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Florence Nightingale was, for a time, one of the most famous women in Britain--if not the world. While she is known today primarily as a saintly character and as a reformer of Britain’s health-care system, the reality is a little more complex. In Nightingales, acclaimed author Gillian Gill examines the lives of Nightingale and of her family, focusing on the ways that Victorian notions of femininity and the British class structure infuenced the development of this well-known woman.
Combining biography, politics, and social history, Nightingales is a definitive portrait of a Victorian woman's atypically successful public life, of her impact on her family, and of the Victorian era, itself.
“A beautifully written and nuanced portrait . . . Gill infuses her subject with rare vitality and untangles the strands of historical, social, and personal forces that determine the course of female life. This multifaceted approach challenges the myths surrounding Nightingale’s struggle for fulfillment, giving us a fascinating window into one Victorian woman that becomes a lens through which we can view ourselves.”
–Susan Hertog, author of Anne Morrow Lindbergh