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October 21, 1988

'I Have Done My Duty': Florence Nightingale in the Crimean War 1854-56 [letters]

Author Affiliations

Institute of Economics and Statistics University of Oxford Oxford, England

Institute of Economics and Statistics University of Oxford Oxford, England

JAMA. 1988;260(15):2303-2304. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410150151052

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This volume consists of 100 of the 300 letters that were written by Florence Nightingale while she was in the Crimea from 1854 to 1856 and is the first of four projected volumes of her letters. The editor, Sue Goldie, has spent 20 years working on this correspondence and has already coedited the Calendar of Letters of Florence Nightingale (1983). She is therefore well qualified to edit this extensive correspondence and has done so in exemplary fashion. Her laudable desire not to interpose "an editorial smokescreen" between the reader and the letters has perhaps contributed to the publisher's unfortunate decision to make the introductory sections and the correspondence visually indistinguishable. It is to be hoped that this is altered in later volumes.

Inevitably, the main outlines of the terrain revealed in these letters seem familiar because of extensive quotation by earlier biographers. What this invaluable collection principally adds, however, is,