Thursday, August 12, 2010

Florence Nightingale

You know what's kind of sad? I have been reluctant even to look at the calendar of saints and observances recently because I'm so annoyed at those new-fangled interlopers, like Bach (damn Lutheran). Completely unfair of me, but there it is. I may eventually get over myself.

I am Florence Nightingale and I will kick your ass.
Today, however, a friend on Facebook noted that it is the feast of Florence Nightingale and so I dared to peek. Because I love Florence Nightingale. That image of her as a kindly nurse is just so off the mark. Stubborn, tenacious, driven, opinionated and outspoken would probably be more like.

Her bio on Satucket, which has biographical sketches of all the people commemorated by the Episcopal Church, begins "The commemoration of Florence Nightingale is controversial." And why is that? It's because "she doubted or denied many of the central articles of the Creed." Let me tell you something: that is not controversial to me. It seems perfectly reasonable that FloNi is in the Episcopal Church's calendar, given that she was part of the Church of England and driven to do the work she did by her sense of call from God.

Love you, Flo. Happy feast day.


TexasRed said...

Now I want to read a good bio. Any to recommend for her?

LKT said...

No, I'm afraid all I know of her is from these little snippets. There's one recent and well-reviewed bio that's a prohibitive (for me, anyway) 672 pages long. It's called "Florence Nightingale: the Making of an Icon" by Mark Bostridge. If you read it, let me know!

Anonymous said...

There's a short, if somewhat snarky, biography of Florence Nightingale in Lytton Strachey's Eminent Victorians. Can't remember if he loved or hated her, but certainly did not treat her like a plaster saint in any case.