Florence Nightingale and the Health of the Raj  book cover
1st Edition

Florence Nightingale and the Health of the Raj

ISBN 9781138258549
Published February 27, 2017 by Routledge
320 Pages

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Book Description

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.

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.

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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.


'...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