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Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  424 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
"Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands" is the autobiography of Mary Seacole, a Jamaican nurse who, like her contemporary Florence Nightingale, rose to fame for her bravery during the Crimean War. Unlike Nightingale, however, Seacole was confronted by racism at every turn of her career. Refused a post in Crimea because she was biracial, Seacole traveled to the ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 6th 2009 by Kaplan Publishing (first published 1857)
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Aug 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: lovers of strong-woman, medical-history, historians, important women of history

Excuse me for yelling, but truly guys, this incredible woman doesn't deserve to be forgotten like this. Because while Florence Nightingale is nowadays known as the classic example of a hard working nurse, Mary Seacole as a POC deserves to get the same fame.

'Mother' Mary Seacole (1805-1881) did what very little women in her time and age ever could: make a name for herself. She

It's very hard to context with a state of things if they've been made to seem that way for forever and a day. The nineteenth-century is case in point: white, white, white, with everyone become a history expert if you slightly beg to differ. There's also the matter of colonialism and lack of Internet at the time rendering the majority of visible stories grinding to the abject, a representation that may go a long way in terms of scope but is not nearly the entirety. Something that's bothered
I picked this up for my Kindle for two reasons. The first is because it didn't cost my anything. The second because I actually knew who Mary Seacole was after reading an essay about her in either British Heritage or a British history magazine.

Mrs. Mary Seacole was first and foremost a lady. To call her anything else, except for a lady nurse, would be an insult to this wonderful woman.

Mrs Seacole was a nurse, in particular in her native Kingston and in the Crimea. She was biracial and refused a p
Sep 23, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Why and how have I never heard of Mary Seacole?! She's awesome. Sure, I've heard of Florence Nightingale (nurse to the soldiers in the Crimean War). But it turns out that Mary Seacole (also a nurse but was refused hire by Nightingale) was better liked by the soldiers. And she was Creole! White history has overlooked this amazing woman.
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who has never heard of Mary Seacole
Thank you public domain for another excellent, free book. The most interesting part of this book was Mrs. Seacole’s observations during her travels and her notions about race and discrimination. She was very proud of being Jamaican, but she was also proud of her “yellow” complexion. She loved the English, but knew that they were a conquering power. The writing has a sense of flirtation and hominess, but Mary Seacole was complicated. Her attitudes were an amalgamation of contradictions that were ...more
Mary Seacole was a Jamacian nurse whose extraordinary life combined her favorite things, travel and medicine. This autobiography tells us a little about her background and trips to England, but it mostly focuses on her time in a small town in Central America and then her work during the Crimean War.

Often called Mother by her friends and patients, Mrs. Seacole was trained as a nurse by her mother. She used those skills during a cholera epidemic while living in Central America, and then she became
Edwin John Moorhouse Marr
I absolutely loved this book. Something about it reminded me of Moll Flanders, not the naughtiness or the debauchery, Seacole certainly wasn't guilty of either of those, but just a sense of mischievousness, of great warmth and humour. This whole book buzzed with life and joy, even in the most awful of tragedies. Seacole is always a woman who has fascinated me, and whose life I have admired enormously. And I am so glad to have read her autobiography! This is also a fascinating book about war, and ...more
Liesje Leest
I just recently heard about Mary Seacole for the first time, after watching a YouTube video about her life. Her life intrigued me right away. Born in Jamaica to a Jamaican mother and Scottish father, starting a business in Panama, leaving for England and becoming a nurse in the Crimean War....

This books is interesting for so many different reasons. First of all: the life Mrs. Seacole led is just amazing it itself. Adventures truly is the right word to describe this. She's lived everywhere and se
Doreen Petersen
May 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, classics
I really really enjoyed this one. Although a classic it was a delightful story about how determination and drive can make a difference in the world. What a wonderful thought to be left with!
Pam ☼Because Someone Must Be a Thorn☼ Tee
Mary Seacole lived at the same time as Florence Nightingale, and during her life she was known for her works, but alas, since her mother was dark skinned, and her father was Scotch, and she was a woman as well, she is scarcely known by modern folk.

But historical prejudice aside, this is one good biography. I'm thoroughly enjoying it, particularly because Mary visited some interesting places. She began her life in Jamaica where she learned doctoring from her mother. From her father she must have
Jun 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I will forever be indebted to the fantastic [children's] show, Horrible Histories, for introducing me such an incredible woman as Mary Seacole. Her determination and kind heart in the face of adversity in the extreme makes a fantastic read and I very much recommend it, particularly if you are still under the illusion that Nightingale -the lady with the lamp- was the 'heroine' of the Crimea. That being said, during a phone conversation with my mother in which I was heartily recommending TWAoMSiML

Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's difficult to talk about or even to read this book without getting sucked into very modern arguments about race and gender. Was Mary Seacole "really" black? Has she been deliberately snubbed by the history books, or have her achievements been exaggerated? Who was "best": Seacole or Nightingale? Fortunately none of this stuff really matters when one reads the book itself.

These memoirs, written when Seacole was short of cash, cover two periods - her time running various hostelries in Panama, w
Cindy Woods
Highly educational

I read this autobographical book by Mary Seacole after reading a historical novel and it was referenced in the author's notes. My interest was,well peaked and luckily found it free on Amazon. What an amazing life this woman had!!! She was a self-described doctress of medicine in the mid-1800's in South America where she was born. She was mixed race woman, describing herself as "the yellow woman." The colorful language she uses is endearing and sometimes comical as she relates h
Rogue Reader
Jun 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
How did she do it? This 1857 Jamaican woman who traveled singularly, setting up roadside hotels and eating establishments where ever she went, becoming expert in the treatment of cholera and diarrhea. Refused by Florence Nightingale, Seacole went to the Crimean War front and nursed the sick, fed the men, supplied drink and gave much comfort to those in battle. Seacole’s autobiography contains quoted accolades and testimonials to her service as well as an appendix with newspaper reports of her wo ...more
My reasons for wanting to read this book were questionable: when I read and reviewed Florence Nightingale’s book a while back, I enjoyed it enough to want to read something by other inspiring nurses; Mary Seacole sprang to mind. So far, so good, huh? Then a rather bizarre thing happened. This guy appeared to set up a Goodreads account for the sole purpose of telling me NOT to read about Mary Seacole, as she was not a “real nurse”. No books, no friends, hi ...more
April Bresgal
Apr 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating book. She was a Creole medical practitioner and entrepreneur during the mid-1800s. Very readable if you like Victorian writing, like Dickens, for example. I have to assume there was a ghost writer involved, but you still get a strong feel for her confident, adventurous spirit. I found the first half of the book includes a fascinating perspective on racism in the U.S. compared to Central America and England at the time. Her brief expositions on Panamanian and Central American history ...more
May 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After recently realising that Mary Seacole isn't who I thought she was, I set out to discover more about her. Obviously that includes reading this here memoir. Seacole was born in Jamaica and claimed a Scottish father so she always aligned herself with Britain. She learnt medical things from her mother and after a bit of travel in Central America she set off for the Crimea as soon as she heard about the war. She spends more time talking about helping the troops than her early and personal life b ...more
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Grace Ormerod
Feb 07, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYBODY
This woman is awesome. We learned about her in our History lessons, and Charlotte ordered us each a copy on the way home that day. Mother Seacole should be a national heroine!!
As yet I haven't actually read the whole book, but I'm getting there.
Sue Webber
Mary Seacole as a woman deserves far more than 5 stars, this book however gets a little less. Not because it's not a good book, it is that and more, she was one hell of a woman. It's the style of writing that I struggled a bit with. She writes as if she is talking to you face to face and of course there is nothing wrong in that, it does make it more personal. However she does write some extremely long sentences, and there are sentences within sentences and then more of the same! Which when tryin ...more
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A refreshingly different perspective on the Crimean war, Mary Seacole tells of her exploits as a nurse and inn-keeper on the embattled peninsula. Seacole has a witty, charming way with words and despite her bravery and tireless efforts remains humble throughout. Her fetishization of British troops would be troubling (I don't think you meet any British soldier that is less than honorable and brave in this book), but for the revelation that she equally took care of the Russian wounded whenever pos ...more
Maryclaire Zampogna
This book was my first Nook BOOK experience and I enjoyed it very much. Mary Seacole is an unbelievable women of many talents. She manages stores, sells supplies, doctors the citizens and military and loves to travel. She is biracial and fights many battles with her public options and methods of treatment. She makes friends caring for the ill in one country and runs into them again fighting the war in other places. The military all welcomed her and her medical talent.
Her story of survival in th
Mar 09, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although I admire Mrs. Seacole and her work as a nurse, this autobiography became too redundant with how wonderful she was, against all odds. By the time I was half into the book, I was predicting how she would word her next amazing feat of saving everyone. I realize that part of the problem is that the writing from the late 1800s is somewhat more "stilted" than that of the present, but it took me much longer to read this than I normally would take simply because once I put it down, I really did ...more
The amazing true story of a woman who in a time where many women never even left their towns travelled the world over taking care of "her boys" as she called it. A miraculous nurse, Mary "Mother" Seacole travelled from her home in Jamaica to London, then to Panama (then called New Granada), and finally to the Crimea (again via London). Mrs Seacole's story is incredibly compelling and fascinating, and a great portrait of perceptions of race and nationality. I think this should be a required readi ...more
This is not the edition I read, but I like this story very much. Mary Seacole traveled the world. She followed Florence Nightengale, although she was not accpeted by her troupe, and set up shop in the Crimea and helped the soldiers during the war. She was not partial to either side but helped everyone. She writes with a sense of innocence despite the fact that she was a very experienced person. She also denounces the racism of Americans, the English weren't much better, but they treated her like ...more
Dec 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Often overlooked by history because of her Creole background, Mrs. Seacole made many contributions to the war effort and tells a fascinating story about her own life. Throughout the book she is witty and funny. I highly recommend this book to gain a clear picture of nurses within the Victorian era and no, Florence Nightingale wasn't the only one lol. It's interesting to read about Victorian society through "the Other's" perspective and see that even though you might be a minority you have perpet ...more
Tim Robinson
Apr 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
Mary Seacole's excellent adventure is a ripping yarn.

I was particularly struck by the contrast between the flexible rainbow-coloured racism of the British Empire and the rigid black-and-white racism of the American South. Mrs Seacole is denied passage on an American ship in Panama solely on acciunt of her colour. In England, she is treated with courtesy but not taken seriously. In the bloody melting pot of the Crimen War she is very nearly an equal.
Nov 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Personally, I really enjoyed this book. I find her narrative sometimes a little bit egotistical (granted she did a lot of good, but she certainly seems to want to be thanked for it all the time) but generally it was really fast paced, packed with interesting information and a good insight into an outsiders perspective of the Crimean War.
I read this memoir for a Caribbean Lit class. Seacole was a Creole Jamaican woman writing in the 19th century. Mary Seacole traveled far and wide, was skilled in business, and became famous for her nursing during the Crimean war. She is an extremely interesting woman, but the memoir was flat for me.
Mar 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An important social document and terribly interesting slice of life, told from a perspective rarely, if ever, seen. A cracking good read too. I only wish there had been more details and more scenes from the life of this wonderfully interesting, complicated person. Every time she wrote 'but I won't bore you with that' I was screaming NO! Mary! Bore me! bore me!!!!!
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Mary Jane Seacole (1805 – 14 May 1881), née Grant, was a Jamaican-born woman of Scottish and Creole descent who set up a 'British Hotel' behind the lines during the Crimean War, which she described as "a mess-table and comfortable quarters for sick and convalescent officers," and provided succour for wounded servicemen on the battlefield. She was posthumously awarded the Jamaican Order of Merit in ...more
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