Florence the Woman

Charles (1799-1872) and Selena (1800-1874) Bracebridge

Display No. 25

Married couple Charles and Selena Bracebridge were interested in the arts and world travel and befriended a youthful Nightingale when they’d have been in their late 40s. The Bracebridges supported Florence’s aspirations, and took her on her first trip to the Deaconess Institute at Kaiserwerth where she later studied nursing.

Nightingale referred to Selina as “more than a mother” and the Bracebridge’s as “the creators of my life”. This painting shows the Bracebridges visiting Nightingale during the Crimean War.



Portrait of Charles Bracebridge, Florence Nightingale and Selina Bracebridge. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Public Domain

Exhibits from ‘Florence the Woman’

Discover the 200 Exhibits

Nightingale is respected worldwide for her pioneering role in developing the nursing profession, her statistical work, and her evidence-based approach to healthcare. In honour of her bicentenary the World Health Organisation have named 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

In our special exhibition, you will find out about objects, people and places which tell interesting stories about Florence’s life and legacy. You’ll discover artefacts from her life, people she both inspired and challenged, and places she helped to shape. There’s many more insights too!

Please click on the different sections of her famous coxcomb diagram to explore various aspects of her life and legacy. We hope you enjoy exploring!