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Nightingales : The Extraordinary Upbringing and Curious Life of Miss Florence Nightingale
Nightingales The Extraordinary Upbringing and Curious Life of Miss Florence Nightingale
Author: Gillian Gill
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, a...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780345451873
ISBN-10: 0345451872
Publication Date: 8/31/2004
Pages: 560
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Publisher: Ballantine Books
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback
Members Wishing: 0
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MarciNYC avatar reviewed Nightingales : The Extraordinary Upbringing and Curious Life of Miss Florence Nightingale on
Helpful Score: 3
A bit of a hard slog at times, but overall a fascinating look at the lives of Florence Nightingale and her (extended) family. A remarkable woman -- she really defied the Victorian convention about what a woman should be.

I enjoyed getting to know the Nightingales while I read this book and am anxious to go back to England again and see the places where Florence lived. I'm sure that my husband will roll his eyes when I tell him what the 'theme' for our next trip to England will be!
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boomerbooklover avatar reviewed Nightingales : The Extraordinary Upbringing and Curious Life of Miss Florence Nightingale on + 430 more book reviews
Very detailed, and sometimes fascinating, look at a well-to-do Victorian family. Florence was the younger of two daughters of a couple who needed a son to maintain their home/most of their fortune, and who refused to marry to ensure financial security of the family. Both daughters were educated by their father (remarkably) in more than the usual subjects, including math, statistics, geography, history, Greek, Latin, etc. Florence's dream was to establish a nursing school where women could learn the basics, and for nursing to become a respected profession. During the Crimean War, she became the most famous woman in England other than Queen Victoria, and was known throughout the world for her efforts to reduce the death toll in the British Army. Many more men died of diseases (cholera, typhoid, pneumonia, etc.) than of wounds. The Army surgeons were much more interested in treating wounds, performing amputations, etc., than the sick, for whom they felt there was little hope. F. Nightingale's work and records proved that sanitation and decent food makes a huge difference in the odds of soldier survival. She also developed a triage method of sorting out what the sick or wounded needed, and organized their admittance to the hospital after washing them, providing a clean shirt, and a cot with clean linens. An interesting biography of an interesting, intelligent, very eccentric woman and her family and upbringing. Recommend to anyone interested in nursing history or the lives of prominent Victorians.


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