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,