Florence Nightingale's Lost Diaries

There is nothing more exciting in historical research than finding that dozens of boxes of documents have been bequeathed to an obscure library with instructions that they should not be opened until the year 2030 because of their sensational revelations. Especially when boxes contain the effects of the last person known to have possessed at least one of Florence Nightingale’s long-lost diaries.

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These missing very private diaries kept by Florence Nightingale between the ages of eight and thirty were definitely sensational. Before they disappeared in the 1940s, the few extracts allowed to be published show a girl and woman with romantic passions and radical political views. They may have been destroyed by scandalised relatives, but in the 1960s an original fragment was sighted. The fragment’s owner died in 1980. His papers are being kept sealed for 50 years. Read the story of the long search for these pricelss documents in Florence Nightingale’s Pandemic.