278 - The Lady with the Lamp

Guiada pela voz de Deus, Florence Nightingale compreendeu ainda jovem que sua vocação era ajudar o próximo. Proveniente de uma abastada família inglesa, decidiu ser enfermeira, contrariando as convenções da época, e revolucionou todas as formas dessa profissão. Londres celebra o centenário da morte de sua primeira celebridade, a “Senhora da Lamparina”.
by Julian Earwaker.

This year marks the centenary of the death of a remarkable historical figure, Florence Nightingale. Nightingale, who lived from 1820 to 1910, was the inventor of modern nursing, but for many people she was also “the world’s first media celebrity.” To find out more, we went to the Florence Nightingale Museum in London. We asked the curator, Caroline Worthington, to talk about Florence Nightingale’s background:

Caroline Worthington
(Standard British accent)

She came from an extremely wealthy family. They had two huge homes, in {yootooltip title=[ estates ]} estates - propriedades {/yootooltip} in Hampshire and Derbyshire; they’d spend the summer in Derbyshire and then {yootooltip title=[ jump ship ]} jump ship - deslocavam-se {/yootooltip} and go down to Hampshire for the milder winter weather. She had an older sister Parthenope: she was born in Naples, so that was the Greek for Naples, Parthenope, and Florence was born in Florence: {yootooltip title=[ hence ]} hence - daí {/yootooltip} her name. But they were two completely different characters, they had a very {yootooltip title=[ stifling ]} stifling - problemática {/yootooltip} relationship, but two very different characters. And, really, {yootooltip title=[the eggs were in Florence’s basket to get married]} the eggs were in Florence’s basket to get married - cabia a Florence se casar {/yootooltip}. Parthe was a bit of a {yootooltip title=[ sickly ]} sickly - doentia {/yootooltip} girl and so Florence’s {yootooltip title=[ kind of wannabe social climbers ]} kind of wannabe social climbers - um tipo de aspirante à ascensão social {/yootooltip} mother really wanted Florence to marry well and to provide {yootooltip title=[the heir and the spare]} the heir and the spare - o herdeiro e o vice-herdeiro (isto é, ter pelo menos dois filhos) {/yootooltip}. And, as we know, Florence, just a few months short of her seventeenth birthday, believed she heard the voice of God calling her and, as a result of that, she spent {yootooltip title=[her late teens and early twenties]} her late teens and early twenties - seu final de adolescência e início da juventude {/yootooltip} fighting her family to become a nurse.

And it seems that Florence Nightingale was also a very intelligent woman:

Caroline Worthington:

She was a highly intelligent woman and, unusually, educated by her father at home: very, very unusual. She was {yootooltip title=[ wildly keen ]} wildly keen - entusiasticamente apaixonada {/yootooltip} on mathematics and very good at it, a keen linguist, she taught herself German and Hebrew, to be able to read the Bibles that she had in her collection. She was a keen collector and organiser, actually, she had collections of {yootooltip title=[ shells and coins ]} shells and coins - conchas e moedas {/yootooltip} and all sorts of things.

And we asked Caroline Worthington for a final {yootooltip title=[ assessment ]} assessment - avaliação {/yootooltip} of Florence Nightingale’s character:

Caroline Worthington:

Well, she was very {yootooltip title=[driven]} driven - determinada {/yootooltip}. She was very religious, there’s this {yootooltip title=[ ongoing ]} ongoing - contínua {/yootooltip} conversation that she has with God. And {yootooltip title=[ in fact she was broad-minded enough ]} in fact she was broad-minded enough - de fato tinha a mente suficientemente aberta {/yootooltip} to explore other religions. She was brought up as a Unitarian, but {yootooltip title=[ they worshipped ]} they worshipped - frequentavam, congregavam {/yootooltip} in a Methodist Church in Derbyshire. She looked at Islam for a bit, she very nearly converted to being a Catholic. So, a person that absorbs lots and lots of information and {yootooltip title=[really thinks it through]} really thinks it through - que realmente se aprofunda {/yootooltip}. But I think she was incredibly {yootooltip title=[ stubborn ]} stubborn - obstinada, teimosa {/yootooltip} in later life, {yootooltip title=[to get what she wanted done]} to get what she wanted done - para conseguir que fizessem as coisas que ela queria {/yootooltip}. She was stubborn.

St Thomas’s Hospital stands on the south bank of the River Thames in London, opposite the Houses of Parliament. Dating back to the twelfth century, this famous hospital is the perfect home for a museum celebrating the world’s best-known nurse: Florence Nightingale. Recently reopened, the Florence Nightingale Museum tells the life story of the legendary “Lady with the Lamp.”

Born on May 12th 1820 in the Italian city of Florence to a {yootooltip title=[ wealthy ]} wealthy - abastado, rico {/yootooltip} English couple, Florence Nightingale was named after the city of her birth. Back home in England she was educated by her father and {yootooltip title=[ excelled ]} excelled - destacava-se {/yootooltip} at languages and mathematics. Florence was also religious, and at the age of 17 believed that she heard the voice of God calling her to nursing. Her family, who expected her to find a husband, have children and {yootooltip title=[manage a household]} manage a household - cuidar do lar {/yootooltip}, were shocked! In those times nursing, as we know it today, did not exist. Nurses were usually older women working in family homes, and had a reputation for drinking too much. There was still very little {yootooltip title=[ knowledge ]} knowledge - conhecimento {/yootooltip} about germs and medicine. Hospitals, which were staffed by men, were dirty and dangerously unhygienic.

Nevertheless, Florence refused offers of marriage and battled with her family to begin her new career. She travelled widely, studied, and learned all she could about medicine and nursing practice. Then, in the summer of 1854, came the turning point of her life: the Crimean War. As reports began to arrive about thousands of British soldiers dying of disease in hospital, Florence Nightingale, now 34, packed her bags. She was invited to lead a small group of female nurses, but was shocked by the conditions she found when they arrived at the military hospital in Scutari, Turkey. She was unable to immediately begin {yootooltip title=[ treating wounds ]} treating wounds - cuidar das feridas {/yootooltip} because of the hostility from her male colleagues. She began to tour the hospital corridors at night, taking a lamp to light her way. The soldiers wrote letters home about this mysterious “Lady with the Lamp”, as Caroline Worthington, director of the Florence Nightingale Museum, explains: “There is a very famous letter that we have that mentions soldiers {yootooltip title=[ kissing her shadow ]} kissing her shadow - beijando sua sombra {/yootooltip} as she passes down the corridor at night. When the soldiers and their stories started to come back home, there was a lot of mediaz interest and that’s really how the legend started.”

Although at one stage she was dangerously ill herself with “Crimea Fever” (probably a form of brucellosis transmitted through milk, which stayed with her all her life) Florence remained in the Crimea. Back home, her reputation continued to grow and she was soon in popular songs, poetry, posters, and shopping bags! “She was the first {yootooltip title=[ proper ]} proper - propriamente dita {/yootooltip} media celebrity,” says Caroline Worthington. “She was as famous as Queen Victoria and still is today.”

Although Florence disliked this publicity, she also recognised that it could help her with her campaigns for health reform, new hospitals and {yootooltip title=[proper nursing training]} proper nursing training - preparo adequado para enfermagem {/yootooltip}. With funds raised by the public during the Crimean War, she was able to open the Florence Nightingale School for nursing training at St Thomas’s Hospital in London in 1860. In the same year, her book Notes on Nursing was published – and {yootooltip title=[ sold out ]} sold out - esgotou-se {/yootooltip} in the first month!

{yoogallery src=[images/stories/galery/materias/ed278/lamp] thumb=[polaroid]}

How much do you remember from The Lady With the Lamp?