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Florence Nightingale was a healer, a comforter, and a nurturer. But like all of us, she had a dark side. Because of her mystique and her charisma she always got what she wanted. Seldom, did anyone really know her. They were drawn to her. They had to be with her. They admired her. At least one man literally worked himself to death for her. But they did not really know her. Florence Nightingale was a healer, a comforter, and a nurturer. But like all of us, she had a dark side. Because of her mystique and her charisma she always got what she wanted. Seldom, did anyone really know her. They were drawn to her. They had to be with her. They admired her. At least one man literally worked himself to death for her. But they did not really know her. There is no doubt she was a force with which one had to attend. Denial of her passion and abilities generally led only to personal devastation! Now you can discover the darker side of Florence Nightingale.


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Florence Nightingale was a healer, a comforter, and a nurturer. But like all of us, she had a dark side. Because of her mystique and her charisma she always got what she wanted. Seldom, did anyone really know her. They were drawn to her. They had to be with her. They admired her. At least one man literally worked himself to death for her. But they did not really know her. Florence Nightingale was a healer, a comforter, and a nurturer. But like all of us, she had a dark side. Because of her mystique and her charisma she always got what she wanted. Seldom, did anyone really know her. They were drawn to her. They had to be with her. They admired her. At least one man literally worked himself to death for her. But they did not really know her. There is no doubt she was a force with which one had to attend. Denial of her passion and abilities generally led only to personal devastation! Now you can discover the darker side of Florence Nightingale.

30 review for The Biography of Florence Nightingale

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ivan

    Interesting "brief life" story of Nightingale by the very gifted Lytton Strachey. In the 21st century one reads while shaking your head at the privation of any sanitary measures in hospitals until this woman came along and pushed for change - and this is just 150 fifty years ago - to say she revolutionized nursing and hospital care is no overstatement. Interesting "brief life" story of Nightingale by the very gifted Lytton Strachey. In the 21st century one reads while shaking your head at the privation of any sanitary measures in hospitals until this woman came along and pushed for change - and this is just 150 fifty years ago - to say she revolutionized nursing and hospital care is no overstatement.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cali

    It is hard to find biographies that bring the subject to life. This is one of those few.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ritsumei

    My 10yo gave me this book for my birthday; I flipped it over and read the back: "Florence Nightingale was a healer, a comforter, and a nurturer. But like all of us, she had a dark side." Oh gag. Spare me. If I had been browsing at the used book shop, it would have gone back on the shelf --but it was a gift from my son. I opened it up. The offending text is taken from the introduction, written by an Anita S Kessler, with a whole pile of initials after her name --and she's obnoxious. I flipped to My 10yo gave me this book for my birthday; I flipped it over and read the back: "Florence Nightingale was a healer, a comforter, and a nurturer. But like all of us, she had a dark side." Oh gag. Spare me. If I had been browsing at the used book shop, it would have gone back on the shelf --but it was a gift from my son. I opened it up. The offending text is taken from the introduction, written by an Anita S Kessler, with a whole pile of initials after her name --and she's obnoxious. I flipped to the first page... And quickly found myself enjoying a very well written story of a remarkable woman. Happily, the author is not so silly as the woman who wrote the introduction. Miss Nightingale was a well-healed Victorian woman. As such, she had one job, because, after all: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. Instead of preceding down the path decreed, young Florence incited consternation and alarm by announcing a desire to work as a nurse --by her own confession, roughly equivalent to announcing an ambition to become a kitchen maid: nurses were, at that time, typically drunken, filthy, ignorant, and frequently of questionable morals. Obviously out of the question for a daughter of a respectable family. Only, somehow she never does secure the husband that a woman of her accomplishments was expected to procure. She struggles with depression. And, accompanying her mother and sisters on a tour of the Continent, she manages to visit most of the great European hospitals. Eventually she becomes the superintendent of a nearby charitable nursing home. Then the Crimean War breaks out. Miss Nightingale does, indeed, become an angel of mercy, the Lady With the Lamp, to the suffering soldiers at a barracks "hospital" -if you can call it that- in Constantinople. To them she is the face of mercy; the embodiment of hope in a bleak, filthy, vermin-infested, squalid death trap masquerading as a hospital. The supposed "dark side" Ms. Kessler warned of is the indomitable spirit necessary to be able to accomplish anything at all under that sort of condition: welcomed by no one but the wounded and dying, facing opposition at every turn from petty officials who seemed completely unconcerned by the waste of human life going on on their watch, right under their noses. She brought her own funds; she secured private funding. She arranged for the hospital to be scrubbed, made the laundry happen, arranged for regular meals for the soldiers, acquired clothing medications, hospital supplies... she organized it all. Anyone who can do that is a force to be reckoned with. And that was just the beginning. Skip the introduction; it's junk. But the book, though short, was well worth the time. My biggest complaint about the book itself is that it's *too* short. I wish that the author had given more detail, particularly of her lesser known accomplishments after the war: arguably, these were the greater part of her work, enabled, in part, by the fame and public adoration that resulted from her role in saving lives during the war. I wish there was more substance given about the work she undertook to ensure lasting reform. Miss Nightingale obviously left behind significant volumes: diaries, at least one book, voluminous correspondence; I wish the author had given us more, and more in her own words, from her own pen. But what he did write is worth reading.

  4. 4 out of 5

    David Jefferson

    Nightingale, the bottom line can be read in a brief time. Considering that I knew next to nothing about Florence Nightingale (and that I work in nursing)... This is an important book. Nursing School makes reference to her as well as other innovators, of the field but really don't go into depth on the history. This book answers those questions. For we the readers do receive a clear picture of the state of nursing prior to the Nightingale Impact and the motivations for her to do what she did. We als Nightingale, the bottom line can be read in a brief time. Considering that I knew next to nothing about Florence Nightingale (and that I work in nursing)... This is an important book. Nursing School makes reference to her as well as other innovators, of the field but really don't go into depth on the history. This book answers those questions. For we the readers do receive a clear picture of the state of nursing prior to the Nightingale Impact and the motivations for her to do what she did. We also receive a glimpse of her personality. We generally don't visualize role models and celebrities as being human but in some celebrated state above. (Michael Jackson was once asked if he ever had to use the rest room.) So in contrast to this bigger than life perception, we see that Miss Nightingale was as human as the rest of us. Imagine Florence Nightingale actually resorting to name calling and even engaging into fisticuffs! These all too human traits helps paint a picture of the ordinary being able to go beyond herself and accomplish the extraordinary!!!! It's also a short book. I was actually disappointed that I finished reading it so-oooo quickly. But the brevity, I feel, takes away any excuse of people in the nursing field not reading it. But this is a history book and history books are for everyone... not just nursing!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    I enjoyed the biography but find myself puzzled by the introduction as well as the back cover summary. There must be something I missed about Miss Nightengale’s supposed “dark side.” It may be perhaps lost over time or maybe it is there and I missed it. Were Miss Nightengale, instead Mr. Nightengale, her determination and maniacal drive would have presented her as a winning mind of her time. Instead, we see her still, as the Lady with the Lamp, but it is precisely this image that changed the wor I enjoyed the biography but find myself puzzled by the introduction as well as the back cover summary. There must be something I missed about Miss Nightengale’s supposed “dark side.” It may be perhaps lost over time or maybe it is there and I missed it. Were Miss Nightengale, instead Mr. Nightengale, her determination and maniacal drive would have presented her as a winning mind of her time. Instead, we see her still, as the Lady with the Lamp, but it is precisely this image that changed the world of nursing and military medical care throughout the world. A very fascinating story about a very unusual woman.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    Parts of the book were difficult to get through but the book was a short read. My interest in Ms Nightingale is that of being an RN who graduated from the University of Maryland. Our cap was designed based on one of Florence’s caps and originally made in England. She was a very special lady and made a difference in the lives of all of us today. So I enjoyed the short history. I hope to read more about her.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Magda Michielsens

    I read the book, and I read a lot of other books about F.N. I did not see her dark side. I hope there will be activities about her in 2020. She was born 200 years ago. It is a Florence Nightingale-year. I find conferences about the nurse, from a medical angle. Fine. But I miss the historical and feminist angle.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tracie Sneed

    Love to read a good book about an amazing woman--who had great vision and worked hard to make it happen.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Fran Johnson

    Interesting book about a person who accomplished much.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sæunn Þórisdóttir

    Mjög áhugaverð lesning um einstaka konu. Las bókina reyndar í gamalli Íslenskri þýðingu sem skýrir kannski að stjörnurnar eru aðeins þrjár.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Connie Hendricks

    Often my favorite reading is in the genre of biography or auto biography. This is a book about one of those people who made a significant difference in the world. The author presented her in a light that is usually not considered by those of us who think of Florence Nightingale as the ultimate healer. I was surprised by those negative characteristics that sometimes dominated her behavior and yet I admired her commitment, dedication, and sacrifice to what she held dear. Well worth reading.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rivka

    Direct, concise, and unembellished, this quick-read biography of Florence Nightingale was wonderful. Her merciful work in Scutari was a marvel, of course, but equally fascinating was the account of the obsessive drive that propelled her through decades and cost her health and the lives of her associates. She really was a phenomenal woman.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    I love how this book was written. The author did a wonderful job of bringing Miss Nightingale to life, in a way the wasn't fanciful or only touching on her gifts and strengths, but also giving a glimpse at her struggles and weaknesses that are so human. I love how this book was written. The author did a wonderful job of bringing Miss Nightingale to life, in a way the wasn't fanciful or only touching on her gifts and strengths, but also giving a glimpse at her struggles and weaknesses that are so human.

  14. 4 out of 5

    peter ashburner

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ipshita Sarmah

  16. 5 out of 5

    Emilie

  17. 5 out of 5

    Hiromi

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gena

  19. 5 out of 5

    Allison

  20. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Miller

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amber Milholland

  22. 5 out of 5

    Isabel

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rinburevolution

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lyn Elliott

  26. 5 out of 5

    Christine

  27. 4 out of 5

    Corinna Lumbard

  28. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

  29. 4 out of 5

    Deborah O’Neal

  30. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

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