Article ID: CBB001213548

A Third Look at Sarah Gamp (2013)


Nineteenth and earlier 20th-century readers of Charles Dickens's novel Martin Chuzzlewit accepted his character of Sarah Gamp as a credible representation of the worst of the old untrained hospital nurses. In the 1980s a number of revisionist historians took a second look at these nurses and concluded that Gamp was a caricature. This article takes a third look at Gamp, setting her into the context of earlier 19th-century hospital nursing and the workforce as a whole and demonstrates that Dickens's fictional character was based on a reality---there were numerous real Sarah Gamps. Les lecteurs du roman Martin Chuzzlewit de Charles Dickens, au 19e siècle et au début du 20e, ont accueilli le personnage de Sarah Gamp comme étant une représentation crédible d'une vieille infirmière sans formation. Dans les années 1980, certains historiens révisionnistes ont posé un second regard sur le personnage de Sarah Gamp et plutôt conclu qu'il était très caricaturalle. Cet article propose une troisième lecture cette fois-ci, en situant le personnage de Gamp dans le contexte des soins infirmiers et de la main-d'oeuvre hospitalière du 19e siècle. Finalement, le caractère fictif du personnage de Dickens correspond, à une certaine réalité et, dans les faits, des Sarah Gamp ont vraiment existé.


Description On the character of Sarah Gamp in Charles Dickens's novel Martin Chuzzlewit, who was a nurse.

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Authors & Contributors
Hallett, Christine E.
Nelson, Sioban
Walsh, Eileen
Olson, Tom
Zwierlein, Anne-Julia
Makras, Kostas
Medizin, Gesellschaft, und Geschichte
Social History of Medicine
19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century
Canadian Bulletin of Medical History/Bulletin Canadienne d'Histoire de la Medecine
Canadian Journal of Health History/Revue canadienne d’histoire de la santé
University of Pennsylvania Press
Ohio State University Press
Cambria Press
Pickering & Chatto
Oxford University Press
University of California, Santa Cruz
Nurses and nursing
Hospitals and clinics
Medicine and literature
Women and health
Medicine and the military; medicine in war
Dickens, Charles
Ruskin, John
Eliot, George
Doyle, Arthur Conan
Mayhew, Henry
Kingsley, Charles
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
Great Britain
British Columbia (Canada)
United States

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