The Glory Cloak
Clara Barton

Louisa May Alcott
Patricia O'Brien

New from the co-author of the best-selling I Know Just What You Mean comes THE GLORY CLOAK, a story of women’s friendships set against the tumultuous background of the Civil War and featuring Louisa May Alcott and Clara Barton. THE GLORY CLOAK was inspired by Louisa May Alcott’s little-known account in Hospital Sketches of her attachment as a Civil War nurse to a dying soldier. It weaves characters both fictional and real (including Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Louisa’s father, Bronson Alcott) to tell the story of women who, still held by Victorian constraints, are caught up in the vast sweep of change of their war torn era.

THE GLORY CLOAK also brings to life both the years of the Civil War and the heartbreaking task afterward of tracking down and finding what happened to the many thousands of lost men -- some of whom died on the battlefield and some in grim prisons. It is an important period in U.S. history, especially timely due to the recent discovery of Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office in Washington, DC. For over 100 years, it was boarded off in a building that was almost demolished until a government worker climbed past the moldering barricade and discovered a slice of hitherto unknown Civil War history.

THE GLORY CLOAK will be available from Touchstone Books on May 4, 2004. Copies will be available for purchase and autographing by Mrs. O’Brien on Friday, May 7th during the 5th Annual “Concord Comes Calling” Benefit Tour of Fine Homes, and on Saturday, May 8th at a lecture-discussion in The School of Philosophy on the grounds of Orchard House, 399 Lexington Road, Concord, MA. For further information, click here or phone 978.369.4118.

Patricia O'Brien's Biography

Patricia O'Brien's award-winning career has spanned the worlds of fiction, non-fiction, journalism, politics, and education. She is the co-author, along with Ellen Goodman, of a New York Times bestselling book based on their 27-year friendship entitled I Know Just What You Mean. She is also the author of three novels: The Candidate's Wife, The Ladies' Lunch, and Good Intentions. Her earlier non-fiction books include The Woman Alone and Staying Together: Marriages that Work.

From 1976 to 1987 she was a political correspondent and columnist for Knight-Ridder newspapers in Washington, covering the Reagan White House, Congress, and the 1984 national political campaigns of Gary Hart and Geraldine Ferraro. From journalism she switched to politics, becoming press secretary for Governor Michael Dukakis when he ran for President in 1987. In 1988, she was awarded a Freedom Forum Fellowship at Columbia University.

O'Brien graduated from the University of Oregon in 1966 and then began her journalistic career at The South Bend Tribune in South Bend, Indiana. In 1970, she began working for The Chicago Sun-Times, first as a reporter, then as a columnist and editorial writer. She became a Nieman Fellow at Harvard in 1973.

She has been a commentator for CBS-TV's morning news, the CBS radio program “Spectrum,” as well as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She has written for a number of magazines including Esquire, Working Woman, Notre Dame, Glamour, and Harper's Bazaar. Her book reviews appear in The New York Times.

O'Brien was The Baltimore Sun Distinguished Lecturer at the University of Maryland School of Journalism in 1989, where she taught a course on journalistic ethics. She has also taught at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

O’Brien has four grown daughters and lives with her husband, Frank Mankiewicz, in Washington, D.C.


Louisa May Alcott Memorial Association

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