Monday 5 May 2014

Louisa May's Battle: How the Civil War Led to Little Women

Most of us have heard of the classic children's chapter book Little Women.  But how many know that the success of the book can be largely credited to the Civil War?

Louisa May Alcott served as a nurse during the American Civil War.  It was on the battlefield that she wrote letters home on behalf of wounded soldiers.  Louisa later used the same realism in her own letters that she had used in the soldiers' letters.  Her compilation of letters was published as Hospital Sketches and received high praise.  Louisa used the same approach when she penned her novel Little Women, one of the first novels to be set during the Civil War. Without Louisa's experience on the battlefield, she never would have been able to write such a convincing novel, a novel which brought her resounding success.


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