The Civil War was a pivotal conflict in United States history (it literally determined if we’d have one country or two). Although the majority of people were more concerned about avoiding a battlefield or surviving the war while serving in the army, some had their nose in a book.

One book in particular still hasn’t lost its appeal to this day, even though numerous other wars have taken place since. Pretty impressive.

It didn’t center around men fighting the war

Plenty of literature can be found that documents the soldiers and generals that served. One book, in particular, emerged from the era clearly victorious—for some seriously shocking reasons.

Anne Boyd Drioux

Little Women is a book that centers around four young sisters as they journey through childhood to adulthood. Despite a war going on, the book was a giant success after being published in 1868.

The lady behind this work of art? She is just as interesting as her literary characters.

The author was pretty great, honestly

With a name like Louisa May Alcott, you know this lady knew how to live a pretty interesting life.

Her father was friends with some of the greatest literary minds of all time, including Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Alcott was literally born to write a classic. It was only a matter of time.

Mental Floss

After working as a nurse during the war for the Union army, she became sick in 1862 with typhoid fever and decided to start making a true living off of her writing. After writing about her experience in the medical field in Hospital Sketches in 1863, people began to notice she had some serious talent.

She aimed to write for young girls

Alcott became very involved in women’s rights during her time, making it only natural that she write a novel about the coming of age of adventurous and brave women.

Little Women was published on October 1, 1868, and it quickly garnered a ton of attention.

Toronto Star

Alcott obviously is most well-known for this outrageously successful novel, but let’s not forget the woman she was. She took care of her entire family emotionally, financially, and physically, until she died at the age of 55.

She was a force to be reckoned with, to say the least. You go, girl.