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This is a concise, yet scholarly view of Florence Nightingale's extraordinary life and career that gets to the heart of her range of interests and achievements. Florence Nightingale is one of the most famous figures in modern history. Yet much of what we know of her emanates from unreliable second-hand accounts, and from a misreading of the primary sources. "Florence Nightingale at First Hand" by Lynn McDonald, editor of "Nightingale's Collected Works", and the world's foremost Nightingale authority, aims to put this right. This is a book which reports what Florence Nightingale said and did, based on her writing, of which a massive amount survives, scattered in over two hundred archives throughout the world. Published to commemorate the centenary of Nightingale's death, McDonald's study presents a Florence Nightingale for the twenty-first century, as an author of great style and wit, a systems thinker and pioneering public health reformer--the heroine and nurse were only the start.