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Florence Nightingale on Mysticism and Eastern Religions

Collected Works of Florence Nightingale, Volume 4

Gérard Vallée

Publication Year: 2003

Mysticism and Eastern Religions, the fourth volume in the Collected Works and the third on Nightingale’s religion, begins with the publication for the first time of Florence Nightingale’s Notes on Devotional Authors of the Middle Ages, translations from and comments on the medieval (and some later) mystics who nourished her own life of faith. Next come her annotations of and comments on the Imitation of Christ, a book to which she turned in times of distress. The largest part of the volume consists of her Letters from Egypt, written 1849-50, a significant period in her own intellectual and spiritual development. Here we provide (for the first time) complete publication and include (also for the first time) material preparatory for the trip and reflections on it over the later years. The last section reports Nightingale’s correspondence and journal notes on Eastern religions, mainly Hinduism.

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

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

Acknowledgments are due first of all to the Henry Bonham Carter Will Trust for permission to publish Nightingale original manuscripts, and indeed for treating Nightingale material generally as being in the public domain. To the owners of Nightingale manuscripts thanks...

Dramatis Personae

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pp. ix

List of Illustrations

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pp. x

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A Précis of the Collected Works

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pp. xi-xiv

Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) is best known as the heroine of the Crimean War (1854-56), the chief founder of the modern profession of nursing and a hospital reformer. Her work in those respects will be reported later in this Collected Works. The introductory volume, Life and Family, gives an overview of Nightingale’s...

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Introduction to Volume 4

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pp. 1-2

Mysticism and Eastern Religions1 is the third volume on religion in the Collected Works. It reports material from diverse periods of Nightingale’s life and on a considerable range of subjects. The substantial Part 2, Letters and Diaries from Egypt, dates from 1849-50, a period of considerable anxiety, if not mild depression...

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Key to Editing

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pp. 3-5

All the manuscript material in the Collected Works has been carefully transcribed and verified (see the electronic text for a full description of the process). Remaining illegible words and passages are so indicated, with [illeg] or [?] inserted to indicate our best reading of the word or words in question. Dates for material...

Notes from Devotional Authors

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Notes from Devotional Authors

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pp. 9-80

Florence Nightingale became acquainted with mystical writings as a young woman, certainly before the Crimean War.1 Her interest was then fostered by a fellow nurse in Crimea, Mary Clare Moore, Reverend Mother of the Convent of Mercy at Bermondsey, who became a lifelong friend and lender of books on spiritual and...

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Mysticism and The Imitation of Christ

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pp. 81-104

St Teresa, in the sixteenth century, says that ‘‘Christ said’’ to her (metaphorically of course): Don’t distress yourself about my wounds (you know Roman Catholics are always ‘‘meditating’’ on the crucifixion) 1600 years ago—rather concern yourself about the wounds which are inflicted upon me now every day. Do you know I think this is very...

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Notes and Letters on Spirituality

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pp. 105-113

Editor: Nightingale annotated a book about early saints, The Pupils of St John the Divine by Charlotte Yonge, although it is identified on the title page only as being by the author of The Heir of Redclyffe. The family gave the book to Sister Sophiea Collyer the year after Nightingale’s death: ‘‘In remembrance of her attendance upon Miss Florence...

Letters and Diaries from Egypt

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Letters and Diaries from Egypt

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pp. 117-476

Florence Nightingale’s journey to Egypt (November 1849-April 1850) took place at a decisive time in her life. It was framed, so to speak, by her searching for and her finding a place in life. Long and painful years of search for a meaningful active life followed her first ‘‘call to service’’ in 1837. Her efforts to escape a conventional...

List of Emendations

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pp. 477-479

Brief Chronology of Ancient Egypt and Some Important Kings and Pharaohs

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pp. 480

Letters and Notes on Eastern Religions

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Letters and Notes on Eastern Religions

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pp. 483-508

This brief section is only one of several places where material on non-Christian, Eastern religions will be presented. Here the material consists chiefly of Nightingale’s letters and notes to her friend, the distinguished Orientalist, Julius Mohl. Unfortunately, only a small number of these letters is now available, as Nightingale’s...

Appendix: Religious Books Used

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pp. 509-527


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pp. 529-535


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pp. 537-558

E-ISBN-13: 9780889205734
Print-ISBN-13: 9780889204133
Print-ISBN-10: 0889204136

Page Count: 568
Publication Year: 2003

Series Title: Collected Works of Florence Nightingale