Hospital Sketches / Edition 1

Hospital Sketches / Edition 1

3.6 22
by Louisa May Alcott, Alice Fahs
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0312260288

ISBN-13: 9780312260286

Pub. Date: 09/25/2003

Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

Hospital Sketches is a compilation of four sketches based on letters Louisa May Alcott sent home during the six weeks she spent as a volunteer nurse for the Union Army during the American Civil War in Georgetown.

Tribulaton Periwinkle opens the story by complaining, "I want something to do." She dismisses suggestions to write a book, teach, get married, or

Overview

Hospital Sketches is a compilation of four sketches based on letters Louisa May Alcott sent home during the six weeks she spent as a volunteer nurse for the Union Army during the American Civil War in Georgetown.

Tribulaton Periwinkle opens the story by complaining, "I want something to do." She dismisses suggestions to write a book, teach, get married, or start acting. When her younger brother suggests she "go nurse the soldiers", she immediately responds, "I will!"

After substantial hardship in trying to obtain a spot, she has further difficulty finding a place on the train. She then describes her travel through New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore en route to Washington D. C.

Immediately after her arrival, Periwinkle must attend to the wounded from the Battle of Fredericksburg. Her first assignment is washing them before putting them to bed. She converses with the various wounded soldiers, including an Irishman and a Virginia blacksmith. The blacksmith's death in particular touches her deeply.

While serving as a nurse, Alcott wrote several letters to her family in Concord. At the urging of others, she prepared them for publication, slightly altering and fictionalizing them. The narrator of the stories was renamed Tribulation Periwinkle but the sketches are virtually authentic to Alcott's real experiences.

Louisa May Alcott's father Amos Bronson Alcott predicted the sketches "likely to be popular, the subject and style of treatment alike commending it to the reader, and to the Army especially. I see nothing in the way of a good appreciation of Louisa's merits as a woman and a writer. Nothing could be more surprising to her or agreeable to us."

Her father was right; when it proved popular, Alcott was surprised by her own success. As she wrote: "I cannot see why people like a few extracts from topsey turvey letters written on inverted tea kettles, waiting for gruel to warm, or poultices to cool, [or] for boys to wake and be tormented." Henry James, Sr. wrote her a letter to applaud "her charming pictures of hospital service."

The Boston Evening Transcript called the book "fluent and sparkling, with touches of quiet humor and lively wit". Alcott herself wrote, "I find I've done a good thing without knowing it."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312260286
Publisher:
Bedford/St. Martin's
Publication date:
09/25/2003
Series:
Bedford Cultural Editions Series
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
138
Product dimensions:
5.47(w) x 8.34(h) x 0.29(d)

Table of Contents

PART I.
Introduction: Louisa May
Alcott's Civil War
The Alcott Family
The Struggle for Work
Alcott's Early Literary Career
The Coming of War
Becoming a Nurse
Battle of Fredericksburg
Hospital Life and Medical Care
The Creation of Hospital Sketches
Alcott's Literary Style
Claiming a Place for Women in the War Effort
The Social Landscape of the Hospital
Hospital Sketches and the Meaning of the Civil War
Notes

PART II.
Hospital Sketches, by Louisa May Alcott
I. Obtaining Supplies
II. A Forward Movement
III. A Day
IV. A Night
V. Off Duty
VI. A Postscript

APPENDICES
Chronology of Louisa
May Alcott's Life
Questions for Consideration
Selected Bibliography

Index

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Hospital Sketches 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Alcott's styie is entertaining and amusing. I've read a biography about her but not any of her actual works other than this one and am now interested enough to try "Little Women". I think this autobiogtaphical work will lend a lot to her fiction. It's always interesting to read a woman's point if view in regard to history and this was really no exception. A quick read that I'd recomnend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first half of this book was full of entertaaining descriptions of wartime nursing anecdotes. Then i dont know what happened. It seemed to unravel into random ramblings of washington and i lost interest. Not sure how this happened
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Passed out'
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gets a mocha from the fridge and drinks it then goe back to caring for her patients
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
?....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Something is wrong. Teeelllllllllll mmmmeeeeee."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What in the world is going on.....im so confused
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What he heck is going on