Florence Nightingale and the Crimea, 1854-55 (Uncovered Editions)

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9780117024250: Florence Nightingale and the Crimea, 1854-55 (Uncovered Editions)

These short extracts from government papers of 1854 are a snapshot of events, as they were presented to Parliament. The Charge of the Light Brigade is highlighted, as well as the dreadful conditions in the field and at the hospital at Scutari, partly relieved by the unofficial actions of Florence Nightingale. "Uncovered Editions" are historic official papers now available in popular form.

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The Crimean War (1854-1856) punctured the mid-Victorian calm, revealing that all was not well in British military prowess abroad while peace and prosperity raged at home. As in the First World War, military and naval mishaps in and around the Black Sea caused the downfall of the government at home (erroneously dated in this volume as taking place in January 1856--a year too late). This Stationery Office edition of extracts from various parliamentary inquiries into the British campaign in the Crimea--reveals a woeful picture of poor command, naïve tactics, and, especially, insufficient back-up--hospitals, clothing and food--for the serving troops. Not for the first time Britain went to war expecting a quick naval victory, and became bogged down in foreign mud. This selection rather perpetuates the myth that Florence Nightingale single-handedly brought down the British government, but it is a informative and sobering read nonetheless.-- Miles Taylor

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