By Jennifer Chiaverini
New York Times bestselling writer Jennifer Chiaverini is again with one other captivating historic novel set through the Civil warfare period, this time encouraged by means of the lifetime of “a real Union lady as precise as metal” who risked every little thing via taking care of Union prisoners of struggle — and stealing accomplice secrets and techniques.
Born to slave-holding aristocracy in Richmond, Virginia, and expert by way of Northern Quakers, Elizabeth Van Lew used to be a paradox of her time. while her local nation seceded in April 1861, Van Lew’s convictions forced her to defy the recent accomplice regime. Pledging her loyalty to the Lincoln White condo, her braveness might by no means waver, while her wartime activities threatened not just her popularity, but additionally her life.
Van Lew’s abilities in collecting army intelligence have been remarkable. She helped to build the Richmond Underground and orchestrated escapes from the notorious accomplice Libby legal lower than the guise of humanitarian relief. Her undercover agent ring’s succeed in used to be huge, from clerks within the accomplice warfare and military Departments to the very domestic of accomplice President Jefferson Davis.
Although Van Lew used to be inducted posthumously into the army Intelligence corridor of reputation, the mind-blowing scope of her achievements hasn't ever been well known. In Chiaverini’s riveting story of high-stakes espionage, a superb heroine of the Civil warfare ultimately will get her due.
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Additional resources for The Spymistress: A Novel
Within the days to come back, Lizzie may research that he had defined how the accomplice heroes had repulsed the american invaders, sending them scurrying again to Washington urban. She could listen that Mr. Davis had now not led troops into conflict in any case yet had stored good in the back of the advancing traces, rallying stragglers, reassuring the wounded, and congratulating the victors. She may listen stories of the way Colonel Thomas Jackson had noticed a niche within the line of defense and had pushed his troops ahead to guard it opposed to a Union assault, inspiring one inspired basic to exclaim, “There is Jackson status like a stone wall! ” He earned a merchandising to significant common for his braveness and speedy pondering at the battlefield—and a brand new nickname. The variety of Southern males killed, wounded, and captured was once nonetheless being tallied because the press lauded the fallen as heroes and declared that the victory proved that neither uncooked Yankee volunteers nor the standard military may perhaps stand up to the cost of the accomplice bayonet. “It will be tough to overestimate the influence of the victory that has been received for the Southern cause,” proclaimed the Examiner, reveling within the nice quantity and cost of Union males and artillery captured and predicting dire effects for Yankee recruitment efforts, in addition to the U.S. inventory industry. “By the paintings of Sunday, now we have damaged the spine of invasion and completely damaged the spirit of the North. ” Lizzie fumed on the advice that the Union might abandon desire so quite simply, or even Mary fretted on the newspaper’s boast that “the sentiment of invincibility will take ownership of each guy of the South,” and its remarkable prediction that the worst of the conflict was once at the back of them. “Mrs. Chesnut says that Mr. William Trescot says that those effortless, early victories will lull the South right into a fool’s paradise of conceit, and meanwhile, the shameful losses will mild a hearth underneath the lads of the North. ” “Mrs. Chesnut acknowledged Mr. Trescot stated that? ” mom requested evenly. “Goodness. I’ve by no means met the gents, yet he talks like a Yankee. Did somebody ask the place he used to be born? ” “South Carolina. ” Mary shook her head. “I don’t suggest to assert that I requested him. Mrs. Chesnut advised me. I by no means may have embarrassed him through making him admit he used to be now not born in Virginia. ” “Well, we can’t all be,” acknowledged mom, the single one amongst them who had now not been. “We’ve chanced on one other universal reason, you and I,” Lizzie informed her sister-in-law with a levity she didn't believe. “We agree that the Confederates may possibly turn into overconfident, and we’re united in our displeasure with the click. ” “These are unusual occasions indeed,” Mary answered. Lizzie burst out guffawing, yet in basic terms after Mary shot her a bitter glare did she discover that her sister-in-law had spoken in all seriousness. there has been little sufficient to snicker approximately within the days following the conflict of Manassas. quickly thousands of wounded got here streaming into Richmond, fast filling the hospitals and overflowing into colleges, motels, and warehouses that were swiftly became makeshift infirmaries.