Little Women, written by Louisa May Alcott, is a well-known and profitable book that was first published in 1868. Greta Gerwig adapted the book into a movie in 2019 featuring Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Laura Dern, Timothée Chalamet, Meryl Streep, and other stars.

Starring Boris Karloff, The Mummy (1932) was a film that turned the public’s attention to Mummy; due to its new idea, the film was only moderately successful at the box office. Karl Freund directed The Mummy, which was based on a screenplay by Richard Schayer and Nina Wilcox Putnam. It has been known that The Mummy movies and novelist Louisa May Alcott’s writing may have a connection. Let’s explore.

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Little Women
Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen in Greta Gerwig’s Little Women

Little Women author Louisa May Alcott regarded as one of the first authors to use a mummy’s curse narrative

It has been noted that author Louisa May Alcott, who rose to fame in the 1860s had written a short story Lost in a Pyramid; or, The Mummy’s Curse, in 1869, which was published by Frank Leslie. The short story has been known as one of the last short sensation thrillers of the writer and Dominic Montserrat believed that the author was one of the first to use the mummy’s curse narrative in her writing before the movies made it famous.

According to Den of Geek, Roger Luckhurst, who is an author and professor at Birkbeck College and Columbia University, pointed out that May Alcott’s work showcases that she was grimly aware of the morbid American rumors and superstitions about the Egyptian curses that started to arise during the earlier years of the Civil War.

Little Women author Louisa May Alcott was the first to talk about mummy's curse
Boris Karloff as Imhotep in The Mummy directed by Karl Freund

Even though it is hard to prove if the rags Egyptians had sold to the Union at the time caused the cholera outbreak in a factory in Maine back in 1863, which they said was derived from the wrappings of the desecrated mummies, had anything to do to inspire Alcott to write her short story or not. But it has been known that her work definitely did influence the Victorian authors at the turn of the 20th Century.

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Louis May Alcott’s Little Women reflects hints of Lost in a Pyramid; or, The Mummy’s Curse

The author’s famous book Little Women, which was turned into a movie in 2019 by Greta Gerwig, starring Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen as the main characters, showcases a connection between Jo March and a wealthy boy next door Theodore “Laurie” Laurence; which is very similar to her short story character; in which Paul Forsyth, a young man is introduced to the readers while teasing his companion Evelyn about his adventures in Egypt.

Little Women
Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen in Little Women

Evelyn gets fascinated with the stories by Forsyth and wishes to go on such adventures, which is a reflection of the characters in Little Women where Jo and Laurie tend to do the same but also wish to get married. The ending of Lost in a Pyramid where Evelyn dies after pinning a deadly flower to her chest draws a connection with how in Little Women Beth March dies of illness and maladies following a battle with scarlet fever.

The Mummy movies started to gain popularity during that era due to the rise in spiritualism and supernatural research among the British elite. According to Den of Geek, the first real mummy’s curse story had started to spread about 40 years before King Tut’s tomb was opened, which was years later explored in a movie starring Tom Cruise, but it was actually author Louisa May Alcott who had sowed the seed of the mummy’s curse with her short story.

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