"Florence Nightingale shrieked aloud in her agony*"

(* The footnote to this quote reads: 'See Cassandra, By Florence Nightingale, printed in The Cause, by R. Strachey').

Portrait of Florence Nightingale
Public DomainPortrait of Florence Nightingale - Credit: Evert A. Duyckinick

Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) is best known as a nurse who came to public attention during the Crimean War, but she was also a writer and statistician.

Following her pioneering work in the Crimea (where she became known as 'The Lady with the Lamp'), she was responsible for establishing nursing as a professional career for women in Britain.

Between 1850 and 1852 she wrote, Suggestions for Thought to Searchers after Religious Truth', a work of self-exploration in three volumes. The work was never published, but part of it, entitled Cassandra, was printed in The Cause by Ray Strachey.

Cassandra may be viewed as a protest against the forced helplessness and dependence of women, and as such is an early example of feminist writing. It has been described by Elaine Showalter as a 'link between Wollstonecraft and Woolf'.