Florence Nightingale at Home proposes a new understanding of Florence Nightingale’s experiences of domestic life and how ideas of home influenced her writings and pioneering work. It has been nominated for the award in the non-fiction category.

The book was written and researched by Professor Paul Crawford, Professor Anna Greenwood and Dr Richard Bates at the University of Nottingham and Dr Jonathan Memel from Bishop Grosseteste University as part of a major Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded project called ‘Florence Nightingale Comes Home for 2020’.

The research team analysed primary source material not usually consulted, with access to a searchable, six-million-word collection of Nightingale’s correspondence and further unpublished material.

It is the first book to explore the importance of home to Nightingale’s life and work, contributing to the growing body of work in the humanities on the theme and meaning of ‘home’.

Nightingale’s complex relationship with ‘home’ is explored in different ways across the book, with chapters on everything from the impact of Victorian constraints of domesticity on her career ambitions to her writings on health at home, her efforts to make soldiers feel at home during the Crimean war and the role of her faith in her public reputation and posthumous image.

Professor Paul Crawford, Professor of Health Humanities, School of Health Sciences at the University of Nottingham and Director at the Centre for Social Futures at the Institute of Mental Health: “It is wonderful that our book Florence Nightingale at Home is nominated for the People’s Book Prize. The book reveals the less public side of this great nursing leader, her familiarity with pandemics and her sobering experience of long bouts of illness caused by infection that kept her in a domestic lockdown. Our team got behind the scene of her fame to a hearth-driven vision of a healthier world.”

Dr Jonathan Memel,Lecturer in English Literature, Bishop Grosseteste University, said: “Coronavirus disrupted our plans to celebrate Nightingale’s two-hundred year birthday in 2020, so it is wonderful to now have the book recognised through this nomination for the non-fiction category of The People’s Book Prize. The underpinning research has shaped my teaching here in BGU’s English department in all kinds of ways, from deciphering Nightingale’s slanted handwriting with students to reflecting on how her career shifted Victorian gender norms”.

Voting is open for The People’s Book Prize across three categories: fiction, non-fiction and children’s. To view the nominees and cast your votes, visit: https://peoplesbookprize.com/2021-2022-collection/

For more on the AHRC-funded research project on Florence Nightingale, visit: florencenightingale.org/

6th December 2021

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