Punch,  38 (1860), 34–35.

Nightingale's Notes




Publications reviewed:

Nightingale 1859


Medical Treatment, Medical Practitioners, Hospitals, Gender

    This highly laudatory review opens by noting that the theme on which the book's author, Florence Nightingale, sings 'has less of music than of melancholy' but that this still 'melodious' theme is of reducing the 'sad suffering' of the sick room and assisting its occupants. Punch urges that Nightingale be listened to for the 'sweetness' of her tone and her practical suggestions, one of which is to reduce the amount of 'unnecessary noise' created near the sick—an argument which Punch supports with examples of the harmful effects of loud talking to, and walking near, the sick. (34) Goes on to note Nightingale's denouncement of the irritating noise of new fashions (especially crinoline and silk), and her call for nurses to 'dress for the part'. Punch fully supports this argument, insisting that if a patient were 'driven to distraction, and to death perhaps' by the noise of a nurse's stays and crinoline, it would hope that the relatives would 'issue a commission of inquiry'. Punch is even more sanguine about Nightingale's claim that since women's dress 'is daily more and more unfitting them for any "mission", or usefulness at all [....] A man is now a more handy and far less objectionable being in a sick room than a woman'. Punch greatly appreciates Nightingale for attacking 'woman's folly and her uselessness', and thinks her book should be bought by all fathers and libraries.

© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020

Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 4.0, The Digital Humanities Institute <http://www.sciper.org> [accessed ]