Heart and Soul: The Story of Florence Nightingale

Overview

In Florence Nightingale’s day, if a person was sick – and lucky – he or she was nursed at home with caring family members tending the bedside. Hospitals were horrible places from which few emerged alive. The nurses were often drunks and prostitutes. Doctors had rudimentary skills.

Thus the privileged Nightingale family was appalled when Florence, who had done her share of household nursing, announced that she wanted to train to work in a hospital. After all, her role was cut out...

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Heart and Soul: The Story of Florence Nightingale

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Overview

In Florence Nightingale’s day, if a person was sick – and lucky – he or she was nursed at home with caring family members tending the bedside. Hospitals were horrible places from which few emerged alive. The nurses were often drunks and prostitutes. Doctors had rudimentary skills.

Thus the privileged Nightingale family was appalled when Florence, who had done her share of household nursing, announced that she wanted to train to work in a hospital. After all, her role was cut out for her: she was to be a decorative, witty lady. A career, much less nursing, was out of the question.

It took many years, but Florence found her calling in Crimea. More English soldiers died of sickness there than died in battle. If they were wounded they were almost sure to suffer in misery, lying on pallets caked with old blood, hungry and thirsty, without anyone to offer them so much as a sip of water. Florence caused a revolution in her insistence for cleanliness, wholesome food, and kind treatment of men, who were considered to be nothing more than cannon fodder.

Florence’s campaign resulted in reforms to health care for millions of people. Although she was in frail health for much of her life, her sense of outrage and her extraordinary stamina in the face of prejudice and almost criminal ignorance make her story one of the most inspiring in history.

Dozens of photographs, posters, and cartoons bring the past to life in this memorable biography.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This highly readable and well-researched biography does an excellent job of integrating the social and medical conditions of Nightingale’s time…Gorrell succeeds in separating myth from reality, smoothly crafting a picture of a gifted individual who was also wholly human.”
School Library Journal

“This fascinating book is filled with little-known facts, photographs and drawings of Nightingale’s personal life, and descriptions of her era’s social mores and medical profession, all of which make her achievements more astounding.”
Voya

“Lively and highly readable.”
Booklist

“Accessible, inspiring, and packed with unusual facts, this book will find its way into the heart and soul of many readers, both young and old.”
Quill & Quire

Heart and Soul is one of those treasures that should not be allowed to gather dust on a library shelf. Well-written, informative and interesting, it will appeal to anyone thinking about a career in nursing as well as rouse the curiosity of future history majors.”
Children’s Book Review Service

“…a rich social history of Victorian England and a distinctly feminist picture of the life of an extraordinary woman…”
Houston Chronicle

“A compelling biography of a woman who, against innumerable odds, established nursing as an honorable and dignified profession.”
Sunday Times

“A perfect library reference book, and a great read for anyone interested in nursing or Victorian history.”
Bookselling This Week - Kids’ Pick of the List

Listed by the Globe and Mail as one of the best kids’ books of 2000

From the Hardcover edition.

VOYA
The Crimean War, Balaclava, The Charge of the Light Brigade all are synonymous with Florence Nightingale, but details in this engrossing biography reveal that most readers know of Nightingale rather than about her. Born into wealth in 1820, with marriage her main obligation, Nightingale desired to serve others through nursing. Hospitals then were abhorrent; doctors reused filthy instruments and most nurses were desultory women. Nursing was considered inappropriate for women of Nightingale's class, and her family vehemently opposed her choice. Nevertheless her career began when she was named superintendent of a small London hospital. She was hired as a figurehead, but her fierce personality emerged when demanding changes regarding cleanliness, order, and nursing regulations. Her success led her to the Crimean War, where medical procedures were shockingly crude, but Nightingale again worked tirelessly for quality nursing against opposition to change from doctors and other officials. Nightingale and her work in the Crimean War changed medicine, with technological and medical advances cementing her practices. After Crimea, she was an advocate for nursing until her death in 1910. This fascinating book is filled with little-known facts, photographs and drawings of Nightingale's personal life, and descriptions of her era's social mores and medical profession, all of which make her achievements more astounding. Although aimed toward older students, the book is written on an intermediate grade level with didactic narration at times. Nevertheless it is engrossing enough to interest biography-loving older students and adults, with its lower level text and graphics ideal for less competent readers.VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2000, Tundra Books, 146p, Index, Illus, Photos, Biblio., Source Notes, Appendix. Ages 12 to 18. Reviewer: Lisa M. Spiegel VOYA, February 2001 (Vol. 23, No.6)
Children's Literature
When most people think of Florence Nightingale, they think simply of a nurse or an "angel of mercy," as she was often called. This stunning biography reveals the true grit and strength of character that this privileged woman possessed. Through unshakable determination, fierce willpower and an ever-increasing awareness of social injustice, Florence broke away from her frustrating life and status as a proper Victorian lady. She became a pioneer in the fields of nursing, sanitation and hygiene, and military medical practices, among many other areas. Florence Nightingale is most famous for revolutionizing nursing practices and standards during the Crimean war. But she also championed many causes in an effort to bring about needed social reforms, at a time when the rich ruled and the poor were left largely to fend for themselves. She did this in spite of her own fragile health, both real and imagined, and doggedly tried to right the wrongs she had seen and heard of throughout the world. Careful thought and detailed research bring to life the meticulous and demanding person known as the "lady of the lamp." A truly captivating read that is filled with detailed information and references. This biography is a must-have for libraries and middle school science and/or health classrooms, if only for the lesson that "anyone who tries hard enough can change the world." 2000, Tundra Books. Ages 10 to 15. Reviewer: Trina Heidt
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-This highly readable and well-researched biography does an excellent job of integrating the social and medical conditions of Nightingale's time. Born into a wealthy English family, Nightingale was expected to pursue trivial tasks and make a "good marriage." However, she decided to study nursing and to make a contribution to society instead. Years later as superintendent of nurses for the British hospitals in Turkey during the Crimean War, she found herself battling horrendous sanitary conditions and bureaucratic blockades. Gorrell fleshes out her subject's stubborn persistence, organizational genius, and exacting intelligence with quotations from family letters, official correspondence, and private letters from Queen Victoria. Enlivening the narrative are black-and-white reproductions of drawings (some done by Nightingale's family and friends) and period photographs. Source notes, a selected bibliography, picture credits, and a Web address for the Nightingale Museum in London are appended. Gorrell succeeds in separating myth from reality, smoothly crafting a picture of a gifted individual who was also wholly human.-Cindy Darling Codell, Clark Middle School, Winchester, KY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
From The Critics
Ages 11 and older will find Heart and Soul an appealing and informative biography of Florence Nightingale, using photos, posters, cartoons and maps throughout to help tell her story. The focus on her life and times provides a widerranging biography than is usually presented and gives kids a solid view of her world.
Kirkus Reviews
Gorrell (North Star to Freedom, 1997) presents a well-researched history of Florence Nightingale, the events that shaped her, and the political climate of her time. Using photographs, drawings, and Nightingale's own writings, the period in which she is lived is described and puts into context the extraordinary achievements of a woman who changed the way in which medical care is given. This is not a romanticized picture of"the lady with the lamp." It is the story of a demanding, sometimes infuriating person who was independent at a time when women of her social and economic class were dependent creatures whose purpose in life was to marry well. Nightingale refused marriage opportunities to pursue a single life. This was made possible by her father's gift of an income. The narrative begins slowly as Gorrell sketches the historical background of Nightingale's world. Interest quickens when Nightingale and her family take center stage and the story focuses on their lives and the beginnings of her social conscience. Chapters detailing the state of nursing and medical care of the time, the Crimean War, and the work for which Nightingale is most famous are very compelling. Illustrations selected from historical sources are enhanced by descriptive passages that lend interest to the text. A chapter-by-chapter list of source notes, a bibliography, and picture sources are important documentation. An index is useful for student reports or quick reference information. An excellent biography of a complex heroine. (Nonfiction. 10+)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780887767036
  • Publisher: Tundra
  • Publication date: 3/8/2005
  • Pages: 152
  • Sales rank: 261,144
  • Age range: 10 years
  • Product dimensions: 7.48 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Gena K. Gorrell is an editor and author living in Toronto. Her works of non-fiction include North Star to Freedom: The Story of the Underground Railroad and Catching Fire: The Story of Firefighting. She is a member of the auxiliary police and an expert diver.

From the Hardcover edition.

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