Reviews

Celebrating nurses a visual history

IT IS rare to find a book about the history and importance of nursing that captures the imagination and can be read and appreciated from beginning to end in one sitting. However, Celebrating Nurses – A Visual History is one such exception. It is described as ‘an accessible history of the nursing profession’ with ‘fascinating facts’ and ‘the testimony of nurses past and present [telling] the story of nursing through the centuries’. It has clearly been meticulously researched – and is beautifully illustrated with sepia, black and white and full-colour plates.

It is interesting to read about nursing spanning civilization from classical Greece, the Roman Empire, medieval times and the early modern period to the more commonly documented 19th and 20th centuries. As well as sections describing the changes in nursing over the years there are vignettes of key leaders which go well beyond the famous names in nursing and provide a wonderful insight into the contributions of many individuals.

Fascinating themes permeate the text such as uniforms, caps and heroes, and the illustrations always bring to life the challenges and successes of good nursing. The common thread throughout this publication is the caring nature of nursing and the motivation of nurses across the centuries to improve humankind.

This book should appeal to an audience from those who have a passing interest in the origins of nurses and nursing to serious scholars wishing to examine the factors that have had an

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