Louisa on the Front Lines

Louisa May Alcott in the Civil War


By Samantha Seiple

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$35.50 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around February 26, 2019. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

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,
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  • "Louisa on the Front Lines is a lively account of a critical moment in Alcott's life, her time working as a nurse in the Civil War -- a moment that reverberates, sometimes in surprising ways, in her most beloved work."
    Louisa Thomas, Author of Louisa: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Adams
  • "Bravo to Samantha Seiple for her sensitive portrayal of the difficulties and the successes of Civil War nurses, as seen through the clear eyes of Louisa May Alcott."
    Dr. Patricia Brady, Historian and Biographer
  • "Louisa on the Front Lines tells the story of a powerful period in Louisa May Alcott's life--her brief occupation as a Civil War nurse. Samantha Seiple, with her lively, well-researched narrative, captures Alcott at a pivotal time in the history of our country and in her own career as a young writer. Readers will discover the story both engaging and informative. Alcott herself would have marveled at how Seiple's biographical and historical account reads like a novel!"
    Daniel Shealy, UNC Professor of English and editor of The Journals of Louisa May Alcott
  • "There's a beautiful humanness in Seiple's descriptions of Alcott...Readers will discover in these pages an author as vibrant as her writings, and find themselves returning to her work with fresh eyes. Alcott scholars will encounter a liveliness if not substantive new information."
    Library Journal

On Sale
Feb 26, 2019
Page Count
256 pages
Seal Press

Samantha Seiple

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.

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