Florence the Woman

Prescriptions written for Florence Nightingale, 1907

Display No. 130

During the Crimean War Florence contracted brucellosis, a bacterial infection which causes fever, joint pain, extreme fatigue, and depression. The infection became chronic and as a result Nightingale experienced recurring episodes of illness for the rest of her life.

She spent most of her later years at her home in South Street. Towards the end of her life Nightingale was supported by an assistant, Frances Pettit, who helped Florence daily tasks such as taking her medications. Frances kept these prescriptions as a keepsake when Nightingale passed away.

Lent by Nigel Milton-Tomkins

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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!