A vast archive of letters from Florence Nightingale, many intensely personal and revealing about the woman usually seen as the shadowy Lady with the Lamp, is being brought together online and made freely accessible for the first time.

The originals of thousands of letters in which she discusses her life’s work of medical reform, nursing training and hospital design – and also her anxieties, exhaustion, and the mysterious illness that kept her bedbound for years – are scattered in different institutions around the world, including the Florence Nightingale Museum, the Wellcome Collection in London, and the Howard Gotlieb Centre at Boston University, which have now brought their collections together online.

Read more in Guardian article: Florence Nightingale letters brought together online

May 12th was chosen for International ME day because it is the birth date of Florence Nightingale, the nurse who inspired the founding of the International Red Cross. She is understood to have become ill in her mid-thirties, with an unknown debilitating condition. Despite her illness and being largely bedridden, she founded the first School of Nursing. Her example inspires people with ME to persevere and work for change.


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