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Florence Nightingale Shore was murdered in 1920 while returning by train to the Hammersmith District Nurses Home.118 Most of Nightingale ’s letters to her are not extant, but hers to Nightingale are. Source: From a letter, ‘‘Florence Nightingale Shore,’’ Queen’s Nurses’ Magazine 17,1 (February 1920):7-8 [8 December 1897] My dear Florence Shore, If you will allow me to call you so. I am very fond of the name Shore. Thanks for your kind letter. Let me send you £2.2s for your little clock. I hope this will be enough to get you a serviceable clock. Do not be discouraged, for you are discouraged. You will find the real joys begin when you are actually at work, or rather, perhaps, you will find then that you do not want joys. I should like to hear from you from Reading, if you are so good as to write me. I think district work brings one more in heartfelt contact with one’s fellow creatures than anything else. And when one knows that doctors who know say that the mere visit of the nurse diminished the mortality, one thanks God who puts such Godlike powers into our hands, provided they are genial hands. Excuse haste and pencil. ever yours F. Nightingale Correspondence with Amy Hughes Editor: Amy Hughes emerged in the 1890s as a major leader in the cause of district work (see the biographical sketch on her in Appendix A). Exceptionally , the correspondence between her and Nightingale survives from both sides. Hughes also left notes giving her impressions of visits she made to consult Nightingale. She reported that their first meeting took place in 1885 (she had commenced training in 1884). The practice then was for Nightingale to interview students on completion of the twelve months’ course. She then discussed my future, and told me she had come to the conclusion I ought to become a district nurse. This was a great surprise to me, as I am hoping eventually to become a sister in the hospital , and had never thought of taking up district work. But Miss 118 On her death see D.S. and A.G. Coombs, ‘‘The Life, Betrayal and Death of Nurse Florence Nightingale Shore,’’ in which these authors argue that the murderer was a fellow district nurse. 842 / Florence Nightingale: Extending Nursing Nightingale described the opportunities and openings for national welfare in such an inspiring way I felt I must accept her decision. The note continues that in these meetings Nightingale ‘‘always took the keenest interest in the work, and liked to hear details of the patients. One always came away inspired and strengthened.’’119 Hughes duly took a position at the District Nurses’ Home at Bloomsbury and visited Nightingale roughly once a year afterwards. She left district work for approximately six years, when she received an ‘‘urgent request’’ to accept the superintendent’s post at the Bolton Workhouse Infirmary, Lancashire, in 1895. Nightingale was resigned to her departure: I can’t say I shall be glad to see you to wish you goodbye, for I groan at your departure loud enough to be heard at Bolton. But what must be, must, and I will keep Friday, 5th April free at and after 5 o’clock if that is quite suitable to you. She signed it ‘‘yours in grief and groaning.’’120 Hughes wrote a book on district nursing, which she wanted to dedicate to Nightingale. Lengthy correspondence in 1896-97 ensued, for Nightingale found some of the material objectionable. Was it not ‘‘impossible ,’’ she asked, for her to approve unless Hughes made Bloomsbury, i.e., the Metropolitan and National organization, the standard, not merely the Queen Victoria Jubilee organization. Hughes’s acceptance of the inferior standards of the new organization was, to Nightingale, ‘‘astonishing’’ (see p 848 below). Hughes wanted Nightingale’s approbation and offered to make alterations. Henry Bonham Carter provided some of the new material , for which Hughes also thanked him. She wrote Nightingale: ‘‘I fully appreciate your criticisms and will gratefully adopt them, because I know how you hear and see both sides of these questions,’’ adding that ‘‘your letters have been a revelation to me, as I was, taking things as they ought to be, rather than as they are.’’121 Eventually permission to publish with the dedication was given. The correspondence begins with Nightingale seeking nursing assistance on a case. 119 Undated late note, Wellcome Ms 5478/20. 120 Letter 2 April 1895, Wellcome...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781554581702
Related ISBN
9780889205208
MARC Record
OCLC
625268199
Pages
950
Launched on MUSE
2012-07-10
Language
English
Open Access
No
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