Civil War Hospital Sketches



Before her wider fame as the author of Little Women, Louisa May Alcott achieved recognition for her accounts of her work as a volunteer nurse in an army hospital. Written during the winter of 1862–63, her lively dispatches appeared in the newspaper Commonwealth, where they were eagerly read by soldiers’ friends and families. Then, as now, these chronicles revealed the desperate realities of battlefield medicine as well as the tentative first steps of women in military service.
Writing under…

The Tragedy of Childbed Fever



Childbed fever was by the far the most common cause of deaths associated with childbirth up to the Second World War throughout Britain and Europe. Otherwise known as puerperal fever, it was an infection which followed childbirth and caused thousands of miserable and agonising deaths every year. This book provides the first comprehensive account of this tragic disease from its recognition in the eighteenth century up to the second half of the twentieth century. Examining this within a broad…