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No Man's Land: The Trailblazing Women Who Ran Britain’s Most Extraordinary Military Hospital During World War I

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Discover the true story of two pioneering suffragette doctors who transformed modern medicine, raised standards for patient care, and shattered social expectations for women in WWI-era London. A month after war broke out in 1914, doctors Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson set out for Paris, where they opened a hospital in a luxury hotel and treated hundreds of casualt Discover the true story of two pioneering suffragette doctors who transformed modern medicine, raised standards for patient care, and shattered social expectations for women in WWI-era London. A month after war broke out in 1914, doctors Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson set out for Paris, where they opened a hospital in a luxury hotel and treated hundreds of casualties plucked from France's battlefields. Although, prior to the war, female doctors were restricted to treating women and children, Flora and Louisa's work was so successful that the British Army asked them to set up a hospital in the heart of London. Nicknamed the Suffragettes' Hospital, Endell Street soon became known for its lifesaving treatments and lively atmosphere. In No Man's Land, Wendy Moore illuminates this turbulent moment when women were, for the first time, allowed to operate on men. Their fortitude and brilliance serve as powerful reminders of what women can achieve against all odds.


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Discover the true story of two pioneering suffragette doctors who transformed modern medicine, raised standards for patient care, and shattered social expectations for women in WWI-era London. A month after war broke out in 1914, doctors Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson set out for Paris, where they opened a hospital in a luxury hotel and treated hundreds of casualt Discover the true story of two pioneering suffragette doctors who transformed modern medicine, raised standards for patient care, and shattered social expectations for women in WWI-era London. A month after war broke out in 1914, doctors Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson set out for Paris, where they opened a hospital in a luxury hotel and treated hundreds of casualties plucked from France's battlefields. Although, prior to the war, female doctors were restricted to treating women and children, Flora and Louisa's work was so successful that the British Army asked them to set up a hospital in the heart of London. Nicknamed the Suffragettes' Hospital, Endell Street soon became known for its lifesaving treatments and lively atmosphere. In No Man's Land, Wendy Moore illuminates this turbulent moment when women were, for the first time, allowed to operate on men. Their fortitude and brilliance serve as powerful reminders of what women can achieve against all odds.

30 review for No Man's Land: The Trailblazing Women Who Ran Britain’s Most Extraordinary Military Hospital During World War I

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    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 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. I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible. 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.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship

    3.5 stars This book about an entirely female-run hospital during WWI reminds me strongly of A Woman of No Importance and Ashley's War: all three are highly readable books about impressive women and their wartime contributions, people and stories I’m glad to have learned more about. All three also feel a bit stretched beyond their natural length to reach the standard roughly 300 pages, with narratives of repeated or similar experiences, or in-depth chapters about relatively minor or unsurprising e 3.5 stars This book about an entirely female-run hospital during WWI reminds me strongly of A Woman of No Importance and Ashley's War: all three are highly readable books about impressive women and their wartime contributions, people and stories I’m glad to have learned more about. All three also feel a bit stretched beyond their natural length to reach the standard roughly 300 pages, with narratives of repeated or similar experiences, or in-depth chapters about relatively minor or unsurprising events. This book is extensively researched and sourced, so I don’t have the concern I did with the other two about unsourced thoughts and feelings; the author seems on solid ground with her narrative while keeping the story engaging. However, in turning it into a narrative the author presents the similar experiences of several different hospital staff, and repeated similar events, beyond the point at which any of this is new. The book begins with Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson, two doctors heavily involved in Britain’s suffragette movement, which at the time WWI broke out was resorting to civil disobedience and hunger strikes. Anderson actually spent time in prison while Murray treated hunger strikers and possibly helped some escape the authorities. When WWI began, the suffragettes suspended activity, and the two women organized a contingent of doctors, nurses and orderlies to travel to Paris, where they set up a voluntary hospital for wounded soldiers under the auspices of the French Red Cross. Their success led to opening a second hospital in France for the British military, and finally to opening Endell Street Military Hospital in London (as well as several auxiliary hospitals), which treated wounded soldiers for the remainder of the war and the flu pandemic that followed. All the hospitals employed exclusively female doctors and nurses and primarily female orderlies, handling tasks that up till then the establishment had claimed women were unable to do, from carrying stretchers to treating venereal diseases and performing surgeries. They successfully treated thousands of wounded soldiers while losing very few, and their work contributed to British women finally getting the vote and to increased opportunity for female doctors. I was glad to learn about this slice of history and found it readable and engaging. Moore relies in large part on the letters of various doctors, staff, volunteers and patients to paint a picture of the hospital, which gives the writing a personal touch. She also doesn’t hide the inevitable workplace conflicts, as some of the staff and volunteers found their bosses difficult, though on the whole they seem to have been a close-knit group united by hard work and shared purpose. There’s an uncomfortable truth here, in that the war—which killed approximately 16 million soldiers and civilians (not counting subsequent flu deaths) and left staggering numbers injured—was for many of the medical staff the time of their lives, offering the greatest professional opportunity and sense of purpose that they’d ever have, while making peace between previously warring elements of British society. Murray and Anderson pretty explicitly intended theirs as “the suffragettes’ hospital,” meant to prove the worth of female practitioners—which they absolutely did, while treating soldiers even softened their views on men. Several reviewers have commented on the relationship between Murray and Anderson and the relative paucity of space addressing it in the text. That paucity isn’t the author’s fault, though: no letters between them survived, nor did Murray’s wartime journal, and Moore is up-front with the information she does have. The two were clearly life partners, and while Moore isn’t willing to say definitively that they were a couple in the sexual sense, that’s for good reason. While their relationship seems very obviously that of a married couple today (wearing matching rings, owning property together, etc.), this was not at all the assumption of their contemporaries. They lived in a society in which marriage was typically the death knell for a woman’s career, whether due to social expectations or explicit policies preventing the hiring of married women (which existed in abundance), and respectable middle-class women were hardly going to “live in sin.” As a result, professional women often cohabited in long-term partnerships with each other without being assumed to be lesbians. I’m still inclined to think these two were a couple even in today’s sense, but when analyzing history we ought to keep our society’s biases in mind, and we live in one in which any devoted, non-familial (and sometimes even familial!) relationship is assumed to be sexual. Other cultures, including theirs, allow a much wider scope to friendship. Overall, I enjoyed this book; it’s a relatively quick read, and I learned from it and was impressed by the accomplishments of the women depicted. I don’t have much background on WWI and while this book doesn’t delve into the war beyond the immediate engagements sending casualties to Endell Street, it was still more than I knew before. Seeing how much technology and medical practices evolved in a few short years was particularly interesting. The book is perhaps a bit padded but certainly worth a read for those interested in the subject matter.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rose

    I won this book in the goodreads giveaway. Being a nurse I was very interested in the war/medical aspects of this book. I believe in women being equal to men doctors. I was rather surprised to find the violence used by the women's groups to obtain their end of equality. It should be noted to other readers that the 2 lead characters the book focuses on are Lesbians. As I said I am more interested in the war & the medical aspects so this book was not what I was looking for. I did pass it on to whe I won this book in the goodreads giveaway. Being a nurse I was very interested in the war/medical aspects of this book. I believe in women being equal to men doctors. I was rather surprised to find the violence used by the women's groups to obtain their end of equality. It should be noted to other readers that the 2 lead characters the book focuses on are Lesbians. As I said I am more interested in the war & the medical aspects so this book was not what I was looking for. I did pass it on to where I thought it would be most useful.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Judi

    I received this ARC free from the publisher. This is my honest review. I rarely get to read about pioneering women I had never heard of, so when "No Man's Land" arrived for my review, I was intrigued. The story of Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson's collaboration to bring quality medical care to the Allied Forces during WWI while proving women could run a military hospital as well as any man is one that I thoroughly enjoyed. Murray and Garrett Anderson were each a force to be reckoned with I received this ARC free from the publisher. This is my honest review. I rarely get to read about pioneering women I had never heard of, so when "No Man's Land" arrived for my review, I was intrigued. The story of Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson's collaboration to bring quality medical care to the Allied Forces during WWI while proving women could run a military hospital as well as any man is one that I thoroughly enjoyed. Murray and Garrett Anderson were each a force to be reckoned with, but when they teamed up, nothing could stand in their way. Their names deserve recognition at the same levels as Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony and Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Murray and G.A. were both encouraged as young girls to pursue their dreams despite any obstacles. So even in a time when women doctors were relegated to hospitals for women and children, these two women plied all their skill and talent where they could and campaigned for women's rights as suffragettes. When WWI broke out, these two saw an opportunity and took it. They opened the first all-women military hospital in Paris, France (the British military was not interested in their help at that time), and proved their worth. This was but the first of several all-women-run hospitals they ran during WWI - ultimately for the British Army. Murray, in fact, became the highest-ranking female in the British forces during that time. While focused on Murray and Garrett Anderson, the story expands to highlight many of the other women surgeons, nurses, and orderlies that worked in one of the many military hospitals they founded. It provides enough background on the Allied failures and successes to inform the reader on how the war drove medical science and how work at Murray and G.A.'s hospitals improved the condition of all injured British soldiers. Of a timely note, there is a cautionary tale of the Spanish Flu and how its three waves could provide insight into how the current Covid-19 pandemic could play out if not managed well. These were two women who found themselves at the cusp of change and grabbed it by the horns. Their efforts were not always successful, and they did not win every battle. Still, they pushed the limits of suffrage and medical science, paving the way for the multitude of women doctors we consider normal over 100 years later. Note: there have been comments about violence in this book. I found the violence well within context and by no means graphic or gratuitous. While Murray and Garrett Anderson were very likely lesbians (they never declared one way or the other), their sexual preferences never play into the overarching story of women coming together to confront a denigrating status quo. At its core, this is a book about women taking the opportunity to show the world they are far more capable than many might assume.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cassidy

    Interesting story about some very heroic, trailblazing women, but it often felt repetitive with extremely similar stories being reiterated many times throughout the book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Grigsby

    I hated for this book to end! It was an amazing true story of three all female military hospitals in WWI run by Dr. Flora Murray and Dr, Louisa Garrett Anderson. The stories of their harrowing work in Paris and then in London was completely riveting. And after nursing WWI soldiers back to health for four miserable years, the Spanish Flu epidemic hit patients and staff. Wendy Moore has written a remarkable book!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Dry in parts but interesting research on Doctors Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson. I feel like for a historian in 2020 to feel the need to say "It's impossible to say whether Murray and Anderson enjoyed a sexual relationship... but they certainly forged a lifelong loving bond" is unfortunate - loads of historical straight couples never had kids so there's no "proof" of their sexual relationship, but you wouldn't feel the need to write a disclaimer after researching how they're buried in a Dry in parts but interesting research on Doctors Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson. I feel like for a historian in 2020 to feel the need to say "It's impossible to say whether Murray and Anderson enjoyed a sexual relationship... but they certainly forged a lifelong loving bond" is unfortunate - loads of historical straight couples never had kids so there's no "proof" of their sexual relationship, but you wouldn't feel the need to write a disclaimer after researching how they're buried in a shared grave with the inscription "We have been gloriously happy"/wore matching rings/lived together/told family they hated being apart/Anderson in her will leaving her rings to her "nieces in love" (Murray's nieces)/Murray leaving everything in her will to Anderson, etc. Calling their love story a "loving bond" seems insubstantial and in general their relationship felt downplayed.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

    This is one of the best books I've ever read, particularly non-fiction. It is the story of Endell Street Military Hospital, in the Covent Garden area of London. Started in 1915 during the first World War, it was the only hospital founded by women, and where all of the medical staff (doctors, surgeons) and most of the administrative staff were women. It was started by Doctors Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson. If you have any interest at all in women's history, medical history, and/or World This is one of the best books I've ever read, particularly non-fiction. It is the story of Endell Street Military Hospital, in the Covent Garden area of London. Started in 1915 during the first World War, it was the only hospital founded by women, and where all of the medical staff (doctors, surgeons) and most of the administrative staff were women. It was started by Doctors Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson. If you have any interest at all in women's history, medical history, and/or World War I, you should read this book. It outlines the struggles of women who were trained in the few programs available to them to become physicians. Once their training was finished, job opportunities were few and far between. The two women who founded Endell Street were also active in the suffrage movement, and during the war, proved without a doubt that women were capable of so much more than society wanted or expected them to be. The book talks not just about the struggles of the two founders, but Britain's problems during the first world war, where to some extent, women became "allowed" to do jobs not open to them before out of necessity. Murray and Anderson started their journeys by volunteering to set up a hospital for France; once they made a success of it, the British Army took notice. And even though they were allowed to set up Endell Street, they still had to fight for so much, and were never really treated the same as male doctors and military hospitals. But in the end, they prevailed and were able to save many lives and treat hundreds upon hundreds of soldiers. When the war ended, they were still overcome by victims of the Spanish flu, and the hospital didn't actually close until December 1919. The author introduces us to so many of the women who worked there, and gives us their stories. It's really a group of amazing people, literally operating in a world hesitant to accept them. The stories of both the women and the hospital are riveting, and full of so much information that is absorbed while reading the book that you don't even consciously realize that it's actual history. To go into any detail would make this review way too long. So I will just say, you should read this book. It shows us how much has changed for women, and also (unfortunately) how much remains the same.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lisa May

    One for the keeper shelf. A really well-told history, of women in medicine, of health care in World War I, of doctors and patients, and of the home front in Britain as well.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Robin Mandell

    Round up to 4.5 stars. This was excellent. Well-researched and not at all dry. I would have liked to hear more about the research process. Gathering all that material must have been fascinating and challenging.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Brandi D'angelo

    This book could've been called "No Man's Land In A Man's World." It tells the heroic story of two tenacious women who not only worked tirelessly during World War One, saving thousands upon thousands of lives, but also paved the way for women to come in the areas of voting, working in the medical field, and obtaining an education and certification in the medical field. For years, doors had been closed on women wishing to become doctors, but that would start to change after WWI. The "man's world" This book could've been called "No Man's Land In A Man's World." It tells the heroic story of two tenacious women who not only worked tirelessly during World War One, saving thousands upon thousands of lives, but also paved the way for women to come in the areas of voting, working in the medical field, and obtaining an education and certification in the medical field. For years, doors had been closed on women wishing to become doctors, but that would start to change after WWI. The "man's world" of medicine was about to be invaded. Louisa Garrett Anderson and Flora Murray set up and ran two military hospitals in France, and also set up another hospital in London. They entered a "no man's land," learning to treat devastating war wounds such as severed limbs, gaping holes into the brain, abdomen and elsewhere, bacterial infections, and shellshock. This was a whole other world compared to the minor emergencies they had dealt with before, such as appendicitis or a bone fracture. Being women, they brought their strengths and a motherly touch to hospital care. They used colorful blankets, flowers, music, tasty food, and entertainment to the medical wards. To keep the patients busy, they even taught them needlework. This meant so much to the patients, that they and their families wrote thank-yous and sent donations long after their stays. An amazing side story of No Man's Land is the strong outpouring of volunteer help and donations to the war cause, specifically to the hospitals. Volunteers came from around the world, including Australia and the United States. And until the hospitals came under the wing of the Army, all of the supplies were donated by the doctors themselves, their friends, and others who heard about the needs. Fathers of the doctors and nurses donated their time as orderlies, drove ambulances, and some even made crutches and designed artificial limbs. It truly was a combined, heroic effort on a monumental scale. At times I felt this story was too long and too repetitive (same stories, different locations and characters,) but I see now the importance of all that detail. We can never forget one, the horror of war, and two, the heroic people who stepped up and fought for it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Brook

    Six stars. Hands-down the best book I have read in 2021 so far. Two women did something that would have made them "complete ****ing badasses" if they did it today...but they did it 100 years ago when women didn't even have the right to vote, serve in the military, or (in Britain) practice as doctors. If you were well off, you went to finishing school, got married, and attended costume parties in country mansions. These women opened a freaking hospital in a war zone, all on their own, and staffed Six stars. Hands-down the best book I have read in 2021 so far. Two women did something that would have made them "complete ****ing badasses" if they did it today...but they did it 100 years ago when women didn't even have the right to vote, serve in the military, or (in Britain) practice as doctors. If you were well off, you went to finishing school, got married, and attended costume parties in country mansions. These women opened a freaking hospital in a war zone, all on their own, and staffed it entirely with women. Oh, and they were suffragettes who were also fighting to get women the vote and for general gender equality...while operating a hospital in time of war. Again, this was over 100 years ago. I Could. Not. Put. This. Book. Down. I sincerely predict that Hollywood will turn this into a movie once it gets wider readership. No one has told this (complete) story yet, although one of the "stars" of the book did write her account (it was woefully incomplete and one-sided). This book is the result of *amazing* research by the author. The writing itself moves so quickly that you really do feel as if you are there, but it's not a novel, it's real life told by a talented author. If stories like those of Hidden Figures - or other stories where a disadvantaged class is simply told "you can't do that," and they do it anyway - are your jam, pick this up.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Zoe's Human

    No Man's Land is an intriguing look at the full history of a military hospital run by women. When World War I broke out, the suffragists of Britain stepped up to contribute to the war effort in areas previously unheard of for women. Despite great upfront resistance, the Endell Street Hospital became one of the most respected military hospitals, a frontrunner in experimental medicine and successful treatment. While the book is well-written and well-researched, it is occasionally dry. It also has No Man's Land is an intriguing look at the full history of a military hospital run by women. When World War I broke out, the suffragists of Britain stepped up to contribute to the war effort in areas previously unheard of for women. Despite great upfront resistance, the Endell Street Hospital became one of the most respected military hospitals, a frontrunner in experimental medicine and successful treatment. While the book is well-written and well-researched, it is occasionally dry. It also has the feel of being perhaps somewhat unnuanced in its desire to present the hospital, and the impressive accomplishments of its staff, in the best possible light. Nevertheless, it is an interesting read that provides a unique insight into the history of suffrage, World War I, and even a look at the Spanish Flu. I received a complimentary copy of this book via a Goodreads giveaway. Many thanks to all involved in providing me with this opportunity.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Caupp

    An extremely interesting book about some of the pioneering women doctor who ran military hospitals during World War I. Showing that women were capable surgeons and leaders. I had never heard of the Endell Street Hospital. It was fascinating to learn that women from many countries came to work and treat patients at the hospital. It was frustrating as always to read about all the women did and then hear how they were shunted to the side after the war, although not unexpected. I have read several b An extremely interesting book about some of the pioneering women doctor who ran military hospitals during World War I. Showing that women were capable surgeons and leaders. I had never heard of the Endell Street Hospital. It was fascinating to learn that women from many countries came to work and treat patients at the hospital. It was frustrating as always to read about all the women did and then hear how they were shunted to the side after the war, although not unexpected. I have read several books about the many types of work women in the U. S. and Europe did to serve during the war without the same benefits. And every time once men started to come home the women were pushed out. Why, especially in the past but even today, that men have the jobs in preference to women? Many women are happy being wives and mothers, but that doesn't mean they can't want to do more. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in pioneering women, medical history, and/or World War I.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    An evocative and well-researched recounting of the only completely women-run hospital during world war I. Moore is really good at describing the atmosphere and energy that the two women surgeons in charge of this hospital were facing. Stories like these are often forgotten especially in the midst of such history changing events as world war, but thankfully they are brought to light in books like this.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Drs. Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett were strong and heroic women in the medical field and especially during WWI. They helped pave the way for all future female physicians and I enjoyed reading their story. What they accomplished in France was amazing. The book at times was dry and somewhat repetitive though. Thank you to the Hatchette Book Group for my free copy.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Wagner

    This history tells the story of the Endell Street Hospital during WWI, a hospital staffed entirely by women. The doctors Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson had already broken barriers by becoming doctors and suffragettes, but at the outbreak of war, they set up at hospital first in France, then in London, to treat injured soldiers. This book offered an new view of the war and the role of women. I found it engaging, enlightening, and informative, and I would recommend it to anyone intereste This history tells the story of the Endell Street Hospital during WWI, a hospital staffed entirely by women. The doctors Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson had already broken barriers by becoming doctors and suffragettes, but at the outbreak of war, they set up at hospital first in France, then in London, to treat injured soldiers. This book offered an new view of the war and the role of women. I found it engaging, enlightening, and informative, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in this era.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ellie

    Incredible women in such harsh times! I’m in utter awe of what they achieved. I learnt so much, knowledge of women suffrage, the war and what held equality back. Would highly recommend.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dorothy Bennett

    Wendy Moore's thoroughly researched and documented NO MAN'S LAND provides the history of women's increased opportunities in Britain in the field of medicine during WWI. The use of women doctors and their assistants in an all-female run hospital in London is an important piece of women's history; that said, what makes the book interesting reading are the details that Moore has been able to assemble to develop these colorful heroines of medicine, Louisa Garrett Anderson and Flora Murray, both suff Wendy Moore's thoroughly researched and documented NO MAN'S LAND provides the history of women's increased opportunities in Britain in the field of medicine during WWI. The use of women doctors and their assistants in an all-female run hospital in London is an important piece of women's history; that said, what makes the book interesting reading are the details that Moore has been able to assemble to develop these colorful heroines of medicine, Louisa Garrett Anderson and Flora Murray, both suffragettes fighting for women's rights in England--and who stepped aside from that battle to create military hospitals for the treatment of WWI's fallen soldiers, two in France and one major facility in London. Overcoming all obstacles, they proved that women could treat sick and wounded men as well as male physicians--and stand up under the stress of serious surgical procedures. It's quite a story, one to admire, and I appreciated having the opportunity to experience it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    As a woman and a nurse who served in the military, though not in war time, I am in awe of these women doctors, nurses and ordered who served in such primitive conditions in WWI. I know little of WWI , the suffragettes movement in England and the 1918 flu pandemic but because of the events of 2020 I have, of course, looked to the past to understand today. This book covers the struggles of Dr. Flora Murry and Louisa Garret Anderson as suffragettes and doctors to obtain the vote for women and equal As a woman and a nurse who served in the military, though not in war time, I am in awe of these women doctors, nurses and ordered who served in such primitive conditions in WWI. I know little of WWI , the suffragettes movement in England and the 1918 flu pandemic but because of the events of 2020 I have, of course, looked to the past to understand today. This book covers the struggles of Dr. Flora Murry and Louisa Garret Anderson as suffragettes and doctors to obtain the vote for women and equal rights for women under the law. The way women were treated and still are is appalling. By the way, women in England did not get full access to medical school unto 1975!!! Another fun fact, Louisa Garrett Anderson was the daughter of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson the first female doctor in England. Until WWI the few female doctors there were were regulated to treating women and children only and barely paid. WWI begins, the Army run by men, is proved to be incompetent and the medical core is overwhelmed the first day and thousands of wounded die for lack of care. Enter Dr's. Murray and Anderson and their staff and they open a model hospital under the French Red Cross and start saving lives. Other women also come to the rescue of the wounded with hospitals and ambulance. What Dr's. Murray and Anderson face is heart wrenching. Get the tissues out as you read the stories about these brave women treating these brave soldiers. Be angry at the government's and the paper pushers who stood in the way of get getting things done for the better. Be angry at the stupidity of 20 million people dying over a strip of land in France which is what it boiled down to though not all died right there. I digress. Dr's. Murray and Anderson did so much good in France they were tapped to open a 575 bed hospital in London for the wounded. Though most of the military doubted they would be successful their hospital and their satellite hospital turned out to be the best hospitals in London for the wounded. Prepare to be awed by the staff's commitment to the wounded working long hours 7 days a week with few breaks to serve their country and the wounded with food being rationed no less. They had to deal with infections and no antibiotics, lice and no bug killer, war wounds and no fancy equipment, summer and winter with no central heat and air. The stories are unbelievable. I could not put the book down. I could not have done it. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for allowing me to read this book for a review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Homerun2

    4.5 stars This was a fascinating account of a little-known World War I event: the first and only all-female operated military hospital. Two determined doctors, who were also suffragettes, persevered to overcome male intransigence, military bureaucracy, and public bias against women to succeed at efficiently implementing, equipping and running a casualty hospital. The two women, Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson, experienced difficulty enough in those pre-women's vote times in becoming docto 4.5 stars This was a fascinating account of a little-known World War I event: the first and only all-female operated military hospital. Two determined doctors, who were also suffragettes, persevered to overcome male intransigence, military bureaucracy, and public bias against women to succeed at efficiently implementing, equipping and running a casualty hospital. The two women, Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson, experienced difficulty enough in those pre-women's vote times in becoming doctors. And even after their training, the only jobs open were in pediatric and ob/gyn type situations. They were turned down in England when they volunteered to staff a hospital, but found acceptance in Paris. Their crew of female doctors, orderlies and nurses (with a few male helpers) did an outstanding job and soon word of mouth spread to not only soldiers but to the civilian population and the military brass. When you consider neither doctor had much relevant experience, it's a particularly impressive feat. Anderson learned on the job and soon became a very competent surgeon dealing with incredibly difficult cases of head injuries, fractures, and gunshot wounds. One of their biggest concerns was sepsis as almost every wound they saw was infected. They ended up contributing to a medical breakthrough by trying some new methods and materials. This was a magnificent success story, but also very poignant given the horrific wartime casualties. And sadly, although the military hierarchy finally recognized their competence and enlisted them to run a hospital in London, they never actually had equal status or pay with their male counterparts. And even more disturbing, after the war ended it was back to square one. Most women doctors were dismissed when the men returned home, and were relegated once again to subsurvient status. This is a compelling read, with war history interwoven with the personal stories of the women involved and a succinct re-telling of the difficulties they overcame. Thanks to the publisher and to Net Galley for providing me with an ARC in return for my honest review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Judith

    Once again, I learned so much from listening to this book. There are so many unsung heroes/heroines during times of war and other crises. The unsung heroines of this non-fiction story are women physicians in England during WWI. Women were battling to be treated equally in England in 1914 when the war broke out. With most able men being recruited into the military, England found itself short of medical personnel to treat the wounded. They reluctantly hired women physicians to help with treating t Once again, I learned so much from listening to this book. There are so many unsung heroes/heroines during times of war and other crises. The unsung heroines of this non-fiction story are women physicians in England during WWI. Women were battling to be treated equally in England in 1914 when the war broke out. With most able men being recruited into the military, England found itself short of medical personnel to treat the wounded. They reluctantly hired women physicians to help with treating the wounded. This is the true story of two pioneering suffragette doctors who transformed modern medicine, raised standards for patient care, and shattered social expectations for women in WWI-era London. A month after war broke out in 1914, doctors Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson set out for Paris, where they opened a hospital in a luxury hotel and treated hundreds of casualties plucked from France’s battlefields. Although, prior to the war, female doctors were restricted to treating women and children, Flora and Louisa’s work was so successful that the British Army asked them to set up a hospital in the heart of London. Nicknamed the Suffragettes’ Hospital, Endell Street soon became known for its lifesaving treatments and lively atmosphere. In No Man’s Land, Wendy Moore illuminates this turbulent moment when women were, for the first time, allowed to operate on men. Their fortitude and brilliance serve as powerful reminders of what women can achieve against all odds. Sadly, once the war ended, women physicians again were relegated to treating women and children instead of continuing to treat the general population as they had so competently treated the casualties of WWI. All of the old prejudices about the public accepting female physicians once again came back. When will this perception that somehow women are not as capable of men ever end? We have made progress, but we still have a long way to go! Reading about these brave and committed women fighting to be accepted on their merits was inspiring.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Becky Courage

    Louisa Garrett Anderson, a surgeon and Flora Murray, a physician and anesthetist were leaders in the battle for women’s entry into medicine. Pre WWI, female doctors were only permitted to treat women and children patients. The male dominated medical field made it increasingly difficult for women to receive specialist training and to advance in the discipline. After the war broke out in 1914, Garrett Anderson and Murray saw an opportunity to serve their country, prove themselves as female physici Louisa Garrett Anderson, a surgeon and Flora Murray, a physician and anesthetist were leaders in the battle for women’s entry into medicine. Pre WWI, female doctors were only permitted to treat women and children patients. The male dominated medical field made it increasingly difficult for women to receive specialist training and to advance in the discipline. After the war broke out in 1914, Garrett Anderson and Murray saw an opportunity to serve their country, prove themselves as female physicians, and finally gain the experience they had long been denied. The women rallied a group of female doctors, nurses and orderlies and called themselves the Women’s Hospital Corps (WHC). In September of 1914 they traveled to Paris to set up a hospital at the Hotel Claridge. Later, after finally receiving some support from the British War Office, the women would open another hospital in France called Chateau Mauricien. It would become the first British army hospital to be run entirely by women. Using the skills and experience gained in France, the WHC returned to London to establish the Endell Street Military Hospital. ‘No Man’s Land’ details the challenges faced by the female doctors at Endell Street: from their early struggles for recognition and respect in the field of medicine, to the logistical trials of aiding men ravaged by war. This is a good book for those with an interest in WWI and the early suffragette movement. It covers a wide range of topics from the lives of the women physicians and nurses, to medical advancements and research, and stories from the soldiers treated at Endell Street. The story was repetitive at times and several passages could have been edited out. However, I particularly enjoyed reading about ‘Literary Caregiving’, and of the medical advancements pioneered by the women at Endell Street, such as BIPP. Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book. I would recommend.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rebekka Steg

    I really enjoyed No Man's Land by Wendy Moore. Learning about so many of the amazing women who worked as doctors and nurses running the "Suffragette's Hospital". It was not surprising to me that the two women doctors behind this endeavour, Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson, were suffragettes before WWI, but it was fascinating to see their courage and eagerness to help the wounded in spite of a very reluctant English government full of men who still thought women couldn't really be doctors I really enjoyed No Man's Land by Wendy Moore. Learning about so many of the amazing women who worked as doctors and nurses running the "Suffragette's Hospital". It was not surprising to me that the two women doctors behind this endeavour, Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson, were suffragettes before WWI, but it was fascinating to see their courage and eagerness to help the wounded in spite of a very reluctant English government full of men who still thought women couldn't really be doctors, especially not doctors looking after men. But in the end their hospital became known as the best and most well-run military hospital in Great Britain. Whether you're interested in women's history, feminism, medical history, WWI or just history in general I highly recommend this book. *I received a free copy through Netgalley, but the review is my own opinion*

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nadine

    Such an amazingly interesting book on all levels, historical, feminist, cultural, gender, medical. Hopefully there’ll be an illustrated young reader edition out soon for our middle-schoolers!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    No Man’s Land by Wendy Moore is a compelling story of two British women doctors who had to fight for a place to use their training and talent in a world dominated by men. To appreciate the story you need to walk backwards in your mind to a time before women had the right to vote, way back beyond that time. It is the early 1900’s in Britain women who were trained doctors could not find any openings for them to work in the main hospitals; they were allowed to set up clinics and small hospitals that No Man’s Land by Wendy Moore is a compelling story of two British women doctors who had to fight for a place to use their training and talent in a world dominated by men. To appreciate the story you need to walk backwards in your mind to a time before women had the right to vote, way back beyond that time. It is the early 1900’s in Britain women who were trained doctors could not find any openings for them to work in the main hospitals; they were allowed to set up clinics and small hospitals that would only allow them to treat women and children. One of these young doctors was Louisa Garrett Anderson who gained her Doctor of Medicine degree from London University in 1900 at age 27. In December of 1901 she and a friend looked to America and Johns Hopkins Hospital Medical School, which admitted women students on the same basis as men. Louisa was impressed by Dr. William Osler, who emphasized the importance of listening to patients—a novel concept—in forming a diagnosis. You will learn how this made her an excellent doctor. Meanwhile back in London Louisa and others joined in the suffragists fight to allow women to vote. But she grew tired of their moderate tactics and joined a more militant group and was arrested. The beginning of WWI on August 4, 1914 when Germany invaded Belgium gave these young women doctors an opening that would not otherwise be available to them. Louisa and her friend, Flora Murray knew Britain would not accept their offer to work treating wounded soldiers so they called on the French embassy in London. Anderson, Murray, three younger women doctors; eight nurses, three female orderlies and four male nurses as stretcher-bearers set off for Paris where they set up their small hospital in the grand hotel, Claridge’s, which was closed because of the war. It was September 17, 1914. Back in England the War Office on Feb of 1915 invited Anderson and Murray to run a military hospital with up to 1,000 beds. They were given an old dirty unused workhouse which was reputed to be inspiration for Dicken’s Oliver Twist. They began to hire the dirty work of cleaning up and painting the place. They opened in May 1915 with 520 beds. The hospital was called the Endell Street Military Hospital. Now officially in the Army Anderson and Murray were paid a major’s salary. Later Murray would become a Lieutenant Colonel and become the highest ranking woman in British Army. Meanwhile Anderson and Murray continued their battles for women’s suffrage. Britain passed the Representation of the People Act of 1918, which gave the right to vote to men over 21 and women over 30. It would be another 10 years before women were equal. The end of June 1918 saw patients coming in with new symptoms; later named the Spanish Flu. This flu would kill 50 to 100 million people in the world. Interesting reading while we are dealing with COVID 19.

  27. 5 out of 5

    yinyin

    So grateful someone wrote this book, whatever shortcoming in writing is more than made up for by the subject matter. Suffragettes, running one of the largest war hospitals, entirely staffed by women, and lifelong lesbian partners, set against the larger current of women's movement and world war -- seriously, what more can one ask for? I was rather sad when I finished, like walking out of a grand romantic antique dream. Now the writing, the authoress certainly surveyed lots of first-hand informati So grateful someone wrote this book, whatever shortcoming in writing is more than made up for by the subject matter. Suffragettes, running one of the largest war hospitals, entirely staffed by women, and lifelong lesbian partners, set against the larger current of women's movement and world war -- seriously, what more can one ask for? I was rather sad when I finished, like walking out of a grand romantic antique dream. Now the writing, the authoress certainly surveyed lots of first-hand information and presented them in chronical, clear structure, and in easy-to-read language. Some repetitiveness is expected especially the details of running hospital, and they are fairly easy to skip. The main problem for me is that the book is intended in an inspirational tone, for a general audience. It's clear that the authoress is glossing over/touching lightly the division among Endell staff and among women's movement, often along class lines. And when the book does mention class, it gushes the upper classness of the protagonists without any critical lenses, presumably to bump up the respectability of the movement. Similarly the feminine and caring-for-men nature of the hospital work is empathized, often through contemporary reporting that the book takes as blanket praise without noticing its patronizing tone. That Anderson and Murray have a more nuanced view of war than blind patriotism is mentioned in some details, so is some suffragettes' devotion to the pacifist cause, but again any deep level information, if available, is likely omitted in favour of giving a neat narrative. At times the book's blatant gushing of the protagonists almost feel too artificially upbeat. Also the lesbian relationship between several pairs of characters is referred to in euphemism. While some other reviewers point out it's difficult to ascertain such matter in the historical background (lesbian wasn't a thing), I again suspect the book of glossing over the sexual nature to bump up respectability. In summary, I keep getting the feeling that the authoress has a deeper understanding of both the characters and of radical feminism than she allows showing in the book. It's still an inspiring book, and I valued the entire reading experience. PS. New hardcopy was like 10 quid, with very good printing and colour pages, feel like a bargain!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Katia M. Davis

    This is a brilliant non-fiction read, thoroughly researched and engaging. This is not just about a wartime hospital in London run by women, but includes the history of women in medicine for several decades prior to the outbreak of the First World War and carries us through parts of the Suffragette movement, to the early experiences of female doctors in France at the outbreak of war in order to place things in context prior to Endell Street being established in 1915. Likewise, at the conclusion, This is a brilliant non-fiction read, thoroughly researched and engaging. This is not just about a wartime hospital in London run by women, but includes the history of women in medicine for several decades prior to the outbreak of the First World War and carries us through parts of the Suffragette movement, to the early experiences of female doctors in France at the outbreak of war in order to place things in context prior to Endell Street being established in 1915. Likewise, at the conclusion, we learn what happens to the hospital and its staff after the war ended. Obviously the bulk of the book takes us through the establishment and life of the hospital and its staff, particularly the two female surgeons who made it tick. It draws heavily on letters, diaries, historical interviews, war office records, and photographs to tell the story of this extraordinary hospital run pretty much entirely by women. It proved that women were just as capable (if not more so) of performing the surgeries and care required for traumatic injury, but also excelled in administration, and military administration at that. Many men thought at the time that women were too frail or emotionally sensitive to cope, with brains not capable of processing the complexities of surgery on the horrific wounds suffered by soldiers, sometimes in 'intimate places'; or that men would refuse to be treated by a female doctor/surgeon. Quite the opposite occurred, with pioneering treatments and advances in techniques and prosthetics, and some injured men begging to be sent to Endell Street because of the level of care, compassion, and high survival rate. Thousands of war wounded went through the hospital during its existence with over 7000 major surgeries taking place; towards the end of the war and for months after the cessation of hostilities, the hospital also dealt with the flu pandemic with some of its staff falling ill and several dying. Some of the isolation techniques first developed at Endell Street were quickly adopted by other hospitals. This is an extraordinary book about extraordinary women in the most difficult of times. A must read for anyone interested in the history of women in medicine and in warfare.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kayl Parker

    1// "We are fighting the same battle as was fought then, and if it is the only argument that the country can understand we are obliged to use it." 2// Most of the men arrived in shock, devastated by what they had seen and done, traumatized by witnessing the deaths of friends and enemies alike. "There is a look of weariness in their eyes that appalls one," said the nurse. "They all have it -- the trench-haunted look." 3// Observing the compassionate care that Anderson and her corps provided, Sharp 1// "We are fighting the same battle as was fought then, and if it is the only argument that the country can understand we are obliged to use it." 2// Most of the men arrived in shock, devastated by what they had seen and done, traumatized by witnessing the deaths of friends and enemies alike. "There is a look of weariness in their eyes that appalls one," said the nurse. "They all have it -- the trench-haunted look." 3// Observing the compassionate care that Anderson and her corps provided, Sharp noted the "bitter irony of our civilization, which first compels men to tear one another to pieces like wild beasts for no personal reason, and then applies all its arts to patching them up in order to let them do it all over again." When the "patching is done by women," she wrote, "the ironic tragedy of the whole thing seems more evident." 4// Struggling to explain this new world order, the magazine exclaimed: "They are men in the best sense of the word, and yet women in the best sense of that word also." 5// The war had changed everything, and nothing... The legions of women who had fed Britain, armed its troops, and kept the country moving were expected meekly to return to their own kitchens... In rare cases where women were kept on or secured new jobs, they were often vilified for depriving men -- especially veterans disabled by the way -- of their livelihoods. One journalist complained that "girls were clinging to their jobs" to earn "pocket-money" to buy frocks, even though many were war widows struggling to feed their families... More significantly, perhaps, the mood toward women had changed... Much of this male rage was targeted at women, particularly women workers, in a rash of bitter jibes, physical attacks, and even sexual assaults. Not only were women castigated for stealing men's jobs, but even their wartime contributions were undermined and trivialized. In the impulse to wipe out the worst memories of the war, men wanted women to return to their prewar domestic roles and submissive behavior.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Becky B

    The turn of the century saw women in England pushing for more equality with men. Several female doctors were at the heads of the suffragist movements, fighting for a chance to prove they could do the job just as well as men, and not just working with women and children. As WWI came, the suffragettes suddenly found themselves with the chance of a lifetime. The men were all shipping off to the front lines, doctors became desperately needed, and suddenly people weren't so picky what gender the doct The turn of the century saw women in England pushing for more equality with men. Several female doctors were at the heads of the suffragist movements, fighting for a chance to prove they could do the job just as well as men, and not just working with women and children. As WWI came, the suffragettes suddenly found themselves with the chance of a lifetime. The men were all shipping off to the front lines, doctors became desperately needed, and suddenly people weren't so picky what gender the doctors were in their dire need. This is the story of how to prominent English women doctors and several of their colleagues established an impeccable field hospital in France and then returned to England to run the premier hospital for soldiers returning to England. And it was almost entirely staffed by women. This was an interesting look at how the suffragist movement in England, women entering the medical field, and WWI collided, and how the results after the war were somewhat lackluster after the glimmer of promise shown during the war. Recommended for those interested in medical histories, women's rights histories, and WWI histories from unique perspectives. Notes on content: Very few swears, and only in quotes. No sexual content. Some of the friendships of various women in the early medical field or suffragist movement are questioned as to whether the friendship was platonic or something more as the women lived together for years. (The author does make it clear what primary sources are available to confirm or deny these suspicions.) Several times along the narrative powers that be question whether women could treat venereal disease that the soldiers picked up (this is stated very clinically as is discussion of how the men picked up the disease). Violence that the more radical suffragists inflicted to get attention and was inflicted on them in jail is mentioned.

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