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Cassandra: An Essay

by Florence Nightingale

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731280,059 (3.75)1
The world knows Florence Nightingale as "the lady with the lamp"--the revered founder of nursing as a respectable profession for women. But few people are aware that Nightingale's career began only after years of struggle to free herself from her suffocating Victorian family. In this surprisingly passionate feminist essay (a "brilliant polemic," states Martha Vicinus), Nightingale denounces the lives of idleness she and other women of her class were forced to lead.… (more)

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Florence Nightingale wrote this important essay of protest against the restrictive life of upper class English women in 1852 before her service in the Crimean War and her life of public service in nursing administration. In this essay, she wrote about the emptiness of women’s lives – how their time was not valued, they were not allowed to enter professions or use their minds, but were expected to take rides and entertain anyone who came to visit at anytime.

The introduction by Myra Stark gives an excellent portrayal of the life of Nightingale and the importance of the essay, Cassandra. The epilogue is a poem about Nightingale by Cynthia Macdonald. ( )
  sallylou61 | Mar 27, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Florence Nightingaleprimary authorall editionscalculated
MacDonald, CynthiaEpiloguesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stank, MyraIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The world knows Florence Nightingale as "the lady with the lamp"--the revered founder of nursing as a respectable profession for women. But few people are aware that Nightingale's career began only after years of struggle to free herself from her suffocating Victorian family. In this surprisingly passionate feminist essay (a "brilliant polemic," states Martha Vicinus), Nightingale denounces the lives of idleness she and other women of her class were forced to lead.

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