Louisa on the Front Lines: Louisa May Alcott in the Civil War

Louisa on the Front Lines: Louisa May Alcott in the Civil War

by Samantha Seiple
Louisa on the Front Lines: Louisa May Alcott in the Civil War

Louisa on the Front Lines: Louisa May Alcott in the Civil War

by Samantha Seiple


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An eye-opening look at Little Women author Louisa May Alcott's time as a Civil War nurse, and the far-reaching implications her service had on her writing and her activism

Louisa on the Frontlines is the first narrative nonfiction book focusing on the least-known aspect of Louisa May Alcott's career — her time spent as a nurse during the Civil War. Though her service was brief, the dramatic experience was one that she considered pivotal in helping her write the beloved classic Little Women. It also deeply affected her tenuous relationship with her father, and inspired her commitment to abolitionism. Through it all, she kept a journal and wrote letters to her family and friends. These letters were published in the newspaper, and her subsequent book, Hospital Sketches spotlighted the dire conditions of the military hospitals and the suffering endured by the wounded soldiers she cared for. To this day, her work is considered a pioneering account of military nursing.

Alcott's time as an Army nurse in the Civil War helped her find her authentic voice — and cemented her foundational belief system. Louisa on the Frontlines reveals the emergence of this prominent feminist and abolitionist — a woman whose life and work has inspired millions and continues to do so today,

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781580058049
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 02/26/2019
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 955,430
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Samantha Seiple is the author of the young adult narrative nonfiction books Ghosts in the Fog: The Untold Story of Alaska's WWII Invasion, a YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction Nominee and a Junior Library Guild Selection; Lincoln's Spymaster: America's First Private Eye, a Junior Library Guild Selection; Byrd & Igloo: A Polar Adventure; and Death on the River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Amazon Adventure. She has worked as a competitive intelligence specialist, as a librarian, and as a production editor and copy editor. Her education includes degrees in English, journalism, and library and information science. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Heroine's Journey 1

Part 1 The War at Home

Chapter 1 Wayward Daughter 7

Chapter 2 Stitches 29

Chapter 3 A Soldier's Story 41

Chapter 4 Help Wanted 49

Chapter 5 Georgetown or Bust 59

Chapter 6 Burnside's Blunder 71

Chapter 7 The Hurly-Burly House 81

Chapter 8 A Bitter Pill 127

Chapter 9 Duty's Faithful Daughter 143

Chapter 10 A Gift 157

Part 2 Where Glory Waits

Chapter 11 Unfulfilled Destiny 171

Chapter 12 The Chariot of Glory 185

Epilogue Still on the Front Lines 193

Acknowledgments 199

Source Notes 201

Selected Bibliography 225

Index 229

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