New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1860. First US edition. Hardcover. 140 pp. + 4 pages of publisher advertisements at rear, 12mo, publisher's brown pebbled cloth with gilt cover title. Minor spotting to covers, bit of fraying to spine ends, inoffensive scattered foxing to contents, overall very good. Item #22727
Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) was born in Florence Italy to a wealthy English family. She was well-traveled and, unusually for the time, had a classical education, including languages, philosophy, history, and mathematics. In 1844, after long feeling called to the service of others and over the objections of her family she decided to enter the field of nursing. By the end of the decade she was a proficient and innovative nurse and in mid-1853 became superintendent at the Institute for the Care of Sick Gentlewomen. When reports of the sufferings of the wounded soldiers fighting in the Crimean War reached England she answered the call by organizing a nursing staff of some 38 volunteers she had personally trained and in October 1854 they set out for the Crimea. There she found a terrible situation with 10 times more soldiers dying of hygiene-related illnesses than from wounds received in battle. In 1860 she founded a nursing school at St. Thomas' Hospital in London, which is called the first secular nursing school in the world and has been in continuous operation to this day.