The Voice of Florence

On the day after Nightingale’s birthday, I wanted to draw to your attention a link I found last January, which features the only known recording of her voice. I wrote at the time:

Incidentally, the International Year of the Nurse page has a hugely interesting wax cylinder recording of Nightingale made in 1890, when she was 70 years old. The voice is a little difficult to make out and is much deeper than I would have expected — she actually speaks in the way I imagine Lady Bracknell speaks. Here are the words she’s saying, which helps immensely deciphering the plummy accent:

“When I am no longer even a memory, just a name, I hope my voice perpetuates the great work of my life. God bless my dear old comrades of Balaclava and bring them safe to shore.  Florence Nightingale.”

She got her wish.

  1. #1 by DreamingTree on Friday 14 May 2010 - 1004

    Very cool!! Her voice made me think of Julia Child.

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