Helen Dore Boylston
In addition to her Sue Barton and Carol Page series, Helen Dore Boylston also wrote numerous short stories and essays as well as Landmark Book, Clara Barton: Founder of the American Red Cross.
About the Author
Helen Dore Boylston was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on April 4, 1895. She left her happy childhood home to attend first Simmons College in Boston, then Massachusetts General Hospital School of Nursing. After graduating in 1915, she enlisted in the Harvard Medical Unit and served as an anesthesiologist with the British Expeditionary Force in France during World War I. During her service, Ms. Boylston achieved the rank of captain. For the two following years, she did relief work for the Red Cross in Italy, Germany, Poland, Russia, and the Balkans. During this time she met Rose Wilder Lane, daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder, and the two women became close friends.
Ms. Boylston continued her nursing back at Massachusetts General Hospital serving as an instructor of anesthesiology as well as a department director; in New York City she worked as a psychiatric nurse; in a Connecticut hospital she served as a head nurse. In the late 1920s, Ms. Boylston turned her focus to writing.
Ms. Boylston's first book, Sister: The War Diary of a Nurse (1927), detailed her wartime experiences. In 1982, long after writing the Sue Barton and Carol Page series, Ms. Boylston and Ms. Lane published Travels With Zenobia: Paris to Albania by Model T Ford, the diary of the two friends' 1926 European excursion in an automobile they named Zenobia.
Recently we learned of a quote from Ms. Boylston that thrilled our collective hearts. Here it is as included in the Knight Books reprints of Sue Barton, Senior Nurse, "Every single incident in the first two 'Sue's' - nursing incident, I mean - actually happened, either to me or to some of my classmates. Kit and Connie were real, and those are their real names. Same goes for Bill. Francessca and Hilda were also taken from life, though those are not their real names. Hilda, in fact, was my room-mate when I was in probe. Miss Cameron was so real she scares me yet, though I loved her dearly. She was greatly amused to find herself in a book and wrote me a charming letter about it. Sue is not me! I made her up, lock, stock and barrel. She is the kind of person and the kind of nurse I wished I were, and I had a lot of fun creating her." Well how about that!