“If you dear little girls would only learn what real beauty is, and not pinch and starve and bleach yourselves out so, you'd save an immense deal of time and money and pain. A happy soul in a healthy body makes the best sort of beauty for man or woman…”
Eight Cousins reveals a very ambitious young Louisa May Alcott finding her voice as a writer and addressing difficult and taboo subjects in the 1860s.
After the death of her father, orphaned Rose Campbell is sent to live at ‘Aunt Hill’, so termed by the Campbell clan, with her great-aunts and to await the arrival of her new guardian, Uncle Alec.
Rose is a thirteen-year-old girl and at first looks and acts touchingly miserable.
Her Uncle Alec decides to conduct an experiment: he introduces her to seven rambunctious, messy, and reckless (but charming) male cousins.
Uncle Alec proves to be a most unconventional guardian for a young girl, disregarding most of the advice of Rose’s aunts and great-aunts as well as societal conventions. No corsets or hobble skirts for Rose, just exercise, fresh air, and high ideals!
Over time, Rose grows from a pale little shadow into a girl possessed of health, vitality.
Rose also makes friends with Phebe, her aunts' maid of her own age, whose cheerful attitude in the face of poverty helps to illustrate to Rose her own good fortune.
LOUISA MAY ALCOTT (1832-1888) was a prolific and multi-talented American writer. Amongst her works are passionate, fiery novels, moralistic and wholesome stories for children, philosophical essays and letters. She is best known as the creator of the classic novel Little Women, and its sequels: Good Wives, Little Men, and Jo's Boys.