I have been meaning to write a post about the Florence Nightingale Museum in London for quite a while.
I finally went and visited it when last in London, althought I have been meaning to go for years. It’s not really easy to find and is in an area where I only went to take the Eurostar back to Paris, when it was still at Waterloo Station.
This time, I made room for it in my plans.
One of the few photos one is allowed to take
It’s a small museum but it has interesting memorabilia and shows a couple of informative videos.
I watched them with two other women, and at the end, one of them said:
I can’t resist asking! Are you a nurse?
When I said I wasn’t, both she and her friend were quite surprised and asked me what had brought me there.
So, I thought it over and replied that I had always been fascinated by women of the past centuries who, in spite of everything that society expected from them, had managed to achieve their plans and accomplish their dreams. And Florence Nightingale was certainly one of those.
In those days, nurses were certainly not well considered and no one from a “good” family would expect their daughter to become one.
But Florence had a dream and, probably due to the Crimean War, changed what nursing and hospitals were all about. Modern nursing and hospitals owe her a lot.
One detail that really amused me was the fact that her parents called her Florence, because she was born in Florence, Italy, while her sister, who was born in Naples, was called Parthenope, the ancient name of Naples. One feels relieved that they didn’t have more children as one wonders what they would have been called! 😉