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Torrid Louisa May Alcott Gothic Novel “Rediscovered” by Romance Community

An unpublished novel by Louisa May Alcott, written in 1866, but published for the first time in 1995, has been “rediscovered” by the romance community. The 1995 edition of A Long Fatal Love Chase is currently available from Random House as a trade paperback and audio book, but no digital copy exists yet to the chagrin of a new generation of Alcott fans who discovered (or rediscovered) the author with the current Greta Gerwig film Little Women.

According to the Wikipedia entry on the book, an early draft of the book was auctioned off by Alcott's heirs and eventually fell into the hands of a Manhattan rare book dealer. In 1994, Kent Bicknell, an Alcott scholar and headmaster of the Sant Bani School in Sanbornton, New Hampshire, paid "more than his annual salary but less than $50,000" for the unexpurgated version of the manuscript. After restoring it to what he believed was the original version, he sold the publication rights to Random House for a $1.5 million advance. Bicknell donated 25% of the profits to Orchard House, (the museum of the Alcott Family), 25% to the Alcott heirs, and 25% to the Sant Bani School.

The Random House edition lists Kent Bicknell on the copyright page, not Louisa May Alcott, although her name is on the cover. When published in 1995, the hardcover edition became a best-seller.

Here is the New York Times book review by Stephen King of the novel from 1995,

But, of course, the best reviews come from twitter

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