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An important collection of letters - Miss Florence Nightingale and Miss Leslie Gardiner and others

An important collection of letters between Miss Florence Nightingale (1820 - 1910) and Miss Leslie Gardiner (? - 1887), fellow nurse, peer and colleague of Nightingale. Correspondence spans the years 1875 - 1880 to include personal and professional communications. The earliest letter dated May 5 '75, addressed to Miss Hill, relating to Leslie Gardiner whom she says of....'...I am sorry and glad that Miss Gardiner has left the Canterbury Hospital: sorry because Highgate will miss her much: glad because she will carry the same devotion to a larger sphere of usefulness...', further letters relate to the 'Nightingale' nurses and the provision of nurses '...I am always glad to hear from you and your work... I assure you we wish to help you with another nurse, if we can...we do not like to give a probationer just out of training, but rather one who has been tested a little.', also personal matters including letter dated August 10th 1877 in which Florence Nightingale recounts her mother's failing health, 'The reason I have been unable to write is this: your note reached me here. I had been summoned down here to take charge of my Mother, a widow and infirm. A few hours after my arrival, a case of infectious disease, not contracted here, declared itself in a new corner, which in spite of Nursing and Medical care, proved fatal. I could summon no one to help me and I am scarcely able to write even this...God help us. God speed our work for we need his love.' Another letter dated March 28th 1880, written on black lined mourning paper, deals with her reaction to her mother's passing and the stress of this '...The Dr's tell me that I must be 'free' for at least a year 'from the responsibilities which have been forced upon me...'. Also included in the collection; letters which allude to Florence Nightingale's views of traditional nursing methods include one dated March 15th, 1878...'...I have sent, sorely against the grain, her choice of a 'Midwifery' book, fit only for medical students and to make nurses into (word unclear) ignorant', Would you think to tell her my personal experience of this result. Where it does not lead to manslaughter, in the two dying in training schools of which we spoke about together'. The total collection to include 1 letter to Miss Hill from Nightingale about Miss Gardiner, 15 letters and 1 telegram from Nightingale to Gardiner, 1 letter from Mrs Mardsopert to Gardiner (asking her advice about acquiring a Nightingale portrait), 1 letter from Miss Gardiner to Nightingale. 19 letters in total.

Provenance: The Gardiner Family thence by direct family decent.

Sold for £5,200


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Auction: Specialist Collectors' Sale, Wed, 14th Jul 2021

Three day Collectors' sale to incorporate Coins, Weapons and Militaria.  N.B DAY ONE WILL BE STARTING AT 9AM

Day One - Lots 1 - 999 (Jewellery, Coins & Militaria) 

Day Two - Lots 1000 - 1849  (Ceramics & Glass; Ephemera & Stamps; Books & Toys)

Day Three - Lots 1850 - 2499 (Cars & Automobilia; Vintage & Designer Clothing; Music, Cameras & Miscellaneous)

Payments & Collections: For payments & collections by appointment only, please call the office to arrange a collection slot on 01206 754754. 

We can provide an in-house postage and packing service for small non fragile items only but due to current demand, dispatch may take up to two weeks.   

All larger and fragile items will need to be collected by an independent shipping company or can be collected strictly by appointment with our staff. 



Presale viewing strictly by appointment will be:

Friday 9th July 1pm until 5pm

Saturday 10th July 9am until 1pm

Monday 12th July  9am until 5pm

PLEASE NOTE: There will be no viewing available on the day or bidding in person, so please do not expect admittance to the saleroom

View all lots in this sale

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