Did you know that the World Health Organization declared 2020 the International Year of the Nurse? Why you ask? Yes, nurses (and other frontline workers) have had quite the year, but this decision was made well before our current pandemic. 2020 also marks Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday!
Who was the real Florence Nightingale? Credited with the founding of modern nursing, Nightingale is most often pictured with a lamp in her hand, caring for the sick and wounded. But her story is more than just that of a working woman. And the book Florence Nightingale, Feminist by, Judith Lissauer Cromwell explores the life of this extraordinary woman who changed the world for the better. Read more about it here!
Florence Nightingale, Feminist
by Judith Lissauer Cromwell
This is the first, full-length biography told from a post-feminist perspective, about one of the world’s most famous women. Born into Victorian Britain’s elite, a brilliant, magnetic teenager decided to devote her life to the indigent sick by becoming a nurse. Florence’s family, especially her mother opposed the decision. Nightingale insisted on the right to fulfill her dream.
Catapulted into the Crimean war, she brought order to the chaos of British military hospitals. But she could never forget her patients, that broken army of bloody, lice-infested skeletons. Despite debilitating illness, she focused all her faculties on preventing another Crimean calamity: the death of thousands due to avoidable causes. Hygienic army installations, sanitation for India, and creation of modern nursing owe much to Nightingale.
To Victorians, she personified their ideal of nurturing female. Hindsight provides a wider perspective. By creating a career for women that empowered them with economic independence, Florence Nightingale stands among the founders of modern feminism.
Now that you know a bit more about Florence Nightingale, and want to pick up a copy of Judith Lissauer Cromwell’s book, be sure to thank a nurse for all that they do to keep us safe and healthy!