Barb Schmidt did some googling (some google better than others) and tells me that Beverly Clark’s 2014 book, AFTERLIFE OF LOUISA MAY ALCOTT mentions this quote and accuses Beer of making it up. 

Beer also cites an 1889 letter to Twain from Irvin S. Cobb which apparently has never surfaced (not in Machlis or in the MTPO Letters database).

For further comment on Beer’s trustworthiness, see the article at this link:

I have serious doubts about this oft-cited quote, but would love to be shown a solid source.

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