Little Women (Abbeville Illustrated Classics), by Louisa May Alcott, with Illustrations by Clara M. Burd, & Introduction by Alice A. Carter — A Review

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:

Few novels have touched and inspired young readers as profoundly as Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888). Originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869, it is a remarkable coming-of-age story of four sisters with distinctive, endearing personalities set during the American Civil War, and after.

Artwork by Clara M. Burd

Considered a “children’s classic,” it is no surprise that Abbeville Press has created this stunning modern illustrated edition of Little Women. Beautifully cloth bound and gold embossed, the cover also features a full-color watercolor illustration of the four March sisters by golden age of illustration artist Clara M. Burd (1873-1933). The artwork continues with endpapers welcoming us to the charming country home of the March family, a stunning title page with a watercolor of the March women, and further color and black and white charcoal illustrations throughout.

Early Illustrators of Little Women

Professor Alice A. Carter’s illuminating essay, Picturing Little Women, reveals the careers of four trailblazing women illustrators who added artwork to the early editions, including Louisa May Alcott’s sister, May Alcott Nieriker, Alice Barber Stephens, Jessie Willcox Smith, and the featured illustrator in this edition, Clara M. Burd.  

A Timeless Treasure

This opulent new edition of Louisa May Alcott’s story, with beautiful illustrations by Clara M. Burd, is a timeless treasure to take pride of place in your library and to gift to family and friends.

5 out of 5 Stars

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A new edition of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, with illustrations by Clara M. Burd―an irresistible author-artist pairing sure to delight all lovers of the classic novel

Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women was a critically acclaimed bestseller upon its publication in 1868. It tells the story of sisters Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March―each a young woman with a distinctive and relatable personality, a rare feature for a children’s novel at the time. The novel continues to resonate with readers as a timeless tale of growing up. 

This is the first modern edition of Little Women to feature the complete illustrations of Clara Miller Burd, originally executed in 1926. Burd’s brilliant color plates and detailed drawings bring the world of the March family to life. An introduction by Alice A. Carter, an expert on Golden Age illustration, explores Burd’s life and the work of early twentieth-century women illustrators. This new edition, handsomely bound in cloth, will be the perfect gift for all devotees of Little Women.


  • Little Women (Abbeville Illustrated Classics), by Louisa May Alcott (Author), Clara M. Burd (Illustrator), Alice A. Carter (Introduction) 
  • Abbeville Press (November 1, 2022)
  • Hardcover, Illustrated (512) pages
  • ISBN: 978-0789214478
  • Genre: Children’s Classics, Historical Fiction


We received a review copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Austenprose is an Amazon affiliate. Cover image courtesy of Abbeville Press © 2022; text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2022,

4 thoughts on “Little Women (Abbeville Illustrated Classics), by Louisa May Alcott, with Illustrations by Clara M. Burd, & Introduction by Alice A. Carter — A Review

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  1. What a stunning edition! I’m a big fan of Louisa May Alcott, and have even visited her home Orchard House in Concord, MA where she wrote Little Women. I remember seeing artwork by her sister May, but did not realize she had done early illustrations for the book, so I’m curious about the essay you mentioned. This is lovely and something for my wish list!

    Liked by 1 person

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