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Hospital Sketches [Paperback]

By Louisa May Alcott (Author)
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Item description for Hospital Sketches by Louisa May Alcott...

This is Alcott's account of her experiences as a nurse during the Civil War in a Washington D.C. hospital. The sketches are taken "from letters hastily written in the few leisure moments of a very busy life," and so maintain the immediacy and force of their author.

Publishers Description
"This is Alcott's account of her experiences as a nurse during the Civil War in a Washington D.C. hospital. The sketches are taken ""from letters hastily written in the few leisure moments of a very busy life,"" and so maintain the immediacy and force of their author."

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Applewood Books
Pages   61
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.9" Width: 5" Height: 0.4"
Weight:   0.2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 1991
Publisher   Applewood Books
ISBN  0918222788  
ISBN13  9780918222787  

Availability  0 units.

More About Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott Louisa May Alcott was born on November 29, 1832, in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson were family friends. Alcott wrote under various pseudonyms and only started using her own name when she was ready to commit to writing. Her novel "Little Women" gave Louisa May Alcott financial independence and a lifetime writing career. She died in 1888.

Early Life

Famed novelist Louisa May Alcott was born on November 29, 1832, in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Alcott was a best-selling novelist of the late 1800s, and many of her works, most notably Little Women, remain popular today.

Alcott was taught by her father, Amos Bronson Alcott, until 1848, and studied informally with family friends such as Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Theodore Parker. Residing in Boston and Concord, Massachusetts, Alcott worked as a domestic servant and teacher, among other positions, to help support her family from 1850 to 1862. During the Civil War, she went to Washington, D.C. to work as a nurse.

Acclaimed Author

Unknown to most people, Louisa May Alcott had been publishing poems, short stories, thrillers, and juvenile tales since 1851, under the pen name Flora Fairfield. In 1862, she also adopted the pen name A.M. Barnard, and some of her melodramas were produced on Boston stages. But it was her account of her Civil War experiences, Hospital Sketches (1863), that confirmed Alcott's desire to be a serious writer. She began to publish stories under her real name in Atlantic Monthly and Lady's Companion, and took a brief trip to Europe in 1865 before becoming editor of a girls' magazine, Merry's Museum.

The great success of Little Women (1869–70) gave Alcott financial independence and created a demand for more books. Over the final years of her life, she turned out a steady stream of novels and short stories, mostly for young people and drawn directly from her family life. Her other books include Little Men (1871), Eight Cousins (1875) and Jo's Boys (1886). Alcott also tried her hand at adult novels, such as Work (1873) and A Modern Mephistopheles (1877), but these tales were not as popular as her other writings.

Louisa May Alcott lived in Germantown. Louisa May Alcott was born in 1832 and died in 1888.

Louisa May Alcott has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Collins Classics
  2. Puffin Classics

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Historical > United States > Civil War > Personal Narratives
2Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > Civil War > General
3Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > General
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( A ) > Alcott, Louisa May
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
6Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General

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Books > Inspiration > Motivation > Biography & Autobiography

Reviews - What do customers think about Hospital Sketches?

Hospital Sketches  Jan 23, 2008
This book is a classic. Wirten by Louisa May Alcott, yes the one that would later write the chlidrens classic "Little Women", tells the story of her service during the Civil War through the eyes of Nurse Tribulation Periwinkle. Although it is a short work, this edition is only 55 pages it brings to focus war and its cost and who pays the bill.

Nurse Periwinkle will have two assigments before she, her self becomes a victum of the war (Typhiod) and must leave. The first is what we would call today an Evecuation Hospital where the wounded are brought from the battle field.

We hear about a un-named soldier who asks only for a sip of wat and Nurse periwinkle has to go to a water can in another building and when she returns the soldier is dead. We hear about the long death of John, of the little Sergent who manages to survive and the Prussian who goes back to fight again.

Nurse periwinkle's final assigment is to the Armory Hospital and to "K" Ward. K Ward is Military talk for where they send those who have run out of medical options and who's fate is in some other power, a large percentage of those on K Ward, will die on K Ward. All Wars have K Wards, I was in the K Ward at letterman Army Medical center for several months during the Vietnam War. Her brief discription is perhaps the best in literature of what hopelessness is.

This book should be read by all and have a place next to Stephen Crains "Red Badge of Courage" in High School American Lit. Class.
First-person account by a talented writer  Sep 24, 2007
This little book tells what is was like to work in a Civil War hospital. It is autobiographical, although the author changes her name in the narrative, which was considered proper in women's writing at the time.

Louisa May Alcott had an ability to tolerate chaos and laugh at herself, which lends a charm to her writing, even though it is the sometimes wordy prose that was common in the 1860's. I found the book quick to read and enjoyable.

The book would have been enhanced with a brief biography of the author, perhaps on the back cover. She is, of course, best known for her books for young people, but she had other accomplishments which are remarkable considering that she was afflicted with mercury poisoning, a result of medication given for typhoid, which she contracted in the hospital. In this book, she describes the bout with typhoid from the point of view of her becoming a patient in her room, and how kind the staff was to her. She tells that she lost her hair as an effect of the medication. Eventually her father shows up and she goes back to Massachusetts with him.

Alcott based the book on letters she wrote home while serving in the hospital. Some were hastily written and she did not edit them strenuously because she did not want to lose the immediacy of the writing. In a few places, I longed for more clarity. Also, she makes references to literary characters of the time and most of these were lost on me. Still, there is much of value in this book and it is worth reading.
A Captivating Journal of Experiences  Aug 1, 2007
What aroused my interest in this book? No snazzy title. No enticing aroma of mystery or intrigue about it at all. But am I glad that I did read it? Unquestionably! From start to finish this book never falters, never flags in evoking the times, the place, and the human experience. Louisa's style may require some adjustments and patience from modern readers, and it probably will appeal to a more mature audience. (I don't see young people dropping Harry Potter for the tale Louisa tells.) As another reviewer eloquently noted, the book tears at the heart and makes you smile and laugh. Would that I could write half as good.The truth of the book cannot be denied. Read it and decide for yourself.
apropos to current wars  Mar 7, 2007
As I write this, there is currently a controversy swirling in Washington DC, about the shabby treatment of some wounded American veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Making the cover of Newsweek, and with the general of a veterans' hospital and the Secretary of the Army being forced to resign.

Alcott's writings take on a very contemporary tinge, under these circumstances. Of course, she wrote of a far bloodier struggle, on American soil. Her descriptions of the Union hospitals do bring forth the primitive treatments then available, and the sacrifices of the thousands injured. Her book is a reminder of the cost of wars. Though the Civil War was necessary to end slavery, while some current readers might reasonably wonder whether entering Iraq was worth it.
Hospital Sketches  Feb 9, 2007
This book was in great condition. The shipping was very quick just like promised.

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