Florence Nightingale is famous as the “lady with the lamp” in the Crimean War, 1854—56. There is a massive amount of literature on this work, but, as editor Lynn McDonald shows, it is often erroneous, and films and press reporting on it have been even less accurate. The Crimean War reports on Nightingale’s correspondence from the war hospitals and on the staggering amount of work she did post-war to ensure that the appalling death rate from disease (higher than that from bullets) did not recur.
This volume contains much on Nightingale’s efforts to achieve real reforms. Her well-known, and relatively “sanitized”, evidence to the royal commission on the war is compared with her confidential, much franker, and very thorough Notes on the Health of the British Army, where the full horrors of disease and neglect are laid out, with the names of those responsible.