Title: Florence Nightingale: Lady With the Lamp
Author: Sam Wellman
Series: Heroes of the Faith series and included in Inspiring Women of the Faith
Major Themes: Florence Nightingale, Crimean War
Synopsis: Florence Nightingale’s long life was dedicated to pursuing the work God had for her, including nursing soldiers in the Crimean War and improving hospitals and nursing in England.
I am loving the Heroes of the Faith series of biographies. I borrowed the book Inspiring Women of the Faith from a friend, which contains four of these biographies. I’ve just finished Florence Nightingale: Lady With the Lamp, and loved it. Most biographies, in my experience, start out fascinating and lose steam as you go, as the subject of the book ages. This one about Florence Nightingale, however, like the previous one about Sojourner Truth, kept my interest all the way through.
Florence was born into a wealthy English family shortly before Victoria became Queen of England. Her mother and sister, Parthe, were only interested in social life and mixing with “important” people. Florence found no meaning in their preferred life, but when she tried to follow her own interests and help poor and sick people, her mother and sister were horrified and did their best to stop her. Not until she was 33 years old was Flo able to follow the direction God gave her for her life. Once she broke away from her mother and sister’s demands, Flo threw herself into working to alleviate suffering. Her most famous endeavor was nursing sick and wounded soldiers in the Crimean War, which England fought with Russia in Turkey. Arriving there to find horrific conditions in the hospital, Flo immersed herself in nursing the soldiers and improving conditions. The grateful soldiers never forgot the lady who walked through the wards at night with a lamp, looking for men who needed her.
After the war, Flo worked tirelessly, even when her own health broke, to improve hospitals and teach women how to nurse sick people. She also wrote a book about philosophy. I learned some things about her life from this book that I had never picked up anywhere else. Florence Nightingale is quite an interesting person, a dedicated Christian. I highly recommend Florence Nightingale: Lady With the Lamp to anyone who enjoys a biography of a Christian woman, or is interested in nursing.
Listening Level—Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 12 – 15, 15 and Above, Adults