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The English Patient | Study Guide

Michael Ondaatje

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Course Hero. "The English Patient Study Guide." Course Hero. 13 Feb. 2018. Web. 29 May 2023. <>.

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The English Patient | Chapter Summaries

See Chapter Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • 1930

    The English patient begins explorations of the Sahara in Libya.

    Chapter 4
  • 1936

    Geoffrey Clifton and his wife Katharine arrive to join the desert expedition.

    Chapter 4
  • 1937

    The English patient and Katharine begin an affair lasting a few months before Katharine ends it.

    Chapter 5
  • September 1939

    Clifton crashes his plane, killing himself and injuring Katharine.

    Chapter 6
  • That same day

    The English patient carries Katharine to a cave and leaves to find help, only to be captured.

    Chapter 9
  • 1940

    Kip trains as a sapper in England with Lord Suffolk.

    Chapter 7
  • 1942

    Having turned spy for the Germans, the English patient guides Eppler through the desert.

    Chapter 9
  • Late 1942

    The English patient returns to the cave and tries to retrieve Katharine's body, but the plane burns.

    Chapter 6
  • Soon after

    Bedouins rescue the English patient and care for his wounds.

    Chapter 1
  • 1943

    Hana deploys from Canada to work as a nurse in Italy.

    Chapter 2
  • 1943–44

    Kip works as a sapper in Italy.

    Chapter 3
  • Around that time

    Caravaggio is caught and tortured by the Germans.

    Chapter 2
  • April 1944

    Hana and the English patient remain behind in the villa when all other staff and patients leave.

    Chapter 2
  • A while later

    Caravaggio arrives at the villa to find Hana.

    Chapter 2
  • Shortly after

    Kip meets Hana and the others at the villa as he works to clear the area of bombs.

    Chapter 2
  • Soon after

    Hardy is killed diffusing a bomb near the villa.

    Chapter 3
  • Immediately after

    Hana and Kip begin an intimate relationship.

    Chapter 3
  • A couple of months later

    Caravaggio guesses, and the English patient confirms, his identity as Almásy.

    Chapter 9
  • August 1945

    Kip learns of the Allied use of atomic weapons and draws a gun on the English patient.

    Chapter 10
  • Later that day

    Kip leaves the villa.

    Chapter 10
  • Years later

    Kip, now a doctor back in India, thinks about Hana.

    Chapter 10

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Epigraph An excerpt from the minutes of a meeting of the Geographical Society in London in November 194_ records the opening comm... Read More
Chapter 1 A young nurse and a burn victim live in the Villa San Girolamo, which had been first a nunnery, then a stronghold for th... Read More
Chapter 2 An old friend of Hana's—whom the reader learns is the young nurse—happened to hear her name while he was in the hospital... Read More
Chapter 3 The Sikh is Kirpal Singh, nicknamed "Kip" by the English officer who guessed the butter stain on his report came from ki... Read More
Chapter 4 Few Westerners were interested in the desert until the 19th century. Expeditions in the early 20th century were privatel... Read More
Chapter 5 Katharine Clifton knew members of the expedition were irritated at her arrival with her husband. The first sexual though... Read More
Chapter 6 Caravaggio tells Hana he believes he knows the real identity of the English patient—Ladislaus de Almásy, a Hungarian cou... Read More
Chapter 7 Kip had to come to England from Punjab, a state located in northwestern India. His older brother opposed authority, spec... Read More
Chapter 8 When Caravaggio accidentally knocks a fuse box off a counter, Kip dives to catch it just in time, breaking into relieved... Read More
Chapter 9 Under the influence of morphine, the English patient shares memories with Caravaggio. He recalls again when Clifton and ... Read More
Chapter 10 Kip creates a birthday dinner for Hana. She stands on the table to sing "La Marseillaise" for him, and her voice is "the... Read More
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