Manuscripts & Special Collections
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When Florence Nightingale returned from the Crimean War she was a national celebrity, one whose fame has endured to this day. But who was Florence Nightingale and what had led her to the war in the first place?
This exhibition, timed to coincide with the bicentenary of Nightingale’s birth, sheds new light on the Lady with the Lamp. It covers her struggle to escape her family, her efforts during the Crimean War, and her work to improve sanitary conditions in homes and in hospitals.
It also examines how Nightingale both embraced and rejected her fame. Visitors can learn of her upbringing in Derbyshire and how her ‘quiet and rural’ family home became a magnet for autograph hunters and sightseers. The exhibition will showcase commemorative figurines of Nightingale, poems composed in her honour, and contemporary celebrations of her work. Letters and diaries written by military surgeons, soldiers and politicians, will also show how she was viewed by those intimately involved in the Crimean conflict.
Curated by Manuscripts and Special Collections and the Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded Nightingale Comes Home project team at the University of Nottingham. Find out more at florencenightingale.org