Florence Nightingale's Theology: Essays, Letters and Journal Notes

Florence Nightingale's Theology: Essays, Letters and Journal Notes

Florence Nightingale's Theology: Essays, Letters and Journal Notes

Florence Nightingale's Theology: Essays, Letters and Journal Notes


This third volume in the Collected Works of Florence Nightingale reports her controversial theological essays (only two of which have been previously published) and a great array of correspondence, from such Roman Catholics as Cardinal Manning and the Reverend Mother of the Sisters of Mercy of Bermondsey to the liberal Protestant Benjamin Jowett, evangelicals and missionaries. Nightingale's recommendations for a revision of the Bible for schoolchildren and excerpts from her devotional reading are given.

The Series

In the Collected Works of Florence Nightingale all the surviving writing of Florence Nightingale will be published, much of it for the first time. Known as the heroine of the Crimean War and the major founder of the modern profession of nursing, Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) will be revealed also as a scholar, theorist and social reformer of enormous scope and importance.

Original material has been obtained from over 150 archives and private collections worldwide. This abundance of material will be reflected in the series, revealing a significant amount of new material on her philosophy, theology and personal spiritual journey, as well as on her vision of a public health care system, her activism to achieve the difficult early steps of nursing for the sick poor in workhouse infirmaries and her views on health promotion and women's control over midwifery. Nightingale's more than forty years of work for public health in India, particularly in famine prevention and for broader social reform, will be reported in detail.

The Collected Works of Florence Nightingale demonstrates Nightingale's astute use of the political process and reports on her extensive correspondence with royalty, viceroys, cabinet ministers and international leaders, including such notables as Queen Victoria and W.E. Gladstone. Much new material on Nightingale's family is reported, including some that will challenge her standard portrayal in the secondary literature.

Sixteen printed volumes are scheduled and will record her enormous and largely unpublished correspondence, previously published books, articles and pamphlets, many of which have long been out of print.


This volume is the second of four volumes on religion in The Collected Works of Florence Nightingale. Spiritual Journey, the first volume of that set, gives an extensive introduction to her theology and spirituality. It treats the great variety of sources of Nightingale’s religious views, weighing the relative contributions of her Unitarian forebears, Wesleyan connections, exposure to Lutheran teaching (at the Kaiserswerth Deaconess Institution in Germany), the attraction to Roman Catholicism and her decision to remain in the Church of England. That volume publishes, for the first time, her biblical annotations and provides a (partial) chronology of her spiritual journey using her private journal notes. Those are highly personal reflections, prayers and notes from her reading. Spiritual Journey also presents three previously unpublished sermons and related correspondence on sermons.

This second volume of the four, Theology, opens with finished, polished essays on religion, published and unpublished, and their related correspondence and notes. These are followed by unpublished notes and letters, notably with mentors Mary Clare Moore and Henry (later Cardinal) Manning, both Roman Catholics; an evangelical “home missionary,” Catherine Marsh; her nurse colleague at St John’s House, Mary Jones (a high church Anglican); her father (an Anglican with Unitarian roots and leanings); an honorary aunt, Hannah Nicholson; and her brother-in-law Sir Harry Verney (both evangelical Anglicans). None of this material was ever intended for publication. A section reports her correspondence with, notes for and extracts from Benjamin Jowett, and includes her notes for the revision of the School and Children’s Bible, which she undertook at his request.

Excerpts from Nightingale’s eclectic devotional reading, also never intended for publication, follow the letters and notes. These again reveal the diversity of sources she drew on, from Renaissance Roman . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.