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Jo's Boys
Jo's Boys.jpg




Louisa May Alcott


Roberts Brothers

Date of publication


Preceded by

Little Men

Followed by


Jo's Boys, and How They Turned Out: A Sequel to "Little Men", more commonly known simply as Jo's Boys is generally regarded as the fourth book in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women series.
It is the only Alcott novel that has not had a film adaption.

The book follows Josephine Bhaer's "children", now grown, as they are caught up in real world troubles.

Plot Synopsis

The book mostly follows the lives of Plumfield boys who were introduced in Little Men, particularly Tommy, Emil, Demi, Nat, Dan, and Jo's sons Rob and Teddy, although the others make frequent appearances as well. The book takes place ten years after Little Men.

Dolly and George are college students dealing with the temptations of snobbery, arrogance, self-indulgence and vanity. Tommy becomes a medical student to impress childhood sweetheart Nan, but after "accidentally" falling in love with and proposing to a sweet girl named Dora, he joins his family business.

Professor Bhaer's nephew Emil is now a sailor, and takes off on his first voyage as second mate and shows his true strength when he is shipwrecked and the captain badly injured. He marries the captain's daughter, a brave English girl named Mary.
Nat begins a musical career in Europe that takes him away from his forbidden love, Daisy Brooke, only to fall in with a frivolous crowd and unintentionally lead a young woman on, whom he then does not marry.

Dan ends up committing the one sin he and Jo always feared he would - murder - although it was in defence of both himself and a younger boy, Blair. The victim had cheated Blair in gambling and become very violent. Dan is sentenced to a year in prison with hard labour and only just gets through. Following his release, he saves mine workers from drowning and is brought back home a hero, when he confides in Mother Bhaer about his sin and the punishment that followed. She also discovers his fancy for her niece, Bess, though is not entirely surprised. Dan tells her of this fancy and that Bess seemed like the bright northern star which guided him. However, knowing that Amy wouldn't approve of the attachment, Jo makes sure that the Laurences are away when Dan leaves again. Sadly, Dan dies protecting the Indians but lies in peace as if Aslauga's Knight had done his duty.

Romance also plays a role in Jo's Boys, as both Franz and Emil find their own wives, and Tommy, Demi, Nat and Daisy are engaged by the end of the book. Ever the independent woman, Nan remains single, dedicated to her medical career.


Louisa May Alcott wrote the novel while living at the Thoreau-Alcott House on Main Street in Concord, Massachusetts. She bought the home for her sister Anna Alcott Pratt in 1877, though she moved in as well in the 1880s.