Florence the Woman

Parthenope Nightingale, 1819-1890

Display No. 163

Parthenope Nightingale was Florence’s older sister. When she was young Parthenope loved to draw and this is one of her sketchbooks. The sisters had a loving but complex relationship and Parthenope initially opposed Florence’s wish to become a nurse.

When Sir Harry Verney proposed to Florence, she declined so she could continue to pursue her nursing work. However Florence saw a potential match for her sister. Florence introduced Parthenope to Sir Harry and they married the following year.

Sketchbook belonging to Parthenope Nightingale. Florence Nightingale Museum Collection

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Exhibits from ‘Florence the Woman’

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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!