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Summary

When the First World War broke out, the suffragettes suspended their campaigning and joined the war effort. For pioneering suffragette doctors (and life partners) Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson that meant moving to France, where they set up two small military hospitals amidst fierce opposition. 

Yet their medical and organisational skills were so impressive that in 1915 Flora and Louisa were asked by the War Ministry to return to London and establish a new military hospital in a vast and derelict old workhouse in Covent Garden's Endell Street. That they did, creating a 573-bed hospital staffed from top to bottom by female surgeons, doctors and nurses, and developing entirely new techniques to deal with the horrific mortar and gas injuries suffered by British soldiers. Receiving 28,000 wounded men over the next four years, Flora and Louisa created such a caring atmosphere that soldiers begged to be sent to Endell Street. And then, following the end of the war and the Spanish Flu outbreak, the hospital was closed and Flora, Louisa and their staff were once again sidelined in the medical profession. 

The story of Endell Street provides both a keyhole view into the horrors and thrills of wartime London and a long-overdue tribute to the brilliance and bravery of an extraordinary group of women.

©2020 Wendy Moore (P)2020 W. F. Howes Ltd

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annoying voice

I can hardly listen to the story because the narrator sounds like she's reading to children, over pronouncing every word and trying to show us how the story should make us feel, as if the listener is new to language. It sounds like she's winking - aren't the ladies cheeky!?!? FFS. Absolutely unbearable.

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A story worth telling, but....

An important and interesting story but so repetitive, it could have been half the length. Where was the editor in all this? The narration was clearly articulated but I could have done without the estuary twang, irritating and not very appropriate for the period. Also, her emphases were all wrong, as if she didn't understand what she was reading, which was so maddening.

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Great Disappointment.

i was greatly looking forward to listening to this book. It has been a dreadful disappointment. The book itself could have done with some vigorous editing as it was painfully repetitious. The narration made it ten times worse. The narrator did not seem to know the correct pronunciation of many common words. I thought her phrasing, emphasis and breathing was hopeless time and time again. It was painful to liisten to. There were other mistakes which had not been edited out. Please don't waste our time by producing or selling such a poor standard of product. Audible " I did not enjoy this audiobook"!

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Interesting story- shame about the narration

This was my pick for our bookclub read. We all agreed that it was an interesting story which we were glad to know but that it felt more like a magazine article stretched to fill out a book. Far too much repetitive detail (based on no doubt meticulous research) and not nearly enough real sense of engagement with the characters. Less would certainly have been more (at least for the bulk of the book). At times it read like Enid Blyton. Two of our group gave up and did not finish, which is a shame as the main emotional punch of the book comes near the end. And for the two of us who were listening to the audio version, the narrator's ponderous delivery and her frequent inability to deal well with sub-clauses and quotations made it a tedious listen. Pity.

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  • Jean
  • 03-05-20

Riveting

This is the story of the struggle by British physicians/surgeons and nurses for the right to an education/training in the field of medicine and for the right to practice their profession. Slowly they got to the point they were allow to care for women and children, but forbitten to treat men. World War One and the influenza pandemic changed their roles. This is the story of the all women run British Military Hospital called Endell Street Military Hospital.

Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson both physicians/surgeons went to France in 1914 with the British Red Cross and started an all women hospital for the care of all wounded. It was highly successful and impressed a few key British high-ranking officers. They returned to England in 1915 and built the Endell Street Hospital from an old building. It was the largest all women run military hospital. It was famous for being extremely clean (Florence Nightingale would have been proud). During the 1917-18 pandemic they had barriers between beds; staff all wore masks and gowns. The hospital was continuously scrubbed clean. Moore published a book called “No Man’s Land”, but I believe it is the same book under different title. I found this book fascinating. The treatment of not only the women in the medical field after WWI but all the women that stepped up and carried on the work was despicable, but not unexpected. Women may have been blocked again from an education or right to work, but at least they got the right to vote. I highly recommend this book. It held my attention throughout.

The book is fourteen hours and thirty minutes. Antonia Davies does an excellent job narrating the book. Davies is a British actress and audiobook narrator.

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  • marykk
  • 16-04-20

Superb coverage of women doctors in WWI

After reading this you won't be surprised to learn that much has changed for women and, at times, surprisingly little. The women featured here are simply amazing. Anderson and Murray were the first women to run a military hospital as surgeons with military rank. What strength, what stamina! Give this to your daughters to read as an example of what women can accomplish, often despite men and not because of them!