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Florence Nightingale came of a wealthy family, but unlike her sister who loved the social whirl, young Flo preferred to take care of people and animals, as well as dolls. She used to help the vicar in the village with the sick and poor and, when she was about fifteen, she set the broken leg of an old shepherd's collie. She finally decided that what she most wanted to do was to work in the service of the unfortunate and she planned to become a nurse in one of the hospitals. Her family, however, opposed this scheme because hospitals at that time were dirty and unwholesome places and nurses were looked down upon by the upper classes of society.
Nevertheless Florence studied all she could about the management of hospitals until she became almost the only expert in England on the subject. But it was only after many disappointments that she was allowed to take a position as the head of the nurses in a new English hospital. She was so successful that when the Crimean War broke out she was ready to go to the front with a group of volunteer nurses. In the face of tremendous odds—terrible hospital conditions, opposition of the regular medical officers, and lack of supplies—Florence did a magnificent job and was worshipped by the soldiers.
The spirit and courage of Florence Nightingale should prove an inspiration to any youngster—especially as they are portrayed in this wonderful new story by Margaret Leighton. —from the dust jacket
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