Victorian Medicine and Social Reform: Florence Nightingale Among the Novelists

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Victorian Medicine and Social Reform traces Florence Nightingale s career as a reformer and Crimean war heroine. Her fame as a social activist and her writings including Notes on Nursing and Notes on Matters Affecting the Health, Efficiency and Hospital Administration of the British Army influenced novelists such as Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell, and George Eliot. Their novels of social realism, in turn, influenced Nightingale's later essays on poverty and Indian famine. This study draws original conclusions on the relationship between Nightingale s work and its historical context, gender politics, and such twenty-first-century analogues as celebrity activists Angelina Jolie, Al Gore, and Nicole Kidman.