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Rural District Nursing in Gloucestershire 1880-1925 by Carrie Howse

Rural District Nursing in Gloucestershire 1880-1925

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Rural District Nursing in Gloucestershire 1880-1925 by Carrie Howse

Ask anyone to name a Victorian pioneer of nursing reform and the answer will probably be, 'Florence Nightingale'. Few people have heard of her contemporary, Elizabeth Malleson (1828-1916), founder of the Rural Nursing Association, or realise the importance of Gloucestershire as the place where her national system of rural district nursing began. This book describes the development of district nursing in rural Gloucestershire from the 1880s, when Elizabeth Malleson moved to the area from London. The establishment of her local charity and its expansion into a national scheme is traced to its affiliation and eventual amalgamation with Queen Victoria's Jubilee Institute for Nurses, the organisation from which today's system of district nursing has evolved.The subsequent progress of the work in Gloucestershire is then followed through the lives of and relationships between three tiers of local society: the middle and upper class ladies who devoted years of their lives to the administration and management of the rural district nursing system, entirely on a voluntary basis; the specially trained nurses who delivered the care; and, the poor patients who benefited from it. Written by an award-winning historian, this book will appeal to anyone who is interested in the history of nursing in particular, and local, social and women's history in general.


'Clear, well-researched and often entertaining... Readable and convincing.'
Social History of Medicine

'Well-researched and readable ... enjoyable and educational... Illuminates clearly an under-researched aspect of nursing.'
Nursing Standard

'This is a fascinating history of district nursing in Gloucestershire shown in the wider national context of the development of the district nursing organisation.'
Gloucestershire History

'Like a medley of pictures in an old scrapbook.'
Cotswold Life

'A step back in time to reveal the plight faced by rural nurses.'
Gloucestershire Echo

'Carrie's labour of love paints a picture of the first district nurses, whose low pay and long hours provided valued and vital services to their communities.'
University of Gloucestershire

About the Author

Carrie Howse is a women's health and welfare historian with a particular interest in the history of nursing, having been a nurse herself in the 1970s. For more than twenty years, she has written historical features, nursing-related articles and academic papers for journals including the Nursing Times, Nursing Standard, Nursing History Review and Women's History Review. She has a PhD from the University of Gloucestershire (2004), on which this, her first, book is based. She has won the following awards for her research and writing:2001 Highly Commended, Clare Evans Prize2003 Finalist, GRCC Bryan Jerrard Award2005 Winner, AAHN Postdoctoral Award2007 Second place, BALH Local History Award2007 Winner, AAHN Mary Adelaide Nutting Award2007 Winner GRCC Bryan Jerrard AwardDr Howse can be contacted by email:

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Book Info

Publication date

31st March 2008


Carrie Howse

More books by Carrie Howse
Author 'Like for Like'


Reardon Publishing


208 pages


History of medicine



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