a very popular US book (1868-9) written mainly for girls by Louisa May Alcott. The story, based on that of her own family, is about the March family of four sisters, living in New England in the 19th century. The girls are Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. Film versions were made in 1933 with Katharine Hepburn, 1949 with Elizabeth Taylor, and 1994 with Winona Ryder. Alcott wrote two further books with the same characters: Little Men (1871) and Jo's Boys (1886).