Saturday, 12 November 2011

The Lady with the Lamp

Our local museum group allow home educators to borrow 'handling boxes' linked to certain periods and people in history.

The last one we looked at with friends was one relating to Florence Nightingale. We prepared by reading this wonderful Ladybird book which I had picked up in a charity shop. I love Ladybird books!

There was some odd things and fascinating facts in the box. Did you know that when Florence packed up and headed off to the Crimean War, she took her tortoise with her? I wonder if that was de rigueur or if she was a bit nutty?

Apparently this is the kind of trinket box she would have taken with her. I photographed it because it reminded me of a special trinket box my Nana had on her dressing table. I didn't know till now that those shell trinkets were quite fashionable in Victorian times.

Of course, no Florence box would be complete without a lantern! This is the kind she would have used. It's fabric and struck me as being highly flammable. Apparently when we see pictures of her painted with what we would think of as a traditional lantern, they are wrong and just represent what artists imagined she would carry.

There was a whole host of weird stuff in her trunk which she took to the Crimean, to include a sachet of rose petals, a tool for scooping bone marrow out, a tea pot to drink from while lying down, carbolic soap and more.

Here's Hermione in a replica of her fetching head gear. Snazzy eh?


Bridget said...

What a coincidence, we've been doing Florence Nightingale over the past couple of weeks, didn't know about the tortoise though! Thanks for your explanation on Martinmas, one to look up!

Claire said...

I don't know if you have Story of the World, Bridget, if so there's a short but interesting passage about the Crimean War. We stumbled across it the other day, after having looked at Florence.

Bridget said...

No we haven't. Could you tell me the author or publisher and we might be able to order it in from the library. Many thanks.

Claire said...

I'll make a note of it for tomorrow for you x