Pioneer and Campaigner

Giuseppe Garibaldi, 1807-1882

Display No. 112

Eighteenth-century Italy was a very different place to the country we know now. Instead of a single country, the Italian peninsula was divided into a number of different kingdoms and states. Giuseppe Garibaldi was an Italian general and revolutionary, and a leading figure in the unification of Italy.

After an uprising in Piedmont, he was sentenced to death but escaped to South America. He spent 14 years in exile, mastering the art of guerrilla warfare in Brazil. Garibaldi returned to Italy in 1848, and Nightingale attended an Italian unification rally in Rome that same year. She was inspired by his determination and donated money to the cause of creating a united Italian nation. Garibaldi admired Nightingale and visited her London home on South Street.

Giuseppe Garibaldi, head and shoulders. Chromolithograph, ca. 1880. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0.

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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!