Hospital Sketches as it first appeared, serialized in the Boston Commonwealth Newspaper

Here is a great find, thanks to our friend JBee - PDF versions of the Boston Commonwealth which serialized Hospital Sketches before it was published as a book. There is a page of additional information and citations for each PDF. There other files as well, not related to Hospital Sketches, including  letters that were published …

Review of “Louisa on the Front Lines” by Samantha Seiple

Many fans of Little Women are not aware of the fact that Louisa May Alcott, a bestselling children's author, also served her country during the Civil War as a nurse.  Because of her experience in taking care of her dying sister Lizzie, Alcott was accepted as a nurse, serving in Washington, DC in the Union …

Finding the “prince of patients”—John Matteson discovers the whereabouts of John Suhre from Hospital Sketches

On Saturday, April 2 many of us had the distinct pleasure of hearing Pulitzer-prize-winning author John Matteson speak at the Colonial Inn in Concord for the Friends of Sleepy Hollow’s annual breakfast. His talk was titled “How Nurse Alcott Earned Her Star: The Author of Little Women and the Civil War.” He was referring to …

Louisa May Alcott as grief counselor (on the fifth anniversary of this blog)

My obsession with Louisa played out in a rather odd way. Never a big reader until a few years ago, I’d find myself reading a biographical account of Louisa’s life (rather than read her own words) every few years. This began after reading Martha Saxton’s biography. After the reading (usually done during the autumn months) …

Places that are redemptive, and damning: Monday presentation by Stephen Burby at the Summer Conversational Series

Note: Mr. Burby kindly gave me his presentation (handwritten notes and all) in lieu of the fact that I was unable to attend the Monday session of the Summer Conversational Series. I thank him for doing so. This is a longer post than usual as I found his presentation to be quite thought-provoking. * * * …

Like Louisa May Alcott, many women served as Civil War nurses in various capacities

I recently reviewed an interactive book-on-app called Civil War Truce for a Catholic website (see review). It was developed by the 5-woman team of Davis Studio. Civil War Truce tells the fascinating story of a young nun, Sr. Mary Lucy Dosh, whose lovely singing and tender care impacted the lives of countless Civil War soldiers. …

Alcott Immersion Warning: the wondrous things that can happen when you study too much!

After four years of constant reading, study, writing and pondering on one family, I think I understand now how actors prepare for their roles, and the subsequent consequences of their immersion into their characters. Taking on the Louisa persona I'm acquainted with a couple of people (Jan Turnquist and Marianne Donnelly) who, as actresses, take …