Hospital Sketches by Louisa May Alcott – Forgotten Classics – Paperback Edition



Available on backorder

Hospital Sketches by Louisa May Alcott with cover art by Haleigh DeRocher

This is the complete and unabridged text of Louisa May Alcott’s book, Hospital Sketches. This edition is available exclusively in the Sweet Sequels shop. This beautiful paperback edition features original cover art.

Hospital Sketches was published in 1863. When the Civil War broke out, Louisa May Alcott, left at home with the other womenfolk, said: “As I can’t fight, I will content myself with working with those who can.” So she moved to Washington DC and began working as a nurse. During these months, she wrote home to her family in Concord about her experiences in the hospital. It’s these letters on which Hospital Sketches is based. Though slightly altered and fictionalized, the sketches are virtually authentic to Alcott’s experience. The pieces received great critical and popular acclaim, making Alcott an overnight success.
Alcott, who was a abolitionist and feminist, kickstarted her writing career in 1860 writing stories for a magazine called The Atlantic Monthly. Hospital Sketches was her first published work that brought her public acclaim. After this, in an effort to raise money for her family, she began writing thriller stories under a penname. These stories were inspired by the likes of Wilkie Collins and Mary Elizabeth Braddon: fiery and sensational, and – some would say – improper for the Victorian woman to write.
In 1868, Alcott wrote and published the immediately successful Little Women, and soon after abandoned her thriller stories for more novels depicting domestic experience and personal relationships. Little Women was a semi-autobiographical account of her childhood in Concord, Massachusetts with her three sisters. She depicted herself in Jo, and the experiences of Meg, Beth, and Amy were similar to the experiences of Louisa’s sisters Anna, Elizabeth, and Abigail respectively. Many of Alcott’s earlier novels are no longer published and remain relatively unknown.
“A hospital is a rough school, its lessons are both stern and salutary; and the humblest of pupils there in proportion to his faithfulness learns a deep faith in God and in himself.”

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