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Victorians our quotation is taken, insists on the hard and practical qualities, will-power, domineering temper, organising talent, that were needed to do the work that Miss Nightingale did. "A demon possessed her." Her achievement, of course, had not only momentous consequences for the development of the army medical service, it also marks an epoch in feminist history. Activities as Miss Nightingale's on the part of a woman, well-connected, well-bred, of independent means, unmarried, were altogether unheard of at that time. It was only against the persistent opposition of her parents that this remarkable woman had been able to instruct herself in the art of nursing and had at last, about a year before she set out on the Crimean adventure which was to make her name immortal, become "the super-intendent of a charitable. nursing home in Harley Street" (the doctors' street in London).


During the terrible Crimean winter, 1854—1855, The Times was ruthlessly1) outspoken in exposing the sufferings of the troops; in criticising the shortcomings alike of the authorities at home and of the commanders in the field; in pressing for greater vigour and for the despatch of reinforcements. At the very beginning of the war Russell wrote to Delane: "Am I to teil these things or hold my tongue?" It was "one of those casual exclamations," says Russell 's biographer, "which mark a crisis in a man's life." It was an exclamation rather than a question. Russell, moved by pity and indignation, did not wait, and had no need to wait, for his editor's answer. All Delane's correspondents were instructed to teil the truth without fear or favour. "Publicity," he used to say, "is my trade"; adding, "Details the public wants and details it shall have." Delane and Russell gave them; the effect produced was great

1. ruthless [rujlïs]: without pity or mercy.