The ‘You Wouldn’t Want to Be…’ Series: You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Nurse During the American Civil War, a Shakespearean Actor, and Meet a Body Snatcher!

The ‘You Wouldn’t Want to Be…’ Series: You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Nurse During the American Civil War, a Shakespearean Actor, and Meet a Body Snatcher!
June 1, 2019 Alexandra Adlawan

Now here’s a series of books that every school library needs.

The ‘You Wouldn’t Want to Be…’ series describes what your life would be like if you lived during any of these eras in history.

There are over 100 books in the series and my local libraries don’t have all of them, so I’m only reviewing the books I found the most interesting.

4th Grade and Up

You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Nurse During the American Civil War!

Get ready…as a young reporter in 1861, you’re about to be sent on your toughest assignment ever. You’re going to the battlefields to find out what it’s like to be a nurse in the American Civil War.

I don’t understand how anyone could see a woman as weak and fragile after 2,000 women volunteered to be battlefield nurses for both sides. These women were constantly surrounded my blood, filth and death but they keep going even when they got sick themselves.

Don’t even get me started on the 1860’s version on an amputation. Chloroform was used as anesthetic and the surgeons used a bone saw to cut the limp off. Sometimes there was no chloroform, so the patient was fully conscious during the whole thing. And nothing was cleaned afterwards so most amputees died of infection. I don’t know how amputations are done in modern day, but at least now we know about sterilization.

A little side note, can someone explain to me why the people of today want to have reenactments of Civil War battles? I went to one and it was the stupidest thing I have ever seen. The people just stood in rows, pretended to shoot at each other, and fell over.

You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Shakespearean Actor!

Get ready…to play your part! As a young male actor in the 16thcentury, you have a tough job. You have to perform for rowdy crowds at the Globe theater, work for little money, and rehearse for hours each day. Life is far from fun as a Shakespearean actor.

It was interesting to learn about theatrical history and what the life of an actor was like during the late 16thand early 17thcenturies. It’s doesn’t matter what time in history you’re in, being an actor is no easy.

People who work in the theater don’t get enough credit. With a live audience, you can’t afford to mess up a line, especially when it’s a Shakespearean play.

I found it weird that women weren’t allowed to act but people were ok with young boys playing female roles.

You Wouldn’t Want to Meet a Body Snatcher!

Get ready…you’re about to experience the darker side of science.

As a medical student in Edinburgh, you’ll soon find out why you shouldn’t be friends with a body snatcher.

This book introduces readers to the dark side of the early advancements in the understanding human anatomy.

In a nutshell, during the early 19thcentury, doctors were just beginning to understand how the human body works. To do this, doctors would dissect (cut open) dead bodies to study what was inside.

But there weren’t enough legal dead bodies for doctors to study, so criminals called body snatchers would steal corpse from cemeteries to sell to the doctors.

The thought of someone stealing a dead body is morbid and disturbing.

For those readers who, like me, find this subject strangely fascinated, I recommend reading this book.

 

This weeks’ Weird but True Fact about a Civil War Soldier, Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and Dead Bodies

A U.S. Civil soldier coughed up a bullet nearly 60 years after he was shot.

Many actors never want to hear the word ‘Macbeth’ uttered inside a theater due to a supposed curse.

You can see real human and animal bodies preserved in plastic at the Plastinarium in Guben, Germany.

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