Florence Nightingale on Women, Medicine, Midwifery and Prostitution: Collected Works of Florence Nightingale

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Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 1101 pages
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Volume 8: Florence Nightingale on Women, Medicine, Midwifery and Prostitution makes available a great range of Florence Nightingale’s work on women: her pioneering study of maternal mortality in childbirth (Introductory Notes on Lying-in Institutions), her opposition to the regulation of prostitution through the Contagious Diseases Acts (attempts to stop the legislation and otherwise to facilitate the voluntary treatment of syphilitic prostitutes), her views on gender roles, marriage and measures for income security for women and excerpts from her draft (abandoned) novel. There is correspondence with women friends and colleagues from childhood to old age, on a vast range of subjects. Correspondents include old family friends, royal and notable personages, nuns and colleagues in various causes. Most of this material has not been published before and some letters wil be new even to Nightingale scholars. Altogether a very different view of Nightingale emerges from what normally appears in biographies and other secondary sources. This material will enable a new assessment of her feminism, her relations with women and her contribution to improving the status of women of her time.

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.


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Introduction to Volume 8
Key to Editing
Nightingale on Women
Prostitution the Contagious Diseases Acts and the Treatment of Syphilitic Prostitutes
Women Friends Relatives Colleagues and Acquaintances

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Page 68 - And, if I could tell you all, you would see how GOD' HAS DONE ALL, and I nothing. I have worked hard, very hard, that is all; and I HAVE NEVER REFUSED GOD ANYTHING...
Page 69 - But to all women I would say, look upon your work, whether it be an accustomed or an unaccustomed work, as upon a trust confided to you. This will keep you alike from discouragement and presumption, from idleness and from overtaxing yourself. Where God leads the way, He has bound Himself to help you to go the way.

About the author (2005)

Florence Nightingale was born in 1820. As a young woman, she felt God was calling her to do good work, and in 1851 she went to Germany for three months of nursing training that led to her becoming superintendent of a hospital for gentlewomen in London in 1853. That year, the Crimean War began, and newspapers described the desperate lack of proper medical facilities for wounded British soldiers at the front. The War Ministry asked Nightingale to oversee a team of nurses in the military hospitals, and in November 1854, she arrived in Turkey. With her nurses, she greatly improved the conditions and substantially reduced the mortality rate. When she returned to England, she established the Nightingale Training School for Nurses in London. Her trained nurses were sent to hospitals all over Britain, where they introduced new ideas and established nursing training on the Nightingale model. Nightingale's theories, published in "Notes on Nursing" (1860), were hugely influential, and her concerns for sanitation, military health, and hospital planning established practices still in existence today. She died in 1910.

Editor Lynn McDonald is a professor of sociology at the University of Guelph, Ontario, a former president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, Canada’s largest women’s organization, and a former Member of Parliament. She has published many books on theory and directs the Collected Works of Florence Nightingale.