Lead:   It took two and a half months, but with poverty knocking on the family door, Louisa May Alcott finally delivered to her anxious publisher a “story for girls.”

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: At first, Alcott balked at her publisher’s assignment, saying she had “never liked girls or knew many except my sister…” The novel, which was loosely autobiographical, was set during the Civil War and describes the domestic experiences of the Marchs, a New England family of modest means. It examines the lives of four sisters, Meg, , Beth, Amy and Jo, as they wrestle with their own character flaws and each other’s. The literary world was entranced. The novel was hailed for its simplicity and realistic depiction of the struggles of adolescence.