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The Inheritance

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  4,341 Ratings  ·  514 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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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
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.
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
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
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
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
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!

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
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.
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
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
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
Irin R.
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
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?
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.
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!
Sofia Aguilar
Mar 28, 2016 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
Nov 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: classic lovers, Jane Austen Fans, Louisa May Alcott fans, sweet romance lovers
Shelves: classics
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
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
May 01, 2012 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
Dhara Mehta
Dec 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 08, 2009 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
Aug 12, 2012 rated it liked it
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
May 26, 2011 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 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 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
Sep 17, 2015 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
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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:
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
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“God has ordered it all for the best...” 0 likes
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