Florence the Woman

Jimmy the Tortoise, 19th century

Display No. 59

Some of the soldiers in the hospitals at Scutari were allowed to keep pets. One such animal was a tortoise called Jimmy, and this is his shell.

Nightingale loved animals and believed that they could have a therapeutic benefit for patients. She wrote that “a small pet is often an excellent companion for the sick” in her book ‘Notes on Nursing’.

Her beliefs are reflected today in the modern use of therapy animals in hospitals.

Tortoiseshell. Florence Nightingale Museum Collection

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!