This extraordinary biography reveals an aspect of Florence Nightingale's life that has been largely overlooked: her profound influence on health and welfare in India, on both rural life in the country and the conditions of soldiers sent out to serve in India during the high water mark of the British Empire. The depth and commitment she applied to all the campaigns of her life, from her early zeal in encouraging reform of the Poor Laws, through her many and famous achievements in nursing during the Crimean War and her promotion of the establishment and development of the nursing profession and organizing it into its modern form, was to continue in later years with her pursuit of health reform in India. After her return from the Crimean War, she was the most famous woman in Victorian England, other than Queen Victoria herself, and was able to use the influence that both her popularity and social status brought to her to continue to have her work taken seriously. Her comprehensive statistical study of sanitation in Indian rural life made her the leading figure in the improved medical and public health service in India.
Her means of effecting these changes lay in the direct and often challenging relationships she maintained with a series of Viceroys from Lord Canning in 1858 to Lord Elgin in 1898. This book tells the story of the trials of her last great humanitarian campaign.
Patricia Mowbray has spent much of her life in medical research both with the World Health Organization and St Thomas' Hospital in London. Her involvement with the Florence Nightingale Museum and the 150th Anniversary Lectures on the arrival of Florence Nightingale at the Barrack Hospital in Scutari in 1854, has lead to her account of this unsung aspect of Florence Nightingale's later campaign.