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From the Private to the Public Sphere: The First Generation of Lady Nurses in England

From the Private to the Public Sphere: The First Generation of Lady Nurses in England From the Private to the Public Sphere The First Generation of Lady Nurses in England CAROL HELM STADTER Government Relations Officer, (Retired) Ontario Nu rses Assoc iation Feminist hisrorians have generally ignored rhe pioneer nurses of Victorian England, interpreting the restrictions under which they worked as an accep­ tance on their part of nineteenth centur y patriarchal values. With the notable exception of Florence Nightingale the fi rst generation of nurse reformers either were members of the new Anglican sisterhoods or had been trained by them. Their association with religious communities is often considered an i ndication that these ladies were anachronisms, operating within an ancient but outdated tradition. A closer look at the evidence indicates that this interpretation is ina ccu­ autonomy rate. Sisterhoods in Victorian England offered ladies independence, and control over their own lives while enabling them to engage in creative and fulfilling work. "Bo th in their convents and in their work religious communi­ tics empowered women," Susan Mumm, a historian of Victorian Anglican siste rhoods, writes.' T he work that the first generation of lady nurses accom­ plished was both innovative and courageous . Indeed, one can argue success­ fully that this first generation http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nursing History Review Springer Publishing

From the Private to the Public Sphere: The First Generation of Lady Nurses in England

Nursing History Review , Volume 9 (1): 14 – Jan 1, 2001

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Publisher
Springer Publishing
ISSN
1062-8061
eISSN
1938-1913
DOI
10.1891/1062-8061.9.1.127
Publisher site
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Abstract

From the Private to the Public Sphere The First Generation of Lady Nurses in England CAROL HELM STADTER Government Relations Officer, (Retired) Ontario Nu rses Assoc iation Feminist hisrorians have generally ignored rhe pioneer nurses of Victorian England, interpreting the restrictions under which they worked as an accep­ tance on their part of nineteenth centur y patriarchal values. With the notable exception of Florence Nightingale the fi rst generation of nurse reformers either were members of the new Anglican sisterhoods or had been trained by them. Their association with religious communities is often considered an i ndication that these ladies were anachronisms, operating within an ancient but outdated tradition. A closer look at the evidence indicates that this interpretation is ina ccu­ autonomy rate. Sisterhoods in Victorian England offered ladies independence, and control over their own lives while enabling them to engage in creative and fulfilling work. "Bo th in their convents and in their work religious communi­ tics empowered women," Susan Mumm, a historian of Victorian Anglican siste rhoods, writes.' T he work that the first generation of lady nurses accom­ plished was both innovative and courageous . Indeed, one can argue success­ fully that this first generation

Journal

Nursing History ReviewSpringer Publishing

Published: Jan 1, 2001

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