FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 07/29/1891 - HFSID 350577
Sale Price $2,762.50
"The Lady of the Lamp" thanks a patron for gifts of food and details plans for her summer holiday.
Autograph Letter Signed: "F. Nightingale" in pencil, 4p, 4¼ x 7. 10 South Street,/Park Lane W. [London], 1891 July 29. To Mrs. Robertson. In full with grammatical errors: "I was so sorry for Mr. Robertson's Influenza -- I trust he is quite recovered - & that you are pretty well. Thank you for all the Hampers. Every thing has done well but the cream, for which the weather was too hot. Thank you for everything. After Saturday please not to send anything here unless you are so good as to send grass & a few flowers. I am going to Embley, my old home for 2 or 3 weeks And then Sir Harry & Mrs Verney are so good as to press my coming to Claydn But don't let the eggs you have been so good as to collect run down, if that is inconvenient to you. If more convenient to you, they might still come here. & be given away from here, till further notice - I am thankful Sir Harry is so well - I can have the usual Bank Holiday & School doings. The Nurses were so pleased with their day. God's blessings on you all."
This letter references the Nightingale School for Nurses, which Florence Nightingale had founded in London in 1860. At the time of this letter, Nightingale, although an invalid, continued her crusade for better hospitals and government intervention in public health. By this time, many of Nightingale's friends and family were dying, the reason for the black bordered mourning stationery. In three years, she would lose SIR HARRY VERNEY, her summer host, national health project supporter and brother-in-law (he had married Florence's sister, Parthenope, in 1858). The "old home" was Embley Park in Hampshire, a sizable country estate where the Nightingale sisters were raised by their socially conscious parents, William Edward and Fanny Nightingale.
Florence had fought her parents to become a nurse, a task she felt God had given her. She trained with a religious order to enable her to work in hospitals, and with the advent of the Crimean War (1854-1856) she traveled to Army hospitals in the Crimea. She made her late night nursing rounds by lamplight, earning her lifelong nickname "The Lady of the Lamp". After returning to England, Nightingale was determined to refine nursing and medical practice in hospitals, especially for soldiers. In 1857, she was largely responsible for the formation of the Royal Commission on the Health of the Army. In 1907, she became the first woman to receive the Order of Merit, which was presented by King Edward VII, for her contributions. In pencil, some words lightly smudged. Light transference at signature area. Overall, fine condition. Framed to an overall size of 37¾ x 21½.
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