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Florence Nightingale on Social Change in India

Collected Works of Florence Nightingale, Volume 10

Gérard Vallée

Publication Year: 2007

Social Change in India shows the shift of focus that occurred during Florence Nightingale’s more than forty years of work on public health in India. While the focus in the preceding volume, Health in India, was top-down reform, notably in the Royal Commission on the Sanitary State of the Army in India, this book documents concrete proposals for self-government, especially at the municipal level, and the encouragement of leading Indian nationals themselves. Famine and related epidemics continue to be issues, demonstrating the need for public works like irrigation and for greater self-help measures like “health missioners” and self-government.

The book includes sections on village and town sanitation, the condition and status of women, land tenure, rent reform, and education and political evolution toward self-rule. Nightingale’s publications on these subjects appeared increasingly in Indian journals.

Correspondence shows Nightingale continuing to work behind the scenes, pressing viceroys, governors, and Cabinet ministers to take up the cause of sanitary reform. Her collaboration with Lord Ripon, viceroy 1880-84, was crucial, for he was a great promoter of Indian self-government.

Social Change in India features much new material, including a substantial number of long-missing letters to Lady Dufferin, wife of the viceroy 1884-88, on the provision of medical care for women in India, health education, and the promotion of women doctors. Biographical sketches of major collaborators, a glossary of Indian terms, and a list of Indian place names are also provided.

Currently, Volumes 1 to 11 are available in e-book version by subscription or from university and college libraries through the following vendors: Canadian Electronic Library, Ebrary, MyiLibrary, and Netlibrary.

Published by: Wilfrid Laurier University Press

Series: Collected Works of Florence Nightingale


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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-vi

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p. vii

Acknowledgments are due to a large number of individuals and organizations for assistance on this volume, and even more for assistance at earlier stages in the Collected Works project. First of all acknowledgments are due to the Henry Bonham Carter Will Trust for permission to publish original Nightingale manuscripts ...

Dramatis Personae

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p. ix

List of Illustrations

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p. x

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Florence Nightingale: A Précis of Her Life

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pp. xi-xiii

Florence Nightingale was born in 1820 in Florence, Italy, the second daughter of wealthy English parents taking an extended European wedding trip. She was raised in England at country homes: Lea Hurst, in Derbyshire, and Embley, in Hampshire. She was educated largely by her father, W.E. Nightingale, who had studied classics ...

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Introduction to Volume 10

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pp. 1-18

Social Change in India is the second of the two volumes on India, which are volumes 9 and 10 in the Collected Works of Florence Nightingale. They follow the introductory Life and Family, three volumes on religion (Spiritual Journey, Theology and Mysticism and Eastern Religions), two on social reform work ...

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Key to Editing

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pp. 19-22

All the manuscript material in the Collected Works has been carefully transcribed and verified (for a description of the process of obtaining and processing this information see ‘‘Research Methods and Sources,’’ Appendix E in Life and Family). Illegible words and passages are so indicated, ...

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Implementing Sanitary Reform

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pp. 23-230

From the time of the initial institution of the presidency sanitary commissions in 1864, reported in Health in India, it was the role of the sanitary commissioners to co-ordinate sanitary work in their capacity as advisors and administrators. Nightingale’s correspondence in this section helps to relate ...

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Village and Town Sanitation

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pp. 231-392

Throughout her decades of work on India, Nightingale was concerned that sufficient attention be given to the sanitary condition of villages and towns. While her own work had begun with the army, she "always believed that unless the sanitation of towns and villages in India could be achieved, army sanitation would ...

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Land Tenure and Rent Reform

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pp. 393-620

Through her practical work in public health and sanitation Nightingale came to address the plight of Indian nationals, especially that of the peasant class. She became increasingly eager to try to influence aspects of Indian life and society beyond the area of public health, to be an agent of social change. ...

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Reform in Credit, Co-operatives, Education and Agriculture

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pp. 621-716

In addition to the important reforms needed to the key institutions of land tenure and rent, a whole range of other, related reforms were needed to ensure an adequate livelihood for rural cultivators. Nightingale’s aim was, if not the elimination of poverty, the establishment of basic income security measures ...

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The Condition of Women in India

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pp. 717-796

Nightingale believed that in order to achieve a good standard of public health in India, the active participation of women was required. In a message she sent to the viceroy, while thanking him "with all our hearts and minds for what he is doing for the improvement and enlightenment of his people concerning their ...

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Social and Political Evolution

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pp. 797-878

Much has already emerged to show Nightingale’s support of self-government in India, especially at the local level. Here as the subject becomes the main focus we provide further background both on political developments and on the broader evolution of Indian society and culture. ...

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Nightingale’s Last Work on India and a Retrospective

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pp. 879-902

Along with her continued dedication to the cause of nursing, India remained the central occupation of Nightingale’s later years. She wrote to Rosalind Nash in 1888: "I think of your future career with more interest than almost anything else, except India and the nurses."1 Her official biographer, E.T. Cook, ...

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Appendix A: Biographical Sketches

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pp. 903-909

George Frederick Samuel Robinson1 came from a noble political family. He was born at 10 Downing St., when his father was briefly prime minister. His grandfather had been governor of Madras. Lord Ripon was a Liberal member of Parliament 1852-59 under the courtesy title of Viscount Goderich. ...

Appendix B: British Officials in Nightingale’s Time

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pp. 910-918

Appendix C: Spelling of Indian Place Names

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pp. 919-920


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pp. 921-924


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pp. 925-930


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pp. 931-952

E-ISBN-13: 9781554581115
Print-ISBN-13: 9780889204959
Print-ISBN-10: 0889204950

Page Count: 976
Publication Year: 2007

Series Title: Collected Works of Florence Nightingale
See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 236362188
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Florence Nightingale on Social Change in India

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • India -- Politics and government -- 1857-1919.
  • India -- Social conditions -- 19th century.
  • Social change -- India -- History -- 19th century.
  • Public health -- India -- History -- 19th century.
  • Women health reformers -- England -- Correspondence.
  • Nurses -- England -- Correspondence.
  • Nightingale, Florence, 1820-1910 -- Correspondence.
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