NIGHTINGALE (FLORENCE) Autograph letter signed ("Florence Nightingale"), to Dawson W. Turner, London, 4 June 1870, with another note about Persian cats

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Lot 35
NIGHTINGALE (FLORENCE)
Autograph letter signed ("Florence Nightingale"), to Dawson W. Turner, London, 4 June 1870: 'A POOR WOMAN OVERWHELMED WITH BUSINESS & ILLNESS': a harassed Florence Nightingale responds to one of her admirers; with another note about Persian cats

Sold for £ 1,211 (US$ 1,496) inc. premium
NIGHTINGALE (FLORENCE)
Autograph letter signed ("Florence Nightingale"), to Dawson W. Turner, DCL, asking for his forgiveness – "Pray excuse a poor woman overwhelmed with business & illness for not having acknowledged sooner your kind note & your 'Broad Sheet' – and thanking him for his goodness "& Mr James Paget's valued remembrance of me"; together with a copy of Times obituary, 1 page, traces of mounting on verso, just showing through, 8vo, London, 4 June 1870

Footnotes

  • 'A POOR WOMAN OVERWHELMED WITH BUSINESS & ILLNESS': a harassed Florence Nightingale responds to one of her admirers. Turner's so-called "Broad Sheet" was his Rules of Simple Hygiene (1869), which was published in folio.

    Included in the lot is the final page of an autograph letter by Florence Nightingale to the distinguished surgeon Sir James Paget, comprising her subscription and signature ("Florence Nightingale") followed by an initialled postscript ("FN"). This contains a sly dig at the male of the species: "I should like you to see my two Persians. Thomas is, as you predicted, impertinent, daring & the handsomest kitten ever seen – His sister is discreet, much more intelligent, &, though retiring, much more active". With it is a covering letter, dated 14 May 1870, in which Paget forwards it to Turner for his collection: "I hope this piece of a letter will do – It relates to the two cats which some gentleman gave to Miss Nightingale, with the assurance that the whole energies of her life might be well devoted to the Persian variety – The letter was written about 1865". (Paget and Turner were both born and brought up at Great Yarmouth, Paget in 1814 and Turner in 1815; Paget as a young man being, like Turner's father, a keen botanist).
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