Homes can be both comforting and troubling places. This timely book proposes a new understanding of Florence Nightingale’s experiences of domestic life and how ideas of home influenced her writings and pioneering work. From her childhood homes in Derbyshire and Hampshire, she visited the poor sick in their cottages. As a young woman, feeling imprisoned at home, she broke free to become a woman of action, bringing home comforts to the soldiers in the Crimean War and advising the British population on the home front how to create healthier, contagion-free homes. Later, she created Nightingale Homes for nursing trainees and acted as mother-in-chief to her extended family of nurses. These efforts, inspired by her Christian faith and training in human care from religious houses, led to major changes in professional nursing and public health, as Nightingale strove for homely, compassionate care in Britain and around the world. She did most of this work from her bed after contracting the debilitating illness, brucellosis, in the Crimea, turning her various private homes into offices and ‘households of faith’. In the year of the bicentenary of her birth, she remains as relevant as ever, having achieved an astonishing cultural afterlife.
Published in November 2020, the book is jointly written by the four core team members - Professor Paul Crawford, Dr Anna Greenwood, Dr Richard Bates and Dr Jonathan Memel.
You can get an insight into the themes of the book by watching our series of mini-lectures based on the same research.
Praise for Florence Nightingale at Home:
- Professor Robert Dingwall, Nottingham Trent University.
"This is the most important study of Florence Nightingale’s life and work for a generation. Using newly available sources, the authors set her firmly within the political, cultural and spiritual life of Victorian Britain as someone who both transcended and reflected the roles traditionally available to women of her class."
- Professor Anne Marie Rafferty CBE, President, Royal College of Nursing
"This brilliant book deftly uses the device of ‘home’ to interrogate the life and achievements of Florence Nightingale. By doing so it bring a new interpretive lens on the role that ‘home’ played in her reform efforts and breathes new life into this ever fascinating nurse and cultural icon."
- Professor Christine Hallett, Professor of Nursing History, University of Huddersfield:
"Florence Nightingale At Home is a remarkable achievement, and the authors are to be congratulated on so effectively locating Nightingale in the context of her time. This book is not only an invaluable source for historians of women, nursing, medicine, public health and Victorian Britain; it is also an elegant and absorbing ‘read’ for a more general audience."
- Professor Lynn McDonald, University of Guelph:
"This book is not only scholarly and accurate, but has excellent visuals and is wonderfully readable. The authors use the 'home' theme to present material from the Crimean War and press coverage of it, her faith and the pioneering research she did from her own home post-Crimea."