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Veiled Warriors

Allied Nurses of the First World War

Christine E. Hallett



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Oxford University Press
05 November 2020
Caring for the wounded of the First World War was tough and challenging work, demanding extensive knowledge, technical skill, and high levels of commitment. Although allied nurses were admired in their own time for their altruism and courage, their image was distorted by the lens of popular mythology. They came to be seen as self-sacrificing heroines, romantic foils to the male combatant and doctors' handmaidens, rather than being appreciated as trained professionals performing significant work in their own right. Christine Hallett challenges these myths to reveal the true story of allied nursing in the First World War -- one which is both more complex and more absorbing. Drawing upon evidence from archives across the world, Veiled Warriors offers a compelling account of nurses' wartime experiences and a clear appraisal of their work and its contribution to the allied cause between 1914 and 1918, on both the Western and the Eastern Fronts. Nurses believed they were involved in a multi-layered battle. Primarily, they were fighting for the lives of their patients on the 'second battlefield' of casualty clearing stations, transports, and military hospitals. Beyond this, they were an integral component of the allied military machine, putting their own lives at risk in field hospitals close to the front lines, on board hospital ships vulnerable to enemy submarine attack, and in base hospitals subject to heavy bombardment. As working women in a sometimes hostile, chauvinistic world, allied nurses were also fighting to gain recognition for their profession and political rights for their sex. For them, military nursing might help to win not only the war itself, but also a more powerful voice for women in the post-war world.
By:   Christine E. Hallett
Imprint:   Oxford University Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 217mm,  Width: 135mm,  Spine: 28mm
Weight:   412g
ISBN:   9780198703709
ISBN 10:   0198703708
Pages:   384
Publication Date:   05 November 2020
Audience:   College/higher education ,  A / AS level ,  Further / Higher Education
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Christine Hallett is Professor of Nursing History at the University of Huddersfield, Chair of the UK Association for the History of Nursing, and President of the European Association for the History of Nursing. She is a trained nurse and health visitor, and holds PhDs in both Nursing and History. Her main research focus for the last ten years has been on the work of nurses during the First World War. Among her publications are: Containing Trauma: Nursing Work in the First World War 2e Edition (Manchester University Press, 2011); Veiled Warriors: Allied Nurses of the First World War (Oxford University Press, 2014); Nurse Writers of the Great War (Manchester University Press, 2016); and Nurses of Passchendaele (Pen and Sword Books, 2017).

Reviews for Veiled Warriors: Allied Nurses of the First World War

because Hallett is able to draw upon extensive clinical and professional knowledge to support her literary and historical research, she is able to bring a further dimension to her interpretation and analysis of these sources, adding a much greater depth to her study. It is this combination of historian and medical practitioner underlying the narrative that gives it the depth to tread new ground so convincingly ... The result is highly readable and will appeal to a range of audiences, general as well as academic readers. Overall, Hallett orchestrates this chorus with great proficiency, making a very significant contribution to our understanding of women's history of the First World War. * Angela K. Smith, American Historical Review * Christine Hallett's book is a powerful and compelling account of professional nursing during the First World War. Immensely readable, Veiled Warriors presents an eloquent appraisal of nursing's vital contribution to the care of wounded service personnel and its role in wider medical efforts. Christine Hallett has used some incredibly strong individual stories to illustrate her case and poses a masterful challenge to many of the myths that exist about nursing during the conflict. This was a truly significant period in the development of nursing and Veiled Warriors is set to be essential reading for those of us interested in this fascinating time for the profession. * Dr Peter Carter OBE, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing * Immaculately researched, this is an authoritative and objective history of nurses both professional and voluntary in the First World War. * Baroness Shirley Williams * The book is a resplendent testimony to the nurses of the First World War. * Jim Young, Glycosmedia * This book serves as a useful and interesting guide to this neglected part of World War One. * Peter Howson, Methodist Recorder * Military nursing was not only about winning the war, it was also about women gaining recognition for their profession and political rights for their sex ... as this excellent book so amply demonstrates. * Good Book Guide * [A] highly informative, thoroughly researched, and admirably organized book We can be grateful that Christine Hallett's Veiled Warriors now exists to so effectively set the record straight. * Roads to the Great War, David F. Beer * This brilliant and highly informative book describes the conditions of Allied nurses during the First World War... This is altogether a masterly account of a fascinating if horrific historical period. * Network Review * This book adds vastly to our body of knowledge, research and understanding of historical nursing, First World War nursing either from nurses within the UK or abroad. It would make a wonderful addition to all nurses' bookcase. * Nursing Times, Jane Brocksom *

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