- "It takes a long time to change things. But I'm not going anywhere, Miss Frye."
- ―Florence Nightingale to Evie Frye, 1868.[src]
Florence Nightingale (1820 – 1910) was an English social reformer and statistician, as well as the founder of modern nursing.
She rose to prominence as "The Lady with the Lamp" for walking the battlefields of the Crimean War and tending to wounded soldiers by lamplight. Upon her return to England, Nightingale introduced numerous social reforms to improve healthcare, with her work transforming nursing into an honorable and even popular vocation.
Driven by her faith and convictions from a young age, Nightingale desired to become a nurse since she was a little girl. Claiming she felt called by God, she trained herself in nursing, against her parents' wishes, who felt the work was beneath their upper-class station.
In 1854, Britain entered the Crimean War; Nightingale, along with 38 volunteer nurses and 15 nuns that she personally selected, was sent to the front lines to tend to the injured soldiers. Disciplined and organized in administering care, Nightingale recognized that nurses needed to be trained better at home before they were sent into battle.
She returned to England in 1855 and established the Nightingale Fund, a program aimed at training nurses while the war raged on. In 1859, Nightingale published Notes on Nursing, a book that would serve as the cornerstone of the curriculum at the Nightingale Training School in St. Thomas's Hospital, which she founded the following year.
At Lambeth Asylum
- "Ever since Elliotson was murdered, the district has been overrun with counterfeit tonics [...] I need supplies, plenty of them. And medicine. Some of the less common ingredients are being stolen and sold at auction."
- ―Nightingale on the consequences of Elliotson's death, 1868.[src]
Although the asylum was due to close down, Nightingale continued to serve those that had falled ill as well as she could. This led her to meet the Assassin Evie Frye, whose young friend Clara O'Dea was in a bad way due to the lack of effective tonics. Nightingale subsequently asked Evie to recover the necessary supplies and medication so she could create a cure.
After Evie had delivered the stolen supplies to her, Nightingale began distributing authentic medicine. She would also receive funding from the Assassin to aid her in her efforts of petitioning for better sanitation regulations.
Rescuing Charles Darwin
- "Those people are trying to discredit a lifetime of work. It's disgraceful! And I fear Mr. Darwin is no longer the fit, young man who once traveled the world."
- ―Nightingale worrying for Darwin's health, 1868.[src]
Finding Darwin, Nightingale tended to injuries he had sustained, while one of the Frye twins defended her from Templar attackers. Once she deemed it safe to move Darwin, the pair escaped the building; both Jacob and Evie later visited Darwin following a more extensive recovery. Still, Nightingale insisted he retire to the Isle of Wight for some time, so he could recuperate peacefully.
The rest of her life was dedicated to championing women's rights, as well as better sanitation in London and India. However, despite fighting for women's inclusion in the workforce, Nightingale argued against the idea of women becoming physicians or being able to vote. She died peacefully in her sleep on 13 August 1910 at the age of 90.
- Florence is a feminine English given name derived from Latin florens, florentius meaning "blossoming". Nightingale was an uncommon surname of Anglo-Saxon origins, being a nickname for someone with a good singing voice and being derived from the Olde English pre-7th century word nihtegal, itself from niht, "night", with galan, to "sing", in Middle English nichti(n)gale.
- Florence Nightingale was so-named because she was born in Florence.
- Nightingale was one of the first people to have her voice recorded and preserved.