First Chapter First Paragraph: The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott

Every Tuesday First Chapter, First Paragraph/Intros is hosted by Vicky of I’d Rather Be at the Beach sharing the first paragraph or two of a book she’s reading or plans to read soon.

The Inheritance

This week I’m featuring The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott, a book I’ll be reading in the next few days.

It begins:

In a green park, where troops of bright-eyed deer lay sleeping under drooping tees and a clear lake mirrored in its bosom the flowers that grew upon its edge, there stood Lord Hamilton’s stately home, half castle and half mansion. Here and there rose a gray old tower or ivy-covered arch, while the blooming gardens that lay around it and the light balconies added grace and beauty to the old decaying castle, making it a fair and pleasant home.



Here at last is the book “Jo” wrote. Generations of fans have longed to plumb that first romance, hinted at so captivatingly on the pages of “Little Women,” Alcott’s autobiographical classic. Now, after nearly one hundred fifty years spent among archived family documents, Louisa May Alcott’s debut novel finally reaches its eager public.

Set in an English country manor, the story follows the turbulent fortunes of Edith Adelon, an impoverished Italian orphan whose loyalty and beauty win her the patronage of wealthy friends until a jealous rival contrives to rob her of her position. In the locket around her neck, she carries a deep secret about her natural birthright. But an even greater truth lies hidden in Edith’s heart – her deep reverence for the kind and noble Lord Percy, the only friend who can save her from the deceitful, envious machinations of Lady Ida. Reminiscent of Jane Austen in its charms, this chaste but stirringly passionate novel affirms the conquering power of both love and courtesy. (Goodreads)

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The Inheritance was first published in 1997. The manuscript was found in the Houghton Library at Harvard University by two professors, Joel Myerson and Daniel Shealy who were researching Alcott’s letters and journals.

What do you think – would you read on?

11 thoughts on “First Chapter First Paragraph: The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott

  1. I’m so glad that you shared the history of this book. I had not heard of it, but think it’s wonderful that it was ‘found’ and published. So this is Jo’s novel. Interesting. I’ll watch for your thoughts on it, Margaret.


  2. Oh, this is interesting, Margaret! I’ve always wondered about Jo’s novel, and I’m very glad you’re reading this, and that you shared the background. I’ll be really interested to know what you think of it.


  3. I’m not sure if I would keep reading. I am intrigued by the discovery of the manuscript though. I’m watching the new PBS series Little Women so it might endear me enough that I would want to pick up this novel. See what we are featuring at Girl Who Reads.


  4. This is one of my favorite life-time authors. I love that intro. I’m glad you shared it.


  5. What a BEAUTIFUL opening line! I’m wanting to read The Inheritance, but there’s also so many other Alcott books I want to read too. I love her writing style.

    Would you be interested in joining my L. M. Alcott reading challenge this June? (+ there’s a giveaway!) Details are on my blog…



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