A review attributed to the great Henry James at the time of Eight Cousins's publication called Alcott, "the Thackeray, the Trollope, of the nursery and the school room... she is a satirist". In this 1875 book, Rose - our heroine - has seven boisterous boy cousins and various other repugnant relatives. This tale is of how she strips away the "shams of life" with the help of a burly, honest seaman uncle. James saw, though, that Alcott's gift for writing for children was here worryingly adult-centred, viewing their concerns from the outside and neglecting to show the joys of genuinely childish and fun life. Further, the uncle and niece's sheer viciousness towards their irritating relatives at times prevents us from siding with them.