About this item
The History of Nursing is a complex, shifting discipline engaged in an ongoing search for identity and purpose. If its earliest works were celebratory narratives of ‘great deeds’ and ‘influential nurses’, dominated by biographies of Florence Nightingale and tropes of imperial womanhood, then from at least the 1970s, academics—drawn mainly from Women’s History and Nursing—have argued for a move from such uncritical stances and towards more analytical and nuanced approaches. Lately, Nursing History has been characterized by the ‘cultural turn’, with a shift in focus from class, gender, and race, to the study of practices, ideologies, and life-worlds. Characterized by an emphasis on history ‘from below’, it aims to recapture the experiences of both nurses and patients, and to recover voices that never found their way into mainstream histories of healthcare or society.
Now, a new title from Routledge’s Major Themes in Health and Social Welfare series meets the need for an authoritative reference work to make sense of this evolution. Edited by the Director of the UK Centre for the History of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Manchester, The History of Nursing offers both a historiographical overview of disciplinary trends and a definitive omnibus of classic scholarship and rigorous research studies. Avoiding material which is tendentious, superficial, and otiose, it will be welcomed as an ‘über-anthology’of the most significant and valuable major works in the History of Nursing.