Notes from the past


One of the joys of writing historical fiction is getting to play in the sandbox of the past. With the The Girl in the Glass now in production, I am putting away my Italian Renaissance books and  hunting now for books for the next project, which includes an encounter with scarlet fever circa 1911. So I’ve been traipsing about the Internet looking for used books to take me to the previous century and I came upon this little treasure for a couple bucks. It’s official title is “Infectious Diseases and Aseptic Nursing Technique – A Handbook for Nurses,” by Dennett L. Thompson, M.D. Its copyright date is 1927, so a few years off my target date, but not a bad place to start. 

The cool thing about this book is its homemade cover; you know, the kind you put on your textbook when you are at a school where the books for class are not yours and you must cover them or risk eternal peril. I am thinking this little volume made the rounds at nursing schools and its cover, which looks nearly like something from Hogwarts, is the homemade cover one of the students made. Even more intriguing are all the notes inside the front cover. It seems when you passed on the book to the next nursing student, you needed to leave a little note of encouragement. (I wonder if Puss is not a cat, but maybe a misspelling of pus. Thoughts, anyone?).

And here’s the thing that made me chuckle the most. The author, dear Dr. Thompson, dedicated his book on infectious diseases. To his wife.
Now there’s something you don’t see everyday.
Back to the writing and researching…

Author: Susan

This post has 4 Comments

  1. Beverly Nault on June 1, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    That is way cool. I'm so glad the reseller didn't “disinfect” and remove the cover, aren't you? No comment on the Puss vs pus inscription, but from my experience, when you have a friend or family member in medical training, it's best not to ask too many questions unless you're prepared to know the gory details.

  2. Susan Meissner on June 1, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Oh, Beverly. You made me laugh out loud! Thanks…

  3. Anonymous on June 4, 2012 at 5:33 am

    I hope your research leads you to Mrs. Thompson. Really like to know what she thought of that dedication. 🙂

    Mary Kay

  4. pinkdaisyjane on June 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Going with the theory that “Puss” was NOT a cat *shudder*.

    On a side note. Framingham, MA is an hour from me. Seeing that note made me smile. Framingham Union Hospital is still there, under a different name 🙂

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