Florence Nightingale, author and activist, was born in Florence and well-educated with her sister Parthenope in history, mathematics and languages by their wealthy liberal father, William Edward Nightingale. Their mother Frances had insisted on the family's converting from Unitarianism to Anglicanism, seen as more fit for landowners, but Nightingale's childhood remained influenced by the beliefs of Unitarianism. While Parthenope embraced genteel femininity, Nightingale rejected marriage and domesticity as unsatisfying to her morally active nature, considering herself one of those whom God “had clearly marked out to be single women.” Seeking a purpose in life, in 1844 she decided to study nursing, but was opposed by her family. …
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Todd, Janet. "Florence Nightingale". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 October 2000
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