The Defiance of Florence Nightingale
by Joshua Hammer/Photographs by Tina Hiller/Smithsonian Magazine March 2020
She’s the “avenging angel,” the “ministering angel,” the “lady with the lamp”—the brave woman whose name would become synonymous with selflessness and compassion.
Yet as Britain prepares to celebrate Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday on May 12—with a wreath-laying at Waterloo Place, a special version of the annual Procession of the Lamp at Westminster Abbey, a two-day conference on nursing and global health sponsored by the Florence Nightingale Foundation, and tours of her summer home in Derbyshire—scholars are debating her reputation and accomplishments.
Detractors recently have chipped away at Nightingale’s role as a caregiver, pointing out that she served as a nurse for only three years. Meanwhile, perhaps surprisingly, some British nurses themselves have suggested they are tired of working in her shadow.
But researchers are calling attention to her pioneering work as a statistician and as an early advocate for the modern idea that health care is a human right. Mark Bostridge, the author of the biography Florence Nightingale, attributes much of the controversy to Nightingale’s defiance of Victorian conventions. “
We are very uncomfortable still with an intellectually powerful woman whose primary aim has nothing to do with men or family,” Bostridge told me. “I think misogyny…
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.
She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – one daughter-in-law; Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with her husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescues.