After Bronson's job in Boston failed when he invited a black girl to his new school, the family moved to Orchard house in Concord, Massachusetts, where they would spend the rest of their lives. (You can tour Orchard House.) He took odd jobs here and there. Louisa said that despite their extreme poverty, times at Orchard House were the happiest times of my life. It is these times she based Little Women on.
As a teenager, she wrote"blood and thunder stories" under a pen name, earning a little money. Louisa always wanted to earn money for her poor family, but just as her writing began to get noticed, the Civil War broke out and she became a nurse. However, she contacted typhoid fever. During her illness, she wrote Hospital Sketches, about her life as a nurse. When she was asked to write a girl's book, she hesitated, saying she "never much liked girls, except my sisters." She wrote Little Women, which is loosely autobiographical, and it was a roaring success. Louisa never married, but she raised May's child Lulu, after May's death. She wrote until her own death at the age of 55 , from mercury poisoning. She contacted this from the medicine she was given when she had fever.
Louisa lives on in her many writings, which remain popular to this day.
Find out who you'd be in Little women with this quiz: