Florence Nightingale: A Biography

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Descripción editorial

It is hardly necessary to say that this little biography is based mainly upon the work of others, though I hope and believe it is honest enough to have an individuality of its own and it has certainly cost endless individual labour and anxiety. Few tasks in literature are in practice more worrying than the responsibility of “piecing together” other people’s fragments, and “the great unknown” who in reviewing my “Leaves of Prose” thought I had found an easy way of turning myself into respectable cement for a tessellated pavement made of other people’s chipped marble, was evidently a stranger to my particular temperament. Where I have been free to express myself without regard to others, to use only my own language, and utter only my own views, I have had something of the feeling of a child out for a holiday, and of course the greater part of the book is in my own words. But I have often, for obvious reasons, chosen the humbler task, because, wherever it is possible, it is good that my readers should have their impressions at first hand, and in regard to Kinglake especially, from whose non-copyright volumes I have given many a page, his masculine tribute to Miss Nightingale is of infinitely more value than any words which could come from me.

My publisher has kindly allowed me to leave many questions of copyright to him, but I wish, not the less—rather the more—to thank all those authors and publishers who have permitted use of their material and whose names will, in many instances, be found incorporated in the text or in the accompanying footnotes. I have not thought it necessary in every instance to give a reference to volume and page, though occasionally, for some special reason of my own, I have done so.

Of those in closest touch with Miss Nightingale during her lifetime, whose help with original material has been invaluable, not more than one can be thanked by name. But to Mrs. Tooley for her large-hearted generosity with regard to her own admirable biography—to which I owe far more than the mere quotations so kindly permitted, and in most cases so clearly acknowledged in the text—it is a great pleasure to express my thanksgiving publicly.

There are many others who have helped me, and not once with regard to the little sketch have I met with any unkindness or rebuff. Indeed, so various are the acknowledgments due, and so sincere the gratitude I feel, that I scarcely know where to begin.

Biografías y memorias
4 de julio
Library of Alexandria
The Library of Alexandria

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