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Themed talks: Florence’s life and passions

Free with paid admission to the museum; just turn up at 3.30pm and join in!

Florence and gender roles

Wednesday 6 March

Join us on a short talk to explore how Florence was breaking the gender roles of Victorian society by refusing to get married, instead following her calling to be independent and to become a nurse.

Florence's pets

Saturday 13 April

Florence was a lifelong animal lover and it was caring for her childhood pets which gave her her first nursing experience, leading her to the decision to become a nurse. Hear all about Florence’s pets and childhood in this family friendly 10-minute talk.

Florence's legacy in nursing

Tuesday May 7

Florence is famous as the 'Mother of Modern Nursing'. Explore how her legacy influenced nursing and healthcare around the world and continues until today.

Florence the writer

Wednesday 5 June

Florence was a passionate writer from her early years, writing over 200 books and 15,000 letters. Find out about her two most famous works, 'Notes on Nursing' and 'Notes on Hospitals', as well as her novel 'Cassandra' in which she tells the story of women’s struggles in Victorian society.

Florence's marriage proposals

Friday 5 July

Florence received several marriage proposals and came close to accepting one of them. Find out why she ended up rejecting all of them and remained single her entire life, and the outcry it caused among her family and friends in Victorian England.

Florence the traveller

Friday 9 August

Find out about Florence’s travels across Europe as a young woman and how her journeys informed her determination to become a nurse.

Florence and hospitals

Tuesday 10 September

Florence studied the design of hospitals in Britain and across Europe. Bad design, she knew, would undermine the best nursing and medical care. Find out how she influenced hospital architecture across the world today.

Florence and the Scutari Hospital

Wednesday 23 October

Florence gained international fame as the 'Lady with Lamp' for her work in the Crimean War, helping the British soldiers at Scutari Hospital. See the famous lantern she carried, how she and her nurses cared for the soldiers and Florence’s personal struggle to gain recognition among the doctors.

Florence and the Crimean War Soldiers

Monday 11 November

Stories of Florence’s devotion to the British soldiers in the Crimean War flooded home to Britain as her work in Scutari went beyond nursing. Hear all about her work with all soldiers, regardless of their rank, and how she concerned herself with their families welfare in this 10-minute talk.




Travel through three pavilions to relive Florence’s childhood, understand her experiences in the Crimean War and discover how she pioneered modern nursing practice. Her story is brought to life through unique collections, interactive displays and art installations

Located within St Thomas’ Hospital, just off Westminster Bridge, the museum was opened in 1989 and now forms a key part of London’s medical heritage. The collection consists of personal material associated with Florence Nightingale, items relating to the Crimean War and nursing artefacts. The museum archives include approximately 800 letters from Florence Nightingale and an important rare book collection of 284 titles.

Is it

florence talks

St Thomas’ Hospital, 2 Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7EW