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Nightingales: the extraordinary upbringing and curious life of Miss Florence Nightingale

Book Cover
Average Rating
Publisher:
Ballantine Books,
Pub. Date:
2004.
Language:
English
Description
Florence Nightingale was for a time the most famous woman in Britain–if not the world. We know her today primarily as a saintly character, perhaps as a heroic reformer of Britain’s health-care system. The reality is more involved and far more fascinating. In an utterly beguiling narrative that reads like the best Victorian fiction, acclaimed author Gillian Gill tells the story of this richly complex woman and her extraordinary family.Born to an adoring wealthy, cultivated father and a mother whose conventional facade concealed a surprisingly unfettered intelligence, Florence was connected by kinship or friendship to the cream of Victorian England’s intellectual aristocracy. Though moving in a world of ease and privilege, the Nightingales came from solidly middle-class stock with deep traditions of hard work, natural curiosity, and moral clarity. So it should have come as no surprise to William Edward and Fanny Nightingale when their younger daughter, Florence, showed an early passion for helping others combined with a precocious bent for power. Far more problematic was Florence’s inexplicable refusal to marry the well-connected Richard Monckton Milnes. As Gill so brilliantly shows, this matrimonial refusal was at once an act of religious dedication and a cry for her freedom–as a woman and as a leader. Florence’s later insistence on traveling to the Crimea at the height of war to tend to wounded soldiers was all but incendiary–especially for her older sister, Parthenope, whose frustration at being in the shade of her more charismatic sibling often led to illness. Florence succeeded beyond her wildest dreams. But at the height of her celebrity, at the age of thirty-seven, she retired to her bedroom and remained there for most of the rest of her life, allowing visitors only by appointment.Combining biography, politics, social history, and consummate storytelling, Nightingales is a dazzling portrait of an amazing woman, her difficult but loving family, and the high Victorian era they so perfectly epitomized. Beautifully written, witty, and irresistible, Nightingales is truly a tour de force.
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ISBN:
9780345451873
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Grouping Information

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full_title nightingales the extraordinary upbringing and curious life of miss florence nightingale
author gill gillian
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-04-15 06:08:03AM

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physical xxiii, 536 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.
popularity 8
primary_isbn 9780345451873
publishDate 2004
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publisher Ballantine Books,
rating 2.5
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subject_facet Nurses -- Great Britain -- Biography
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
title Nightingales : the extraordinary upbringing and curious life of Miss Florence Nightingale
title_display Nightingales : the extraordinary upbringing and curious life of Miss Florence Nightingale
title_full Nightingales : the extraordinary upbringing and curious life of Miss Florence Nightingale / Gillian Gill
title_short Nightingales :
title_sort nightingales the extraordinary upbringing and curious life of miss florence nightingale
title_sub the extraordinary upbringing and curious life of Miss Florence Nightingale