Notes on Nursing: What it is, and What it is Not - Florence Nightingale Circa 1860-64 - Harrison, London - Early Edition ‘Every woman, or at least almost every woman, in England has, at one time or another in her life, charge of the personal health of somebody, whether child or invalid, – in other words, every woman is a nurse.’

One of the earliest editions of Florence Nightingale’s seminal work on nursing – the first of its kind ever to be published – which sets out her principles of care for the sick and injured, with advice and practices under chapters entitled ‘Observations of the Sick’, ‘Personal Cleanliness’, ‘Bed and Bedding’, ‘Cleanliness of Rooms’, ‘Taking Food’, ‘Ventilation and Warming’, and ‘Health in Houses’.

‘The book was the first of its kind ever to be written. It appeared at a time when the simple rules of health were only beginning to be known, when its topics were of vital importance not only for the well-being and recovery of patients, when hospitals were riddled with infection, when nurses were still mainly regarded as ignorant, uneducated persons. The book has, inevitably, its place in the history of nursing, for it was written by the founder of modern nursing’ – Joan Quixley, head of the
Nightingale School of Nursing, 1974.
  References: Skretkowic, Florence Nightingale’s Notes on Nursing and Notes on Nursing for the Labouring Classes 431-441.

Octavo, (book size 14x21.5cm), pp. 79 [1]. Publisher’s beaded charcoal cloth over stiff card boards, upper cover titled in gilt, publisher advertisements to pale yellow endpapers.

The first version of the book printed from the original setting of type was published in the first week of January 1860. In two months at least 15,000 copies had been published to sell at the price of two shillings. According to Dr. Victor Skretkowic’s detailed notes on identifying the first edition, due to the lack of dating on the title page and the considerable variations of binding and typographical states, early copies are almost impossible to accurately identify.

This copy appears to correspond with Skretkowic’s Group 13 published between 1860-1864 (of the 32 variant bindings he describes, that were published between 1860 and 1901): Title page with ‘HARRISON & SONS, 59, PALL MALL / BOOKSELLERS TO THE QUEEN’ with ‘[
The right of Translation is reserved.]’ at foot of page. Pale yellow endpapers, second setting of type in the first state: line 1 of advertisements read ‘LONDON: HARRISON, Bookseller to the Queen, 59, Pall Mall’; on left hand side of front pastedown, a small heraldic crest of Sir Bernard Burke, Ulster King of Arms, dated 1860. Line 22 reads ‘Foreign titles... British Bri-tish’; upper cover with 3 blind rules, 3.5 mm (with 2 mm between), then 1 mm (with 2 mm between), then 1 mm.
  Condition: Near fine, light wear to corners and head of spine, several gatherings over-opened, very occasional faint spotting.   Ref: 108106   Price: HK$ 11,500