Famous, fictional and historical ladies with a hint of bint about them
Historical figures

Florence Nightingale
90 at the time of death

A lady with a lamp

Victorian austerity-chic, with a rather fetching doily on her head
Best Known For:
Being the hero of the Crimean War and the founder of modern nursing
Most bintish achievement:
Florence came from wealthy, well-connected stock, but shunned marriage in favour of nursing, which horrified her family. When she heard about the poor conditions suffered by soldiers during the Crimean war, she recruited and equipped a group of nurses and went off to help. The male surgeons there were outraged, but she stood her ground
Least bintish achievement:
Mary Seacole, who was recently named as the greatest black British woman, also worked in the Crimea, making her own way after the Brits refused to employ her. Unlike Florence Nightingale, she rarely gets much credit for it, although she did eventually receive a Crimean medal
Relationship history:
None to speak of, but her sexuality has long been the subject of speculation. It was rumoured that she died of syphilis, that she was in love with her cousin Marianne Nicholson and that she had more than a passing interest in other women as well. But if she was a lesbian, she would have had to hide it from Victorian society
Best quote:
“I have lived and slept in the same bed with English countesses and Prussian farm women... no woman has excited passions among women more than I have”
Verdict: Young Florence never quite fitted the mould of a Victorian lady – she was a tough old bird who didn’t mind getting her hands dirty. While visiting the front lines, she became ill and never really recovered, and few people know that she spent the last half of her life confined to bed, suffering from chronic fatigue. In 1860 her best-known work, Notes on Nursing, was published, and is still in print today. In her old age she received many honours, and was the first female to be given the Order of Merit
35/50 (70%)

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