Spinning-Wheel Stories by Louisa May Alcott

Spinning-Wheel Stories by Louisa May Alcott is a collection of 12 short stories with a perfunctory connecting tale. It was published in 1884.

The family has gathered at grandma’s home for Christmas. But a snow storm has all the young ones cooped up in the house. To pass the time grandma teaches the young girls how to use a spinning wheel that they found in the attic. Also, 12 stories with a healthy dose of morals are told. The 12 stories are namely Grandma’s Story, Tabby’s Table-Cloth, Eli’s Education, Onawandah, Little Things, The Banner of Beaumanoir, Jerseys; or, the Girl’s Ghost, The Little House in the Garden, Daisy’s Jewel Box and How She Filled It, Corny’s Catamount, The Cooking-Class and The Hare and the Tortoise.

The connecting tale is present at the first part of the book, then it disappears the midway through and reappears once again towards the end. I found this lack of continuity jarring.

The stories are for the most part very sugary. I am very fond of old classics but even I think that these stories are old fashioned. Some like Grandma’s Story, Tabby’s Table-Cloth, Eli’s Education, Onawandah are really way too sugary.

Some of the stories are pretty good. I enjoyed The Little House in the Garden and The Hare and the Tortoise. Others like Little Things, The Banner of Beaumanoir, Jerseys; or, the Girl’s Ghost, Corny’s Catamount and The Cooking-Class are okay stories. Daisy’s Jewel Box and How She Filled It I found kind of irritating.

Spinning-Wheel Stories has not aged well. Read only if you are a fan of Louisa May Alcott or of classics in general. Otherwise, I do not recommend this book.

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7 comments

  1. I didn’t know she wrote these stories. I may look into them but it is low on my list. I went to her house a few months ago and loved it.

    1. Yes neither did I. It was while browsing through the net that I saw the name of Spinning-Wheel Stories for the first time. I read it without any expectations but it still felt rather bland to me.

      Glad that you enjoyed a visit to her house! My ultimate dream is to visit Stratford- upon-Avon.

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