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Book review: ‘Letters from the Crimea’ edited by Douglas Hill



This is a compilation of letters written home by Dr David Greig, a young assistant surgeon who was posted to work in a military setting in the Crimean war in 1854.

He was initially sent to the military hospital of Scutari in Constantinople where he was a contemporary of Florence Nightingale, and at one point gravely ill. However after his recovery he was sent to the front line of the Crimean war, where he lived under canvas and gave immediate treatment to casualties of war.

Details of Dr Greigs daily life and thoughts reveal a world so different from ours, and bring to life a tragic part of our military history. The style of letter writing is informal,  affectionate, homesick and compelling, but maybe lacks some of the detail of his medical work which I craved to hear more of. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but for entertainment rather than any benefit to my medical practice.

Rating 8/10

by Dr Emmeline Morrison