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Preface

Louisa May AlcottNov 04, 2016'Command+D' Bookmark this page

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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
readers.

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
another.

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.

 

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