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Figurine of Florence Nightingale and a wounded officer, England, 1850-1870

A large number of statues were made of Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) throughout her career as she was an extremely popular public figure. Mass-produced statues like this one would have been found in many middle class Victorian living rooms. During the Crimean War (1853-1856), more soldiers were dying of water-borne diseases such as cholera and typhus than from battle-inflicted wounds. Nightingale was often called the ‘Angel of the Crimea’ for reforming the hospital at Scutari, Turkey, and reducing the death rate. Recent research has shown that the death rate actually rose during the beginning of Nightingale’s visit and only fell when a British government commission improved ventilation and sewers.

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Glossary: typhus

A severe and often fatal infectious disease. It is transmitted mainly by body lice. Its symptoms are high fever, stupor, intense headache, and a dark red rash.

Glossary: cholera

A severe infection of the small intestine commonly contracted through eating or drinking contaminated food or water. Causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea, leading to dehydration, which can be fatal.

Glossary: figurine

No description.

Glossary: fairing

Ceramic figure purchased at a fair, usually as a memento