PBS’s new Civil War hospital drama is great! But what to do between episodes? Well, you could read Gone With the Wind–it has a lot of hospital scenes in it–and that amputation scene aside, most are way better in the book than in the movie. [And, for the record, NO I don’t like the way she portrayed the slaves or their speech. And, NO, I don’t think Rhett was a wife-raper. So that clears that up and we can move on now.] Beyond GWTW what books would someone enjoy reading if they were into Civil War medicine?
If you’re like me, you’ll have to go read the first ten books in this series first! I love Monk and love Hester. This is an all-time favorite series of mine, but be warned: this is not a Victorian version of Downton Abbey. This is backstreets, dire-poverty, dirty-doings Victorian London. In this book though Monk and Hester end up in America on an errand of Mercy. Hester’s background lets her be of some help. I’ll let you read the rest. Slaves of Obsession by Anne Perry.
I recently reviewed this book for the general reader, but there is a lot here to interest those fascinated by Civil War medicine. Yes, it’s a Middle Grades to Young Adult book, but I never pay attention to those designations. A good book is a good book. This one has a good part of its story set in Civil War hospital. Again, it is hard to say more without spoiling the story, but does the word “Andersonville” ring any bells? Then get the book and read it! Like a River by Kathy Cannon Weichman.
Is your book club looking to diversify? Try this SUPER Christian novel by Lynn Austin. Fire by Night has it all–rebellion (and not just that of the south!), personal growth, romance, war, misery, joy. I seldom recommend Christian novels, but I’ve all but shouted from the roof tops about this one! I dearly wish Mrs. Austin would give us a sequel to this one. It’s that good. Fire by Night by Lynn Austin.
Louisa May Alcott’s classic, Little Women, features a father in the hospital in the Civil War, but did you know she also wrote a volume called Hospital Sketches? She was among the first nurses to write about her experiences. This book is also recommended by the PBS Mercy Street page. Hospital Sketches by Louisa May Alcott.
Do you have other titles on Civil War medicine to recommend? Fiction, non-fiction, biography or memoirs–all are welcome. Leave a comment with your suggestions.