Why Louisa May Alcott has Dorothea Dix to thank for her nursing career

Here’s an interesting article about Dorothea Dix, the powerhouse behind the organizatio of women nurses for the Civil War (the first time women were allowed to serve as nurses). Louisa May Alcott served under Dix:

“ . . . Thirty-year-old Louisa May Alcott, the author of Little Women who nursed at Union Hospital in Washington, admired [Dorothea] Dix but steered clear of her personally, admitting that “no one likes her and I don’t wonder.”

Here’s the link to the full article by Judith Giesberg of the New York Times:
Ms. Dix Comes to Washington.

Louisa’s first successful book, Hospital Sketches, was based upon her experiences as a nurse at the Union Hotel Hospital in Washington, DC. She also wrote other essays and stories based upon her Civil War experiences which is compiled in a book called Louisa May Alcott’s Civil War (contains Hospital Sketches).

For those of you who live within earshot of Concord, there’s a free lecture taking place at The Wayside (next door to Orchard House) on May 25 at 7 pm called “Writing the Civil War.” Check out the Events page for details (scroll down to MASSACHUSETTS). I hope to attend, maybe I’ll see some of you there! While the subject matter is of great interest, seeing The Wayside is just as much of a draw since so much of Little Women was based on Louisa’s life at that house (formerly known as Hillside).

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