Florence Nightingale and the Health of the Raj: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Florence Nightingale and the Health of the Raj

1st Edition

By Jharna Gourlay


320 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138258549
pub: 2017-02-27
SAVE ~$11.99
Hardback: 9780754633648
pub: 2003-11-28
SAVE ~$33.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315255194
pub: 2017-05-15
from $29.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


Florence Nightingale and the Health of the Raj presents in detail Nightingale's involvement with India and Indians, and shows how she progressed from being concerned with the narrow sphere of army sanitation to the socio-economic condition of the whole of India. Despite her interest in the country, Florence Nightingale never actually visited India, yet she still managed to instigate and inspire a number of sanitary and social reforms there. Starting in 1857 with army sanitation she had by the end of her involvement with India in 1896 shifted her attention to such social issues as village sanitation and female education. In between she was involved with the development of hospitals, irrigation, famine relief, the land tenure system in Bengal, urban sanitation, and female nursing. In Florence Nightingale and the Health of the Raj, Jharna Gourlay covers all these aspects of Florence Nightingale’s work, tracing her political involvement and her growing awareness of Indian problems, showing how she gradually moved from an imperialist position to one advocating power sharing with Indians. Her story is also one of how a private individual without official position, moreover a woman in a patriarchal society, could influence government policy and public opinion on matters of immense importance. Based on primary sources from both Britain and India, particularly her own correspondence and articles, this book tells Florence Nightingale’s story through her own words, whilst simultaneously placing it in the wider historical context. As such it will prove a fascinating and illuminating study for a wide range of scholars interested in nineteenth century imperialist, medical, gender and social history.


'…impressively researched in both British and Indian sources…' Times Literary Supplement 'This is the first book to examine in detail Florence Nightingale's contributions to public health and welfare in India. Drawing on primary source material from Britain and India, Gourlay recounts how Nightingale went beyond reforming the working conditions of the British army in India, to improving sanitary services, and ultimately becoming the advocate for the riots, the peasants who constituted 80 percent of the population. Recommended. General readers; upper-level undergraduates and graduate students; professionals and practitioners.' Choice ' This is a book to delight any historian - massively researched, clearly and economically written, and with a full academic apparatus, but above all dealing with an important aspect of British India which will be new ground for almost all British historians.' Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research 'The author should be highly commended for this work. She presents ten chapters full of detailed accounts of Nightingale's involvement in Indian affairs… Florence Nightingale and the Health of the Raj is an important text that can be used as reference and motivation for the historical scholar… All in all, this text is an essential contribution to the health care humanities field because of its historical and literary significance. Florence Nightingale and the Health of the Raj will be of interest to scholars of Indian health care, public health, nursing, and the emerging area of twenty-first -century historical inquiry: global cross fertilization of health care knowledge and practices.' Nursing History Review 'The material is fascinating, and the tale well told.' Bulletin of the History of Medicine 'Gourlay has provided a concise and readable overview of an important Victorian's contribution to imperial policies and practices relating to India. She has also added immensely to the scholarship about Nightingale, pl

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Florence Nightingale and her times (1820-1910); Hygiene as the handmaid of civilization; The governess of the governors; A brief encounter: Florence Nightingale and the Bengal Social Science Association; The Zemindar, the sun and the watering pot; The Ryot's faithful servant; Florence and Ripon; two old comrades; The health missioners for rural India; Florence and the Zenana force; A private endeavour in public health; A chronology of Florence Nightingale's Indian work; Glossary; Some important personalities and correspondents relating to Nightingale's Indian work; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Dr Jharna Gourlay, educated in Calcutta and London, was a lecturer in philosophy in the University of Lucknow. Later she joined the BBC External Services as a producer. She also worked for BBC Radio Leicester, English by Radio and Television, and Lambeth Education. At present she is researching the contribution of British women towards female medical education in 19th Century India.

About the Series

The History of Medicine in Context

An interest in medicine is one of the constants that re-occurs throughout history. From the earliest times, man has sought ways to combat the myriad of diseases and ailments that afflict the human body, resulting in a number of evolving and often competing philosophies and practices whose repercussions spread far beyond the strictly medical sphere.

For more than a decade The History of Medicine in Context series has provided a unique platform for the publication of research pertaining to the study of medicine from broad social, cultural, political, religious and intellectual perspectives. Offering cutting-edge scholarship on a range of medical subjects that cross chronological, geographical and disciplinary boundaries, the series consistently challenges received views about medical history and shows how medicine has had a much more pronounced effect on western society than is often acknowledged. As medical knowledge progresses, throwing up new challenges and moral dilemmas, The History of Medicine in Context series offers the opportunity to evaluate the shifting role and practice of medicine from the long perspective, not only providing a better understanding of the past, but often an intriguing perspective on the present.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General