Eminent Victorians

Front Cover
General Books LLC, 2010 - History - 96 pages
Excerpt: ... Efficiency, and Hospital Administration of the British Army. This extraordinary composition, filling more than 800 closely printed pages, laying down vast principles of far-reaching reform, discussing the minutest details of a multitude of controversial subjects, containing an enormous mass of information of the most varied kinds-military, statistical, sanitary, architectural-was never given to the public, for the need never came; but it formed the basis of the Report of the Royal Commission; and it remains to this day the leading authority on the medical administration of armies. Before it had been completed, the struggle over the powers of the Commission had been brought to a victorious close. Lord Panmure had given way once more; he had immediately hurried to the Queen to obtain her consent; and only then, when Her Majesty's initials had been irrevocably affixed to the fatal document, did he dare to tell Dr. Andrew Smith what he had done. The Commission met, and another immense load fell upon Miss Nightingale's shoulders. Today she would, of course, have been one of the Commission herself; but at that time the idea of a woman appearing in such a capacity was unheard of; and no one even suggested the possibility of Miss Nightingale's doing so. The result was that she was obliged to remain behind the scenes throughout, to coach Sidney Herbert in private at every important juncture, and to convey to him and to her other friends upon the Commission the vast funds of her expert knowledge-so essential in the examination of witnesses-by means of innumerable consultations, letters, and memoranda. It was even doubtful whether the proprieties would admit of her giving evidence; and at last, as a compromise, her modesty only allowed her to do so in the form of written answers to written questions. At length, the grand affair was finished. The Commission's Report, embodying almost word for word the suggestions of Miss Nightingale, was drawn up by...

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User Review  - nmele - LibraryThing

I read Lytton Strachey years ago and felt this book had been overhyped, but rereading it in my late sixties, I found myself admiring his use of telling facts to open up the iconic facades of his four ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wealhtheowwylfing - LibraryThing

Strachey was beloved by Virginia Woolf, plus it's about Victorians--two great tastes! I expect this book to be like eating peanut butter swirled into chocolate. om nom nom. Read full review

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