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Florence Nightingale: An Introduction to Her Life and Family

Collected Works of Florence Nightingale, Volume 1

Edited by Lynn McDonald
Subjects Social Science, Women’s Studies, Biography & Autobiography
Series Collected Works of Florence Nightingale Hide Details
Hardcover : 9780889203877, 928 pages, June 2002
Paperback : 9781554582310, 928 pages, January 2010
Ebook (PDF) : 9780889207042, 928 pages, January 2010

Table of contents

Table of Contents for
Florence Nightingale: An Introduction to Her Life and Family: Collected Works of Florence Nightingale, Volume 1, edited by Lynn McDonald


Dramatis Personae

List of Illustrations

Introduction to the Collected Works

Thematic Organization

Electronic and Print Publication

An Outline of Florence Nightingale’s Life

Faith and Church

Early Writing: Suggestions for Thought (1852–60)

Celibacy and Suitors

First Work in Nursing: Harley Street (1853–54)

The Crimean War (1854–56)

First Royal Commission, on the Army (1856–59)

Illness and Invalidism

Second Royal Commission, on India (1858–63)

Working Style (1859–99)

Opposition to Registration of Nurses (1887–94)

Domestic Arrangements and Expenditures


The Arts

Love of Nature and Companion Animals

Death Rituals

Last Days, Will and Death


Law, Probability and Application

Positivism and Idealism


Natural Science

The Italian Connection

Government and Politics

The Family and Individuals

Social Class and Caste

Gender Roles and Status of Women

Empire and Imperialism

War and Militarism

Approach to Health Care


Key to Editing

Family Life

Nightingale’s “Lebenslauf” for Kaiserwerth

Notes on Her Parents and Sister

Letters to, from and about Nightingale’s Immediate Family

Mother, Frances “Fanny” Nightingale

Father, W. E. Nightingale

Sister, Parthenope, Lady Verney

Letters to, from and about Nightingale’s Extended Family

Grandmother, Mary Shore

The Bonham Carter Family

The Nicholson Family

The Smith Family

The Verney Family

Godchildren and Namesakes

Domestic Arrangements

Food Orders and Recipes

Expenditures and Donations

Cat Care

Letters to, for and about Domestic Employees

“Waifs and Strays”

Appendix A: Biographical Sketches

The Nightingale Family

The Shore Family

The Smith Family

Father: William Edward Nightingale (1794–1874)

Mother: Frances (Fanny) Nightingale (1788–1880)

Sister: Frances Parthenope, Lady Verney (1819–90)

Uncle Samuel and Aunt Mary Shore Smith

(Sir) Harry Verney (1801–94)

Edmund Hope Verney (1838–1910) and Margaret Verney (1844–1930)

Blanche Smith, Arthur Hugh Clough and Arthur Clough

Appendix B: The Rise and Fall of Florence Nightingale’s Reputation

Appendix C: Florence Nightingale’s Family Tree

Appendix D: Florence Nightingale’s Last Will and Codicils

Appendix E: Research Methods and Sources

Electronic Data Bases






Florence Nightingale: An Introduction to Her Life and Family introduces the Collected Works by giving an overview of Nightingale’s life and the faith that guided it and by outlining the main social reform concerns on which she worked from her “call to service’’ at age sixteen to old age. This volume reports correspondence (selected from the thousands of surviving letters) with her mother, father and sister and a wide extended family. There is material on Nightingale’s “domestic arrangements,’’ from recipes, cat care and relations with servants to her contributions to charities, church and social reform causes. Much new and original material comes to light, and a remarkably different portrait of Nightingale, one with a more nuanced view of her family relationships, emerges.

The Series

In the Collected Works of Florence Nightingale all the surviving writing of Florence Nightingale will be published, much of it for the first time. Known as the heroine of the Crimean War and the major founder of the modern profession of nursing, Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) will be revealed also as a scholar, theorist and social reformer of enormous scope and importance.

Original material has been obtained from over 150 archives and private collections worldwide. This abundance of material will be reflected in the series, revealing a significant amount of new material on her philosophy, theology and personal spiritual journey, as well as on her vision of a public health care system, her activism to achieve the difficult early steps of nursing for the sick poor in workhouse infirmaries and her views on health promotion and women’s control over midwifery. Nightingale’s more than forty years of work for public health in India, particularly in famine prevention and for broader social reform, will be reported in detail.

The Collected Works of Florence Nightingale demonstrates Nightingale’s astute use of the political process and reports on her extensive correspondence with royalty, viceroys, cabinet ministers and international leaders, including such notables as Queen Victoria and W. E. Gladstone. Much new material on Nightingale’s family is reported, including some that will challenge her standard portrayal in the secondary literature. Sixteen printed volumes are scheduled and will record her enormous and largely unpublished correspondence, previously published books, articles and pamphlets, many of which have long been out of print.

There will be full publication in electronic form, permitting readers to easily pursue their particular interests. Extensive databases, notably a chronology and a names index, will also be published in electronic form, again permitting convenient access to persons interested not only in Nightingale but in other figures of the time.


The Collected Works of Florence Nightingale is an extremely ambitious project that is a great service to scholarship. Every general academic library should own the complete set. It pulls together material that has been hitherto diffused across more than 150 collections, some of them private ones, in places ranging from Germany to India and Japan, as well as numerous English-speaking countries.

- Timothy Larsen, Books and Culture, November/December 2008

The Collected Works will allow us to see for the first time the full complexity of this extraordinary and multifacted woman. It will be a tool of enormous value not only to Nightgale scholars and biographers, but also to historians of a wide variety of aspects of Victorian society: war, the army, public health nursing, religion, India, women's issues and so on.

- Mark Bostridge, Times Literary Supplement, January 10, 2003

The Nightingale project ranks with both the Gladstone diaries and the Disraeli letters as a major undertaking in the field of Victorian-era scholarship, and therefore is of surpassing value to historians of the period, as well as to general readers.

- C. Brad Faught, Anglican and Episcopal History, Vol. 81 (1), March 2012

The details and explications of her views. ..are presented in carefully annotated and insightful editorial discussions. ...[These volumes] provide a more complete understanding of this complex woman, extending our appreciation of her much beyond the 'The Lady with the Lamp' legend. ... The product of rigorous scholarship, of meticulous historical research--and a labour of love.

- Canadian Bulletin of Medical History, Volume 21/1, 2004

[R]ewards both the persistent reader who completes the 700 pages or so of actual letters and the reader who dips in and out at random. ...We are all indebted to Professor McDonald and her team for taking on this monumental task. We look forward to the progressive release of the volumes and to the ongoing work of Nightingale scholars around the world that will be facilitated by having this huge resource available.

- Judith Godden, University of Sydney, Nursing Inquiry

[I]t is clear that this is an academic project of the highest importance and integrity. It will have an impact on the work of scholars far beyond the immediate field of health history. Nightingale's interests were wide-ranging and her correspondence included some of the leading thinkers of her day. ...The editing of these volumes is exemplary. Every reference has been followed up, including the identification of minor dramatis personae. Important personalities are accorded short biographies. On every page there are biblical allusions, which are faithfully identified. Each thematic section has an introductory essay and these are amplified by a full outline of Nightingale's life and thought in volume 1. This project makes a major contribution to scholarship which will be of permanent value.

- Helen Mathers, University of Sheffield, Ecclesiastical History