Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) had "a face not easily forgotten," wrote Reverend Osborne in 1854 of the determined 34-year-old British nurse in charge of Scutari's (now Istanbul's) mammoth Barrack Hospital in Turkey. It was a face "with an eye betokening great self possession," he added. Nightingale needed to be self-possessed. The Crimean War was raging, soldiers were wounded and dying, and she described the foul British army hospital where she was stationed as "the Kingdom of Hell." Nightingale became internationally famous for these years of wartime service, but "the Lady with the Lamp" (she often visited suffering soldiers at night with her Turkish candle lantern) returned to England in 1856 and for years continued her work to improve "the modern profession of nursing," wartime medical care, public health in India, the conditions of British workhouses and much more.
Educated, cultivated and curious, Nightingale was a rebel in her time. In mid-19th-century England, "a pretty, accomplished daughter of a man with means" was expected to stick around the house, obeying either father or husband. At the heart of seasoned biographer Catherine Reef's Florence Nightingale is the story of a girl, then woman, caught between her ambitions and her family's expectations, who fought her whole life to do something that mattered... and excelled at it. Abundant color and black-and-white illustrations--including 19th-century cartoons, family portraits, paintings, sketches and photographs--illuminate Nightingale's family life in Victorian England as well as her travels to Italy, Egypt, Greece, Turkey and beyond.
Florence Nightingale's name has become synonymous with "caring nurse" around the world and this cleanly designed, vividly spun, meticulously researched and sourced biography shows readers why. --Karin Snelson, children's & YA editor, Shelf Awareness