Little Women's "Marmee" is one of the most recognizable mothers in American literature. But the real woman behind the fiction-Louisa May Alcott's own mother, Abigail-has for more than a century remained shrouded in mystery. Scholars believed that her papers were burned by her daughter and husband,as they claimed, and that little additional information survived. Until now. When Abigail's biographer and great niece Eve LaPlante found a collection of letters and diaries in an attic trunk and began exlporing the Alcott family archives, a window opened onto the life of this women who has for too long been hiding in plain sight. Paperback. 250 pgs.