There is nothing more exciting in historical research than finding that somebody important left dozens of boxes of documents to a library with instructions to keep them secret until the year 2030 because of their sensational revelations. Especially when boxes contain the papers of the last person known to have possessed at least one of Florence Nightingale’s long-lost diaries.
Florence Nightingale’wrote these missing very private diaries between the ages of eight and thirty. They were definitely sensational. Before they disappeared in the 1940s, the few extracts allowed to be published show a girl and woman with erotic passions and radical political views. They may have been destroyed by scandalised relatives, but in the 1960s an original fragment was sighted. Its owner died in 1980. He left his papers to a library with instructions to keep them sealed for 50 years.
Read the story of the long search for these priceless documents in Florence Nightingale’s Pandemic.