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Appendix A: Biographical Sketches Florence (Lees) Craven F lorence Sarah Lees (1840-1922),1 was the daughter of a doctor who deserted his family, so that she was brought up by a half brother, an Oxford don. Her mother settled in St Leonardson -the Sea, where Lees also lived much of the time. Like Nightingale, Lees was raised in considerable privilege and in a culture that exerted enormous constraints on a woman’s conduct. Like Nightingale, too, her family disapproved of her desire to nurse. In 1866 her mother allowed her to spend four months at St Thomas’ Hospital as an observer, but not a regular probationer. She then travelled in Europe, working as a probationer at deaconess institutions at Dresden and Kaiserswerth and visiting hospitals. Nightingale tried more than once, unsuccessfully, to interest Lees in workhouse infirmary nursing. William Rathbone made strenuous efforts, urging her to take on, at least temporarily, the Liverpool Workhouse Infirmary , after Agnes Jones’s death in 1868. That Lees’s mother objected strenuously was only one reason she did not. She herself valued her freedom so that for years she visited hospitals and worked spasmodically as a volunteer , without any actual position. In 1869 Lees wrote Nightingale about nurses being sent to Abyssinia (Ethiopia).2 However, Lees went to Paris in 1869 instead, reporting back to Nightingale on French hospitals, after Nightingale arranged with the director of the Assistance Publique in Paris for Lees to have access to them. Lees also made inquiries about naval nursing . She went on to visit German hospitals in 1870, again reporting back. 1 On Lees’s life see Oxford Dictionary of National Biography; on her work see Stocks, A Hundred Years of District Nursing; Monica E. Baly, A History of the Queen’s Nursing Institute: 100 Years 1887-1987, 1987. 2 Letter 1 April 1868, Add Mss 47756 f22. / 901 In 1870 Lees volunteered to nurse in the Franco-Prussian War. She was in charge of the second fever station of the Tenth Army Corps at Marangue, before Metz, then superintendent of nursing at the Royal Reserve Hospital, Hamburg (Nightingale recommended her for the position). Over the course of the war, she made a lifelong friendship with the crown princess of Prussia, Queen Victoria’s daughter. Lees was awarded a German war medal and cross of the German Order of Merit. After the war, Nightingale sent Lees a copy of her Introductory Notes on Lying-in Institutions with an inscription addressed to ‘‘my dear warrior friend.’’3 Lees approached Nightingale in 1871 about her desire to write— they met and Nightingale gave her some ideas.4 Further letters asked for help in the writing, and eventually Lees asked that Nightingale revise the manuscript.5 Nightingale did not do the revision but Lees got editing help, and a preface, from Henry Acland. The result was A Handbook for Hospital Sisters, published in 1873, the first of the nursing books produced by a Nightingale nurse. Acland’s preface, however, reflects a starkly different view from those of Nightingale and Lees on the relation between nursing and medicine: Nursing is a department of the profession of medicine and surgery; it is the medical work of women, and a fit object for the employment of great practical ability, and for the exercise of high moral qualities. It furnishes an outlet for the tender power and skill of good women of almost every class, as superintendents of hospitals, or as ward sisters or nurses. Meanwhile Lees continued to explore the possibility of actual nursing work. In 1872 she decided against nursing at the naval hospital at Haslar and against training German nurses in England in 1872.6 Instead, she continued to visit and report on London hospitals, such as Queen Charlotte’s Hospital in 1872.7 William Rathbone, from Liverpool, next encouraged her to visit hospitals in the United States and Canada, which she did in 1873-74 (he made introductions, with some help from Nightingale). Lees wrote Nightingale from Hamilton, Ontario, Montreal , Boston and New York. Again there was an unpublished report. 3 In Women (8:330). 4 Letters to Nightingale April and 6 June 1871, Add Mss 47756 ff96-107. 5 Letters 1 and 27 July and 4 September 1871, Add Mss 47756 ff116-27. 6 Letters 21 February and 18 March 1872, Add Mss 47756 ff168-69 and 172-77. 7 Letters and report 18 September 1872, Add Mss 47756 ff191-98. 902 / Florence Nightingale: Extending Nursing...


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