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Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell: Background information when reading The Virgin Cure

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The Virgin Cure

A Novel

by Ami McKay

The Virgin Cure
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2012, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2013, 336 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jennifer Dawson Oakes

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell

As Ami McKay notes in the afterword of The Virgin Cure: "In 1870, there were over thirty thousand children living on the streets of New York and many more who wandered in and out of cellars and tenements as their families struggled to scrape together enough income to put food on the table."

Elizabeth Blackwell The New York Infirmary for Indigent Women & Children was opened on May 12, 1857 by Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, who was born in 1821 in Bristol, England and is credited with being the first female to receive a medical degree in the United States. (This hospital still exists, but today it is known as the New York Downtown Hospital.) The mission of both Elizabeth and her sister, Emily Blackwell - who earned her medical doctorate five years after her sister in 1854 - was to bring proper medical services to the thousands of women and children living in poverty on Manhattan's Lower East Side.

Many of the residents in this area of New York City were recent immigrants. Their living conditions, if ...

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