Mine Eyes Have Seen (1945)


"All Those Hundreds of Men and Women
I Have Known... Have Given Me Back
A Thousand Fold Whatever I Have Given"

Withington, Alfreda. Mine Eyes Have Seen. A Woman Doctor's Saga. London: Robert Hale, 1945.

Octavo. Hardcover. 1st British Edition.

First British edition of this memoir by a woman doctor whose adventurous life took her to Labrador, Canada, World War I, and rural Kentucky. Alfreda Withington was one of the United States' first woman doctors. "Despite gender bias, physical obstacles, and even war, Alfreda relentlessly pursued her ambition to become a doctor and help those most in need. She chose to treat the most vulnerable; the impoverished, tuberculosis patients, Inuit 'fisherfolk' near the Arctic Circle, and refugees in war-torn France" (Berkshire Museum). Educated at Cornell and later in Europe when the American establishment barred her from doing her residency, Withington became an internationally recognized expert in tuberculosis. Withington worked for a time as a missionary doctor in Labrador, Canada. She also served as a family physician in Massachusetts until World War I drew her to Paris. There, she worked as a tuberculosis specialist and administrator. On returning home, Withington found herself restless and took to a position in rural Kentucky. After some years, heart difficulty forced her into retirement. She wrote her memoir in Washington, D.C. and finally moved back to the site of her original Massachusetts practice, ultimately dying at age 91. Without dust jacket. With photographic illustrations. The first edition was published in 1941 in the United States. Contemporary owner signature on half title. Interior fine, small spot to bottom of front board. Near-fine condition.