Louisa May Alcott opens her November 1881 journal entry with the undated notation, “[w]rote a Preface to the new edition of ‘Moods.’” She follows this notation with four lines describing her niece’s second birthday in her famous maternal tone, and then she returns to the topic of her literary production with a terse list of stories written during the month (Alcott, Journals 231). Compared to the loving description of the birthday celebration, Alcott’s curt references to authorship simply appear to frame more significant memories. But appearances can, and often do, mislead. In writing her preface to Moods, Alcott undertook to reintroduce to the public the novel she considered her “first-born” (Moods 1882: vi).