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Florence Nightingale’s European Travels

Collected Works of Florence Nightingale, Volume 7

Edited by Lynn McDonald
Subjects Social Science, Women’s Studies, Biography & Autobiography
Series Collected Works of Florence Nightingale Hide Details
Hardcover : 9780889204515, 824 pages, November 2004


This seventh volume in the Collected Works of Florence Nightingale consists of letters, observations, and notes from Florence Nightingale’s many trips to Europe, beginning with a family journey when she was a teenager. It includes annotations she made on opera libretti from her “music mad” phase and her winter in Rome (1847-48) which were so important in shaping her liberal politics and support for independence movements. Her letters and notes from Greece and central Europe in 1850, and her Kaisers- werth stay in 1851, reveal her developing ideas on social reform, as well as her first professional training. Materials from 1853 provide information on her training in Paris hospitals. Volume 7 also contains letters and observations from her excursions to Scotland, Ireland, and all over England, from her childhood on.

Many of the letters in European Travels were uncatalogued items buried in archives and will be new to Nightingale scholars. The information gathered in this volume adds considerably to what can be learned about the formative influences in Nightingale’s life, politics, and faith.

Currently, Volumes 1 to 11 are available in e-book version by subscription or from university and college libraries through the following vendors: Canadian Electronic Library, Ebrary, MyiLibrary, and Netlibrary.


"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

"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)

"In. ..the ambitious Collected Works of Florence Nightingale project, series editor Lynn McDonald demonstrates why one of the best-known women of the Victorian Era continues to fascinate, one hundred and fifty years after her initial rise to fame. Until now, the most widely available literature has been written about rather than by Florence Nightingale. Delivering on the promise of convenient access to all the available surviving writing of Florence Nightingale, McDonald offers readers a meticulously transcribed, categorized, and indexed record of Nightingale's major published books, articles, and pamphlets, as well as herefore unpublished correspondence and notes. In Florence Nightingale on Public Health Care and Florence Nightingale's European Travels, Nightingale emerges as a brilliant and politically astute woman who, from her youth, was driven by intellectual mischief, unquenchable curiosity, stubborn resistance to the status quo, and an unrelenting desire to improve the living conditions of the sick poor. ...Lynn McDonald's extensive yet unobtrusive editorial analyses and comments are invaluable, and serve to contextualize and anchor the disparate documents that follow. ...Public Health Care and European Travels are invaluable reference texts for scholars interested in Nightingale and her contemporaries, the Victorian era, and the evolution of health care, illness care, and professional nursing. By providing unprecedented access to Nightingale's writings, Lynn McDonald offers readers a unique opportunity to understand Florence Nightingale, in her own words. "

- Sonya Grypma, University of Toronto Quarterly, Letters in Canada 2004, Volume 75, number 1

"[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

"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

"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