NIGHTINGALE, Florence (1820-1910). Notes on Matters Affecting the Health, Efficiency, and Hospital Administration of the British Army. London: Harrison and Sons, 1858. [with:] Subsidiary Notes as to the Introduction of Female Nursing into Military Hospitals in Peace and in War. London: Harrison and Sons, 1858.
2 volumes, 8° (222 x 141mm). With six folding plates. Unopened and uncut in original mauve printed wrappers (lightly rubbed), blue morocco-backed cloth slipcase. Provenance: purchased from Scribners, New York, 6 November 1945, $100.
FIRST EDITIONS, VERY RARE. These volumes formed the foundation for all the administrative, sanitary and nursing reforms in the Army, which followed the report by the Royal Commission which Nightingale persuaded Lord Panmure to set up when she met him at Balmoral in October 1856. Panmure officially requested that Nightingale give evidence based on her own experience and observations, and by August 1857 she had the main body of the work ready for the press. However, it was not published at once, as it was not considered appropriate for the Nightingale Report to appear before the Report of the Royal Commission itself; when the latter appeared the following January, it contained an appendix with a mass of official correspondence on the care of the sick and wounded during the Crimean War which Nightingale immediately incorporated in her own Notes 'while the proof sheets ... were passing through the press.' The last-minute incorporation of this material explains the erratic pagination of the work, the additions being on pages with Roman numerals. Nightingale's biographer, Sir Edward Cook, calls this book 'the least known, but ... the most remarkable of her works. It is little known because it was never published.' The Notes were printed at her own expense for private circulation among influential people, and they show her as a major innovator in the collection, tabulation, and interpretation of descriptive statistics; someone who recognised the value of the idea that social phenomena could be objectively measured and subjected to mathematical analysis.
Subsidiary Notes is developed and expanded from the 'tentative and experimental Memorandum' on Female Nurses in Military Hospitals (1857), and really constitutes a treatise on nursing at large. Her much better known Notes on Nursing, published two years later, was an abridged version of the detailed study which had gone into this earlier, privately printed book. Bishop and Goldie, Florence Nightingale, nos 3 and 50. (2)