4 Famous Novels Set in Concord

Concord is rich in literary history. Authors like Emerson, Hawthorne, and Louisa May Alcott made their homes here. When walking around Concord, you’ll discover the sites where these authors, and others, wrote famous novels that have stood the test of time. Some of these sites include The Orchard House, Walden Pond, The Wayside, Sleepy Hollow Cemetary, and the Old Manse. Learn more about four famous novels that are set in Concord, and why they are important for literary history today.

Little Women

Written by Louisa May Alcott, Little Women is a coming-of-age story that follows the lives of the four March sisters— Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy — and their journey from girlhood to womanhood in 1860s Concord, MA. Each of the four sisters has a unique personality; Meg is the beautiful eldest sister, Jo is the tomboy and talented writer, Beth is the musically inclined but tragically sick sister, and Amy is the spoiled youngest child with a knack for painting. 

The novel follows a semi-autobiographical tale of Alcott’s life with her three sisters. In Little Women, she explains in great detail about life in Concord. The book has marked itself as a literary goldmine, with two movie adaptations in 1994 and 2019.

Walden

In Walden, Henry David Thoreau uses a series of 18 essays to share his experiences of living on the northern shore of Walden Pond in Concord. Thoreau wrote this novel during his two years of living in semi-isolation in a small cabin owned by his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson. This work explores independence, social experiment, and spiritual discovery within nature. Thoreau is a native of Concord, MA and he lived most of his adult life here. 

Paul Revere’s Ride 

This 1860 poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow shares the story of the night Paul Revere rode through Medford, Lexington, and Concord to warn the Patriots that the British were coming. Within the poem, Longfellow dramatically explains that Revere awaits his friend’s signal via lantern in the Old North Church in Boston to say whether the British are coming by land or by sea. Once he gets the signal that the British are coming by sea, Revere rides his horse Northwest of Boston.   

Little Men 

Louisa May Alcott writes the sequel to Little Women with Little Men. In this novel, we follow the adult life of Jo March who gets married and inherits an estate in Concord. Here, she creates an experimental school for boys where her two sons and twelve rescued orphans grow up and learn how to be civilized men. Like  Little Women, this novel has its fair share of adventures and rambunctious behavior. 

Each of these four stories shares a different perspective of Concord. Some are autobiographical coming-of-age stories, some are about impactful moments in history, and others are about the beauties of nature. All of them, prove how significant Concord was years ago, and how much inspiration can still be derived from this special town.  

Recent Posts

June 8 Ellen Garrison Event was a big success

Concord250 Planning: Business Information Meeting

Concord for the Outdoor Adventurer

Itineraries

Brewster's Woods Wildlife Sanctuary

Trails

Canoeing & Kayaking in Concord

Emerson Playground

Great Meadows

Literary

Revolutionary War

Walden Pond

The Old Manse

Ralph Waldo Emerson House

The Wayside

Orchard House

Old Hill Burial Ground

Concord Free Public Library

Old North Bridge

Minuteman National Park Visitor Center

Concord Museum

Revolutionary Concord in a Day