating tale of Edith Adelon, an impoverished Italian orphan who innocently wields the charms of virtue, beauty, and loyalty to win her true birthright...more
Kris
3 STARS

"Set in the lavish English court of Jane Austen's time, this previously unpublished work by a 17-year-old Louisa May Alcott tells the story of Edith Adelon, an impoverished Italian orphan, who wields the persuasive charms of virtue, beauty and loyalty to win her true birthright--the eponymous inheritance--as well as the affections of her champion, Lord Percy." (From Amazon)

I was watching a TV movie and saw that the screenplay was based on a novel by Louisa May Alcott. What???!!! I had ne...more
Liza Verdon
One of the best stories I ever read!
Kirsten
http://kiribeth.blogspot.com/2014/04/...

Although The Inheritance lacked the deep characters that I found in Louisa May Alcott's other books (namely Little Women), it was definitely something sweet to read. It's not extremely long, but the characters stick with you long after you've put the book down. There's just a little bit of everything in this novel to recommend it to everyone: for those who love Alcott's writing, for those who prefer classic romances, for those who want something light and...more
Jessica Workman Holland (Tales Between the Pages)
Read the official review at Tales Between the Pages

This is Louisa May Alcott’s very first book, written 20 years before Little Women. it reminds me a lot of Jane Austen’s first novella, Love and Friendship. I think Alcott was very much influenced by the sentimental genre because The Inheritance is very much a sentimental kind of text.

What is the sentimental genre, you ask? It’s a genre of novel very popular in the eighteenth century that focuses on sentiment and sensibility. It often focuses on...more
Jensen
"yet in his calm, pale face, none could read the secret that lay hidden deep within and grew heavier to bear as, day by day, he saw those gentle eyes look gratefully upon him for any act of silent kindness he might do. It would have lightened the burden of his untold love could he have known how often thoughts of him stole into Edith's innocent heart and how ungraciously her reverence and friendship were growing stronger, though she never thought to call them by another name."

A cute, sweet, beau...more
xenu01
HAHAHAHAHA ok.

So I'm only on page 64 but I will be finished by this evening and I am burning to share the hilarious goodness that is this book.

First of all, "reminiscent of Jane Austen in its charms"? I don't think that the book jacket scribe has actually READ Austen (beyond watching a movie or two), because otherwise he or she would not state this so unironically. Yes, yes Jane Austen. Jane Austen who wrote Northanger Abbey, which was expressly a parody of this sort of overly romantical nonsen...more
Evelyn
This book was written by Lousia May Alcott when she was 17 years old. It was her first novel, written in 1849 though it was not published until 1997.

This book is my perfect ’guilty pleasure’. It is light, sentimental, melodramatic, utterly romantic, and if I read of one more character with ‘tearful eyes’ I might have to throw up for the sake of principle alone.

But I completely adored this book. I couldn’t put it down! Of course, I wasn’t expecting the emotional depth of a Jane Austen, having a...more
Cassidy
Jul 28, 2013 Cassidy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Little Women
3.0 stars --

Found this gem in a library fundraiser sale while on vacation a few weeks ago. I've loved Louisa May Alcott's stories for years, so finding a new (to me) story was exciting. The Inheritance was Alcott's first novel (written at only 17!) and wasn't published until over a century after her death. While you can definitely tell that this is the work of a young girl, I still got caught up in the story. Reader beware, this doesn't have the same quality as her later works - instead, imagine...more
Kristine
The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott, born in 1832 and author of the classic Little Women, wrote a short romantic novel when she was seventeen without, apparently, trying to get it published. Enter a pair of researchers digging around in the Alcott papers at the Houghton Library at Harvard University in 1988 who excitedly stumble upon the handwritten pages of Alcott’s first and at-that-time unpublished manuscript titled The Inheritance.

Because of the importance of the author,...more
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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:
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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
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Little Women (Little Women, #1) Little Men (Little Women #2) Eight Cousins Jo's Boys (Little Women, #3) Rose in Bloom (Eight Cousins, #2)

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