Florence the Woman

Frances Nightingale, 1788-1880

Display No. 122

This portrait shows Florence as a child with her sister Parthenope and their mother Frances. Frances (Fanny) Nightingale expected her daughters to live conventional lives, and hoped that they would marry well.

Florence’s decision to reject marriage and pursue nursing meant that she and her mother had a difficult, albeit loving, relationship.

Mrs Nightingale with her daughters, Florence and Parthenope. Photogravure by E. Walker after a watercolour, 1828. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0

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!