Next up on our Sunday list of real-life spinsters comes the Lady of the Lamp…

9. Florence Nightingale

Famous for her role in the Crimean War, Florence Nightingale revolutionized how nursing was seen and practiced, especially regarding the treatment of soldiers during foreign wars. She was also a gifted mathematician, and turned her keen and logical mind toward the prevention of illness in hospitals. Many of the very common practices involving sanitation that we take for granted today gained attention through her work.

While Nightingale may sometimes falls short of the modern definition of a feminist, her ideas about women’s roles and responsibilities were very forward-thinking for the time. In fact, her contributions to the advancement of the practice of medicine as well as the advancement of women in that field were entirely revolutionary toward the perception of women in traditionally male fields such as medicine and mathematics. Her achievements are more impressive when we consider that she was from a prominent aristocratic family, whose values held that women should not work.

She died peacefully at the age of 90 after living a devoutly single life.


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