An Old-fashioned Girl by Louisa M. Alcott

An Old-fashioned Girl

by Louisa M. Alcott

An Old-fashioned Girl

by Louisa M. Alcott


AS a preface is the only place where an author can with propriety

explain a purpose or apologize for shortcomings, I venture to avail

myself of the privilege to make a statement for the benefit of my


As the first part of “An Old-Fashioned Girl” was written in 1869,

the demand for a sequel, in beseeching little letters that made

refusal impossible, rendered it necessary to carry my heroine

boldly forward some six or seven years into the future. The

domestic nature of the story makes this audacious proceeding

possible; while the lively fancies of my young readers will supply

all deficiencies, and overlook all discrepancies.

This explanation will, I trust, relieve those well-regulated minds,

who cannot conceive of such literary lawlessness, from the

bewilderment which they suffered when the same experiment was

tried in a former book.

The “Old-Fashioned Girl” is not intended as a perfect model, but as

a possible improvement upon [Page] the Girl of the Period, who

seems sorrowfully ignorant or ashamed of the good old fashions

which make woman truly beautiful and honored, and, through her,

render home what it should be,-a happy place, where parents and

children, brothers and sisters, learn to love and know and help one


If the history of Polly’s girlish experiences suggests a hint or

insinuates a lesson, I shall feel that, in spite of many obstacles, I

have not entirely neglected my duty toward the little men and

women, for whom it is an honor and a pleasure to write, since in

them I have always found my kindest patrons, gentlest critics,

warmest friends.

L. M. A.


Chapter 1. Polly Arrives

Chapter 2. New Fashions

Chapter 3. Polly’s Troubles

Chapter 4. Little Things

Chapter 5. Scrapes

Chapter 6. Grandma

Chapter 7. Good-by

Chapter 8. Six Years Afterward

Chapter 9. Lessons

Chapter 10. Brothers and Sisters

Chapter 11. Needles and Tongues

Chapter 12. Forbidden Fruit

Chapter 13. The Sunny Side

Chapter 14. Nipped in the Bud

Chapter 15. Breakers Ahead

Chapter 16. A Dress Parade

Chapter 17. Playing Grandmother

Chapter 18. The Woman Who Did Not Dare

Chapter 19. Tom’s Success

An Old-fashioned Girl


“IT ‘S time to go to the station, Tom.”

“Come on, then.”

“Oh, I ‘m not going; it ‘s too wet. Should n’t have a crimp left if I

went out such a day as this; and I want to look nice when Polly


“You don’t expect me to go and bring home a strange girl alone, do

you?” And Tom looked as much alarmed as if his sister had

proposed to him to escort the wild woman of Australia.

“Of course I do. It ‘s your place to go and get her; and if you was n’t

a bear, you ‘d like it.”

“Well, I call that mean! I supposed I ‘d got to go; but you said you

‘d go, too. Catch me bothering about your friends another time!

No, sir! ” And Tom rose from the sofa with an air of indignant

resolution, the impressive effect of which was somewhat damaged

by a tousled head, and the hunched appearance of his garments


“Now, don’t be cross; and I ‘ll get mamma to let you have that

horrid Ned Miller, that you are so fond of, come and make you a

visit after Polly ‘s gone,” said Fanny, hoping to soothe his ruffled


“How long is she going to stay?” demanded Tom, making his toilet

by a promiscuous shake.

“A month or two, maybe. She ‘s ever so nice; and I shall keep her

as long as she ‘s happy.”

“She won’t stay long then, if I can help it,” muttered Tom, who

regarded girls as a very unnecessary portion of creation. Boys of

fourteen are apt to think so, and perhaps it is a wise arrangement;

for, being fond of turning somersaults, they have an opportunity of

indulging in a good one, metaphorically speaking, when, three or

four years later, they become the abject slaves of “those bothering


“Look here! how am I going to know the creature? I never saw her,

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Categories: Alcott, Louisa May