Nightingales The plural form of Nightingale is key to the innovation of this marvelous and engrossing study. By twining the story of Florence (the famous 19th-century… Nightingales The plural form of Nightingale is key to the innovation of this marvelous and engrossing study. By twining the story of Florence (the famous 19th-century… 2004-08-31 Biography Nonfiction Ballantine
Book Review

Nightingales (2004)

EW's GRADE
A

Details Release Date: Aug 31, 2004; Writer: Gillian Gill; Genres: Biography, Nonfiction; Publisher: Ballantine

The plural form of Nightingale is key to the innovation of this marvelous and engrossing study. By twining the story of Florence (the famous 19th-century health-care reformer) with that of her daunting parents, neurasthenic older sister, and extended network of formidably spiky relatives, Gillian Gill in Nightingales does more than offer a fresh biography of the lady called the Bird by the soldiers she nursed in the Crimea; she also creates a dynamic snapshot of (privileged) Victorian society. The author's digressions are as valuable as the through line of her premise: that in resisting the blandishments of a ''good'' marriage match, Nightingale instinctively saved herself from a kind of incarceration of the soul. And that the price was so great that FN took to her room in her late 30s, soul intact, for 50 years.

Originally posted Sep 03, 2004 Published in issue #781 Sep 03, 2004 Order article reprints
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