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The Inheritance

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  4,730 ratings  ·  565 reviews
Louisa May Alcott, who spent much of her childhood amid an intellectual circle that included Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Thoreau, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, embarked on her own literary efforts at an early age. Her recently discovered first novel, The Inheritance, written when Alcott was just 17, offers readers a fascinating look at the birth of a remarkable career.Influenced ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published February 1st 1998 by Penguin Classics (first published 1849)
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3.64  · 
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 ·  4,730 ratings  ·  565 reviews

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Oct 01, 2009 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
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 more kindness and generosity than she could have ever hoped to claim from them. 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 that she deems stately. The only member of the household who dislikes Edith is Cousin ...more
Dana Al-Basha دانة الباشا
In 1997, The Inheritance was made into a film and it's one of my favorites! It's written by Louisa May Alcott who wrote Little Women.

A 19th-century woman Edith Adelon, companion to a blue-blooded New England girl Miss Amy Hamilton, falls for an aristocrat, James Percy, but a jealous cousin to the family, a Ida Glenshaw, tries her best to destroy every chance poor Edith might have of winning James's heart!

Jun 12, 2012 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.
Sep 05, 2012 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
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
It is a sweet, lovely story written by seventeen-year-old girl. Louisa May Alcott was a wise and observant writer from the beginning. Her first novel isn't very subtle. Mostly it is a love story and the story about how much a human needs another human to love. It is rather easy to predict (save one surprising event). Nonetheless, I have had a nice time like I was listening a pretty, enjoyable melody. The melody I was hearing for the first time although her familiarity have warmed my heart. Perha ...more
Fiore Pietracito
È una bella favola, al pari delle più famose e classiche. Una storia piacevole e che allieta il cuore.
My friend Erin gave me this movie for Christmas when we were in high school. At some point, I learned it was a novel first and I've wanted to read it ever since. Last spring, I ran across a copy at a thrift store and this month, my book club decided to read it together. At first I wasn't sure what to think. I've watched the movie so many times that there wasn't much going on in the book that came as a surprise. The plot and characters were simple and predictable. The bad guys were deplorable and ...more
May 05, 2008 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
Absolutely love this novel this is one of my all time favourites I cannot believe I do not have this book already recorded on this site!!!! No joke if I could I would give this novel 10 million stars!!!!!! So nostalgic it’s fun at the best feeling whenever I read this I’m right down memory lane I just absolutely love Louisa May Allcott & her whole writing style as well as the time period it is set in just everything is amazing!!!!
Summer Lane
So interesting. Louisa May Alcott is a treasure, and it was fascinating to read this very short novel, which is projected to have been penned when Alcott was just 17 years-old. You can tell that she was very young when she wrote it, and - being the highly autobiographical writer that she tended to be - she integrated much of her own feelings and passion into it. Worth a read...and it's amusing to note that the words "pale," "pure," and "cheek," were used on at least every page.

This book was nev
Nov 10, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I laugh only to keep from crying....
I thought the movie was bad. Well, at least the book has the excuse that it was written by a 17 year old. (What is the movie's excuse?)
Sugar sweet perfect characters whose eyes well up with tears at the sight of...a painting. Beautiful scenery. Good deeds. Innocent heroine who dislikes being complimented...or proposed to. Hero who stays for like months? say something nice, it was well paced. Just not something I'll likely reread.
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's obvious this book is no Little Women, but Alcott wrote this at 17. 17! I could never have written a novel this charming (or at all) at 17. The characters are all pretty one-dimensional and the plot is fairly predictable, but it is absolutely delightful. I adored it.
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
νταξξξξ...ήρθα στα ίσσσα μου. το έγραψε στα 16 της η Αλκοτ αυτό το βιβλίο κ εκδωθηκε μετά το θάνατο της..Πολύ καλό
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
Aug 08, 2012 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
Oct 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
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 Birnell
Sep 07, 2010 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
Jan 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had never heard of this book, and I'm glad to have read it! Louisa May Alcott's first novel, written when she was 17! The plot is basic and predictable, the characters are pretty one dimensional, but the writing is just lovely and flows well. The style reminded me of Jane Austen more than that of Alcott's Little Women, but I can see themes and characters she used in that later classic. I found it somewhat hard to relate to Edith, the main character, because she is just SO ridiculously nice and ...more
Eirini Robin
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
Kris - My Novelesque Life
(Review Not on Blog)

Please note, this novel was set in Jane Austen's England. I was watching a made for TV movie and saw that the screenplay was based on a novel written by Louisa May Alcott. What???!!! I had never heard of this novel and soon found out that it had been discovered after her death. It is a great story about a woman and her right to her inheritance. Alcott wrote this at 17, and it is well-written.
May 15, 2011 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.
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?
Lisa Brown
Louissa May Alcott's first novel, written at 17 years old, and the manuscript that remained unpublished until 1997, after the handwritten manuscript was discovered in the Harvard library in 1988 by researchers who were writing a book on her life. The Inheritance is set in England, and is the story of Edith Adelon, an Italian orphan who came to live with a wealthy family. Because of Edith's goodness and true and loyal heart, she wins the love and devotion of her benefactors, all but Ida, a cousin ...more
Danielle Routh
The story itself holds a special place in my heart because of watching the adaptation with my sisters when I was younger, but the novel is essentially one giant cliche. Everyone is a type; everyone is flat; no one experiences development or growth. Granted, Alcott was seventeen when she wrote this, but frankly, it's just not enjoyable to read. Edith might be the mother of all Mary Sues, and the coincidences that drive the plot are just unbelievable. If The Inheritance was necessary to get us Lit ...more
Jun 12, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One of the most revolting books I have ever read. I find I do not care very much for the "women suffering in silence" genre and this book is as nauseating as it is unsatisfying and neutered. Except for the villain, every character in this book is weak and cowardly and I couldn't stand any of them.
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A hidden treasure!
Feb 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
You definitely have to take it for what it is - a first novel written by a teenage girl. The writing is simple and everything seems to happen easily. But the story is sweet nonetheless.
Racheal L.
Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book so much! I love its innocence, probably one of my new favs!
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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
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