A remarkable spiritual testimony, this complete transcription of Florence Nightingale's hitherto-unpublished diary (recorded during visits to Egypt and Greece in 1850) reveals the troubled period during which she finally realized that the answer to her call from God lay in service to humanity.
Prior to her heroic efforts in nursing during the Crimean War, Florence Nightingale experienced tremendous psychological and spiritual anguish as she struggled to answer what she believed to be a divine call to service. Traveling to Egypt and Greece in 1849-50, she recorded her thoughts in a diary which has never been published in its entirety. Presented with never before published manuscript material and two unusual pieces of short fiction, this work demonstrates that Nightingale gleaned ancient Egyptian, Platonic, and Hermetic philosophy, Christian scripture and the works of poets, mystics, and missionaries in an attempt to understand the nature of God and her role in the divine plan.
Michael D. Calabria is currently on leave from his position as Associate Professor and Head of Reference Services at Newman Library, Baruch College, City University of New York. He is an affiliate with the Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province.
"In a world overcome by violence and selfishness and hatred, it is refreshing to read of one woman's selflessness and intellectual approach to developing an understanding of life's purpose and meaning. The work should be very useful to those persons concerned with affirmative action, women's issues, ethics, religion, feminine intellectuality, and achievement; and to those who look for role models in espousing human rights; persons concerned with the spiritual development of the human race would do well to read it, regardless of their religious persuasion. " --Irene Sabelberg Palmer, Dean Emeritus, Professor Emeritus, University of San Diego, School of Nursing
"This seminal record of her thirtieth year of life is a vital record in the history of a great woman. Surely it is important reading for anyone who would understand Florence Nightingale. A fascinating self-portrait of a young woman-mystic about to become a great woman and, one presumes, a great mystic. " -- Francis L. Gross, Jr. , Western Michigan University