HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Happy Holidays! The 12 Days of LT scavenger hunt is going on. Can you solve the clues?
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Hospital Sketches by Louisa May Alcott
Loading...

Hospital Sketches (1863)

by Louisa May Alcott

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4051838,186 (3.89)102
  1. 00
    Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain (Bjace)
    Bjace: War nursing, different war. Alcott was a briefly a nurse, Brittain's life was consumed by the War and its tragedy. Alcott infuses tragedy with heart-warming pluck; Brittain allows you to experience the full weight of devastation.
  2. 00
    A Country Doctor's Notebook by Mikhail Bulgakov (Stbalbach)
None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 102 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Loved this book! Absolutely hilarious - so many quotable lines! Funny, heartwarming, and heartbreaking all in one. ( )
  SarahGraceGrzy | Oct 2, 2018 |
“Hospital Sketches” essentially reads as a tragic comedy. Here we have Louisa May Alcott’s semi-autobiographical account of her times as a nurse and the events leading up to her securing her position at the hospital.

I’d been in two minds whether to read this text for some time, thinking it would be too morbid and depressing, but before finishing the first page I knew I’d misjudged the book by its title. Of course there are upsetting scenes where soldiers are so severely wounded that they have a short period of agony before death releases them, yet despite this, the senses of hope and bravery prevent the mood from becoming depressing, while the upbeat narration eliminates any feelings of morbidity.

The author – or technically speaking, the “narrator”, who’s really Ms Alcott in disguise – sums up my above feelings in this quote:

“Certainly, nothing was set down in malice, and to the serious-minded party who objected to a tone of levity in some portions of the Sketches, I can only say that it is a part of my religion to look well after the cheerfulnesses of life, and let the dismals shift for themselves.”

The light tone is most apparent in the scenes before the want-to-be nurse starts work at the hospital. The nonsense she has to endure to get from A to B and back again is a classic case of the left hand not knowing what the right is doing. I don’t know how much of this really happened to Ms Alcott, though I suspect most if not all are true recollections. Either way, the frustration she goes through is retold in a humorous way, causing me to laugh aloud more than once.

A particular funny part is when the nurse-to-be is about to sleep whilst sailing and she’s concerned about the vessel going down during the night. What finally alleviates her troubled mind is the sight of an overweight lady, because bearing in mind that “fat girls float best”, she (the future nurse) would make a beeline for the lady and hold onto her if the boat went down.

An insightful and amusing read. ( )
  PhilSyphe | Dec 23, 2014 |
Now I'm on a bit of an Alcott jaunt, I delved into this one. I'd always heard about it but never seen a copy. I read it off my old pal, Project Gutenberg, and it was a bit suprising; a jaunty fictionalized account of Alcott's experiences as a nurse during the Civil War. She writes as a New England spinster (Tribulation Periwinkle, I kid you not) and it is quite light-spirited and even feisty at times. Suprising but very interesting and easy to read.
  amyem58 | Jul 3, 2014 |
You really get a sense of Alcott’s voice here, and of her time. She’s got a little Florence Nightengale going, and a little of the class clown. She describes Washington DC in the Civil War era, and she’s a compassionate and aware observer. ( )
  astrologerjenny | Apr 24, 2013 |
This book made me laugh. I know that's not what you're expecting to hear, and it wasn't what I was expecting to do, but nevertheless, even though I felt I was doing something wrong, or reading it the wrong way, I did laugh. Louisa May Alcott is extremely witty in this book, in the way she describes settings, people, and interactions. It had sad parts, but it wasn't the tear jerker I thought it would be. For me this was an easy read, which I wasn't expecting either, but I really liked it. I read it as a follow up to the Glory Cloak, and I woud recommend to anyone who liked that book. I would also recommend it to anyone who thinks Louisa May Alcott is dry and hard to read - this was a kicker. ( )
  E.J | Apr 3, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
"I want something to do."
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0918222788, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:35 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

An army nurse's true account of her experience during the Civil War.

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.89)
0.5
1
1.5
2 3
2.5
3 14
3.5 10
4 33
4.5 3
5 15

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 130,802,466 books! | Top bar: Always visible