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By Lynn McDonald

Florence Nightingale is without doubt one of the most renowned figures in smooth historical past. but a lot of what we all know of her emanates from unreliable second-hand debts, and from a misreading of the first sources.

Florence Nightingale before everything Hand by way of Lynn McDonald, editor of Nightingale's Collected Works, and the world's most advantageous Nightingale authority, goals to place this correct. it is a ebook which reviews what Florence Nightingale stated and did, in response to her writing, of which a major quantity survives, scattered in over 200 records in the course of the international.

Published to commemorate the centenary of Nightingale's dying, McDonald's examine offers a Florence Nightingale for the twenty-first century, as an writer of significant sort and wit, a structures philosopher and pioneering public wellbeing and fitness reformer - the heroine and nurse have been merely the start.

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Sometimes she started work on a worthy project but gave it up when it met with too much resistance. Schemes to promote savings, home and land ownership among the working class is one instance – she abandoned her efforts after some years when she realized she was having no effect. Nightingale continued to work well into her seventies, for example, advising on nursing in Irish workhouse infirmaries. She produced THE MAKING OF FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE 19 serious work on India also to that age. She had her last visits of St Thomas’ senior nurses in 1898, when she was 78.

In 1901 she was persuaded to accept the services of a secretary. In 1906 the India Office was instructed to stop sending her papers. In 1907 she was awarded the Order of Merit, the first woman to be so honoured, but it came too late for her either to decline it (her usual approach to awards) or to appreciate it. In 1908 she became the second woman to have the Freedom of the City of London conferred on her. We do not know if she would have accepted other honours if offered – likely not – but one must note that many of her male collaborators were made fellows of the Royal Society, privy councillors, knights and even peers, not to speak of their honorary doctorates.

But Uncle Ben brought his twenty-five men and his dog, a cat, a bird and a musical box safe to shore, I mean to ice. There they lived all the dark, dark, winter. You will see how Bob caught their dinners. Uncle Ben told me: he came in THE MAKING OF FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE 21 like a gentleman and laid his head in my lap and then lay down at my feet. I had a plate of milk for him, but . . 14 Later in life there is correspondence showing Nightingale’s concern about the poor quality of veterinary care, the ‘brute-like ignorance of veterinary surgeons in treating brutes’.

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