Hospital Sketches Paperback – 1 Aug 1989
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About the Author
American novelist Louisa May Alcott is best known for her classic coming-of-age novel Little Women, and its sequels Little Men and Jo s Boys. The daughter of noted transcendentalist and educator Amos Bronson Alcott and Abigail May Alcott, Alcott was an active abolitionist and feminist, and the first woman registered to vote in Concord, Massachusetts. Schooled mainly by her father, Alcott and her three sisters also received lessons from such notables as Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Margaret Fuller. Alcott penned her first book, Flower Fables, for Emerson s daughter, Ellen. Before gaining critical success for her children s fiction, Alcott wrote several passionate adult novels using the pen name A. M. Barnard, including A Long Fatal Love Chase and Punishment. Alcott s literary career spanned more than 40 years, and she wrote more than 30 books before her death in 1888.
Top Customer Reviews
Bored with life at home and wanting to contribute something to the war effort, Alcott volunteered to serve as an nurse. After a wait of several months, she was assigned to the Union Hotel Hospital in Washington DC.
She arrived in mid-December, and her very first day brought her responsibility for forty patients when another nurse fell ill. It was a sign of things to come. Three days after her arrival, the hospital was flooded with wounded from the Battle of Fredericksburg.
Initially horrified at the idea of giving the wounded sponge baths, Alcott quickly overcame this misplaced modesty and became accoustomed to the sights and sounds of the the ward. By the end of her brief service, she had learned how to feed, bathe and comfort the wounded, change dressings and administer medicine. . .even watch amputations without revulsion.
It was as the night nurse on a three-room ward that she found the vivid charachters she would bring to life in "Hospital Sketches." There was a little Ohio sargent she called "Baby B," who had lost his right arm in battle and was teaching himself to write left handed. (He would later become one of her faithful correspondents) There was a 12-year old drummer mourning the loss of a buddy, a helpful Prussian who spoke no English, and a nameless man so addled by war that he was given to running up and down the aisles yelling all night long.Read more ›