The File on… Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale is not content to become a demure wife. She wants to take charge of her life and decide for herself – in the middle of the 19th century! Author Werner Färber gives us a compelling portrait of a young girl who feels committed to succour the poor and cure the sick, and who in the process becomes a world-famous pioneer of modern nursing.

As a young girl she accompanies her parents on their travels across Europe. Back home, after two years, she finds her future all mapped out: Marriage and a quiet life in matrimonial content. But she revolts against the staid conventions of her time. An intelligent young woman, she wants to take her life in hand and make her own decisions. She wants to alleviate the misery of the poor who often die of diseases that a simple remedy might have cured. So, to her family’s utter dismay, she decides to forgo a life of ease and leisure, and decides to learn how to nurse the sick instead. When England enters the Crimean War against Russia in 1853, in which more soldiers die from badly treated wounds than in actual combat, Florence, along with several other nurses sets out to bring relief. Thanks to her relentless efforts many lives can be saved. People call her „Angel of the Wounded“ or „The Lady with the Lamp“ because she carries a paraffin lamp on her nightly rounds through the wards. When she returns to England she is hardly less famous than Queen Victoria herself. She introduces training courses for nurses and midwives which are soon adopted across Europe and contribute to gain these professions a better status and heightened esteem. When she receives the Order of Merit at the close of her life, she is the first woman ever to be given that highest British award.

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Further information

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Werner Färber

Born in Wassertrüdingen in 1957, Werner Färber, after a short stab at journalism, went to university to study for a teaching job. Eventually, though, he decided to become a writer. His short stories were first published in newspapers and broadcast by local radio stations. By now he’s had more than a hundred books published, for children and young readers, as well as translations from English. He lives in Hamburg.

Stefanie Roth

Born in Dresden in 1969, Stefanie Roth studied illustration and graphic arts in Prague and communication design at Berlin-Weißensee’s Kunsthochschule, attending Professor Volker Pfüller’s master class. She has been freelancing as a graphic designer, illustrator and designer of books since 1997. She’s also headed the faculty of graphic design at Schwerin’s Design Schule since 2008.

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