Helen Dore Boylston

Novelist, Author

1895 – 1984

85

Who was Helen Dore Boylston?

Helen Dore Boylston was the American author of the popular "Sue Barton" nurse series and "Carol Page" actor series.

Born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Boylston spent her childhood there, and was nicknamed "Troub", short for Troubles. She attended Simmons College in Boston for a year. She thought of studying medicine like her father, but chose nursing since the training was shorter. She graduated as a nurse from Massachusetts General Hospital in 1915 and sailed for France to serve in the First World War with the Harvard Medical Unit, as part of the British Expeditionary Force.

She nursed the wounded at a front-line field hospital, specializing as an anesthesiologist and reaching the rank of captain. Boylston wrote about her experiences in Sister: The War Diary of a Nurse, which was published in 1927.

After the 1918 Armistice, Boylston remained in Europe working for the Red Cross for two years providing services to civilians in Albania, Poland, Russia, Italy, and Germany. Boylston met reporter Rose Wilder Lane, daughter of the not-yet-famous Laura Ingalls Wilder on a train between Paris and Warsaw. During periods in the United States, Boylston worked as the head of an outpatient department and as an instructor in anesthesiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, as well a psychiatric nurse in New York City and a head nurse in a Connecticut hospital, experiences she was to mine in future books. Between 1921 and 1924 she worked again with the Red Cross in Europe, and in 1925 wrote a reminiscence of her student nursing days that was published in the American Journal of Nursing.

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Born
Apr 4, 1895
Portsmouth
Nationality
  • United States of America
Profession
Education
  • Simmons College
Died
Sep 30, 1984
Trumbull

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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