Little Women Wiki
Elizabeth "Beth" March

Birth and Death

No information

Also Known As

  • Beth
  • Bethy
  • Angel
  • my Beth (by Jo)
  • Betty (by Jo)

Hair Color

Light Brown





"Fatal Flaw"


Family Members

Parents and Siblings

Aunts and Uncles


Nieces and Nephews


The March family

Elizabeth "Beth" March was the third daughter of Margaret and Robert March.


Early life

The March family was very wealthy in the first few years of Beth's life, however not long before the novel starts, Robert March lost the family's money, which plunged the family into poverty. Beth was thirteen, shy, gentle and musical. Beth was very generous and always giving.

Later life

Each of the sisters imagined a "castle in the sky" - their dream place. Whilst the others talked of material things, Beth said her castle in the sky would be to stay with their mother and father and to take care of the family. So she did. She felt she had nothing more to wish for, now that she had her little piano, which Mr. Laurence (Laurie's grandfather) so generously gave her.

As her sisters grew up they began to leave home, but Beth had no desire to leave her house or family.


Later in the book, she developed scarlet fever, which is caused by a bacterial infection, resulting in a rash, loss of skin and weakening of the immune system. She survived the initial illness, but eventually the after-effects took their toll and toward the end of the book, Beth fell ill again. Because of her failing health, her family filled her room with all the things she loved best: her kittens, piano, father's books, Amy's sketches, and her beloved dolls. She was never idle; she knitted and sewed things for the children that passed under her window on the way to and from school. But eventually even that became too much for her, and she put down her sewing needle, saying that it had grown 'so heavy'. Beth died in Marmee's arms. Beth's dying had a strong impact on her sisters, especially Jo, who resolved to live her life with more consideration and care for others. Beth was twenty-three years old at the time of her death.

Personality and traits

Beth was kind, sweet, shy and quiet. Her purity was often a supportive characteristic that kept the family strong in times of hardship.

She loved to play the piano, and enjoyed the company of her kittens. Out of all the girls, Beth had by far the least amount of flaws. She did not brag, or want very much, and was always there for the neighbours to lend a much-needed hand.

Physical appearance

At the age of thirteen, Beth was a rosy, smooth-haired, bright-eyed girl with a peaceful expression that seldom changed.

She later matured into a pale and slender young woman, with large eyes that had a shadow of pain in them. Beth was said to be beautiful in her own way.


  • Elizabeth is a female given name of Hebrew origin and means 'my God is abundance' or 'my God is an oath'.
  • Beth's niece, Elizabeth "Bess" Laurence was named after her. They are alike in personality, both having strong creative skill and a gentle, giving manner.