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Hospital Sketches

Louisa May Alcott

Book Overview: 

Alcott in 1862 served as a nurse in Georgetown, D.C during the Civil War. She wrote home what she observed there. Those harrowing and sometimes humorous letters compiled make up Hospital Sketches.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Several have crape on the door-handles, and many have flags flying from roof or balcony. Few men appear, and the women seem to do the business, which, perhaps, accounts for its being so well done. Pass fine buildings, but don't know what they are. Would like to stop and see my native city; for, having left it at the tender age of two, my recollections are not vivid.

Baltimore.—A big, dirty, shippy, shiftless place, full of goats, geese, colored people, and coal, at least the part of it I see. Pass near the spot where the riot took place, and feel as if I should enjoy throwing a stone at somebody, hard. Find a guard at the ferry, the depot, and here and there, along the road. A camp whitens one hill-side, and a cavalry training school, or whatever it should be called, is a very interesting sight, with quantities of horses and riders galloping, marching, leaping, and skirmishing, over all manner of break-neck places. A party of English people get in&mdash. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I love Little Women, but it would never have occurred to me to read this had I not been putting through an order from the PS Books (Postscript) catalogue and spotted it.

This is a very small book (112 pages in my edition) and there is not a wasted word or thought it in. A lightly fictionalised accoun

5+ stars & 6/10 hearts. Oh my. I enjoyed this little book so much. It was really hilarious. Louisa May Alcott outdid herself this time. It was all so sarcastic and ridiculous, and yet, it was obvious that there was a foundation of truth and that Nurse Periwinkle was strongly based off Alcott! I don’

Chafing at not being able to march off to war because a woman, Alcott decided on her 30th birthday in 1862 to volunteer to be an Army nurse. She served at a hospital in Georgetown for six weeks, caring for casualties of the Battle of Fredericksburg, before contracting typhoid fever.

At the urging of

I like this because reading about Alcott’s firsthand experiences being a nurse during the Civil War is just plain interesting. How many such accounts written by acclaimed authors could there be? What we are told feels very real and honest. Secondly, I like it because you et a grip on Alcott’s person

Tribulation Periwinkle has gone from her home in the North to Washington D.C. to be a nurse for the wounded soldiers of the Army of the Potomac. She describes, in what reads like a diary of recollections, her trip from home to D.C., her arrival at the understaffed hospital, where she is thrown into

3.5 This is going to be a short review, since I just reviewed [book:Louisa on the Front Lines: Louisa May Alcott in the Civil War|40537448 a few days ago. I was surprised at how much of that book was directly quoted from this one. Though I did like reading this, since it was wholly Louisas thoughts

It's hard to believe this is one of Louisa May Alcott's earliest published works. Over the course of just a few chapters, she had me both laughing out loud at her inimitable humor and sobbing outright at the pathos of her descriptions. The deathbed scene of a man we hadn't met until we knew he was d

I read this concurrently with Becoming Dickens: The Invention of a Novelist -- unintentionally, but appropriately -- as not only was Dickens one of Alcott's favorite writers, but this fictionalized memoir of Alcott’s could be said to have led to her “becoming Louisa May Alcott”.

Similar to the start

Many people don't know about this book, since the one and only Ms. Louisa May Alcott is known more for Little Womenand its sequel Little Men, but for history buffs, of the Civil War especially, this is a must read.

Being a woman permitted to help your fellow beings as a money earning career option w

Most people know Louisa May Alcott's name for Little Women. They may know her name in relation to her father, Bronson Alcott, and his friendship with dudes like Ralph Waldo Emerson and H.D. Thoreau, and the Transcendentalist movement. Not as many people knew she also went to war.

Alcott spent six wee

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