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Disease, conflict and nursing in the British Empire, 1880–1914
Angharad Fletcher

2 Imperial sisters in Hong Kong: disease, conflict and nursing in the British Empire, 1880–1914 Angharad Fletcher British nurses, much like those enlisted in the colonial or military services, frequently circulated within the Empire as a professional necessity, often in response to the development of perceived crisis in the form of conflicts or disease outbreaks, prompting reciprocally shaping encounters between individuals within the various colonial outposts. More traditional approaches to the history of nursing are enclavist in the sense that they have

in Colonial caring
Cancer, modernity, and decline in fin-de-siècle Britain
Agnes Arnold-Forster

, less decadent diet was likely to protect against the disease. 28 Cancer – then as now – was conceptualised as a disease of civilisation, an unintended consequence of progress. Anxiety over the perceived increase of cancer was provoked in part by research that seemed to suggest the epidemic was not confined to Western or so-called ‘developed’ nations. Doctors across the British Empire were, at the end of the nineteenth century, engaged in a large-scale evidence-gathering mission. Data and anecdotal evidence was

in Progress and pathology
Open Access (free)
A history of colonial and post-colonial nursing
Editors: Helen Sweet and Sue Hawkins

Colonial Caring covers over a century of colonial nursing by nurses from a wide range of countries including: Denmark, Britain, USA, Holland and Italy; with the colonised countries including South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Ethiopia, Nigeria, India, Indonesia (Dutch East Indies) and the Danish West Indies. It presents unique perspectives from which to interrogate colonialism and post-colonialism including aspects of race, cultural difference and implications of warfare and politics upon nursing. Viewing nursing’s development under colonial and post-colonial rule reveals different faces of a profession that superficially may appear to be consistent and coherent, yet in reality is constantly reinventing itself. Considering such areas as transnational relationships, class, gender, race and politics, this book aims to present current work in progress within the field, to better understand the complex entanglements in nursing’s development as it was imagined and practised in local imperial, colonial and post-colonial contexts. Taking a chronologically-based structure, early chapters examine nursing in situations of conflict in the post-Crimean period from the Indian Rebellion to the Anglo-Boer War. Recruitment, professionalisation of nursing and of military nursing in particular, are therefore considered before moving deeper into the twentieth century reflecting upon later periods of colonialism in which religion and humanitarianism become more central. Drawing from a wide range of sources from official documents to diaries, memoirs and oral sources, and using a variety of methodologies including qualitative and quantitative approaches, the book represents ground-breaking work.

Open Access (free)
Contextualising colonial and post-colonial nursing
Helen Sweet and Sue Hawkins

a number of colonial and post-colonial settings. Whilst we have taken pains to select chapters that incorporate nursing provided by colonial powers across Western Europe and the USA to make this as globally representative as possible, we are well aware that in the ten chapters that follow we can only touch the surface of the story. By the end of the First World War, and despite the Western nations’ ‘Scramble for Africa’4 the British Empire still covered about one quarter of the Earth’s total land area and ruled a population in excess of 500 million people. The

in Colonial caring
Open Access (free)
Christine E. Hallett

adventure novels of G. A. Henty and Henry Rider Haggard had long provided a template for male action within the field of enterprise that formed the British Empire.4 But girls read these novels too. And if this created a sense of dissonance – because all the heroes were boys – they could turn to a small but burgeoning corpus of ‘girl’s own adventure’ writings. Although limited, this included the novels of Bessie Marchant, whose heroines faced challenge and hardship and experienced ‘heroic adventure’.5 While her plot resolutions often involved marriage, Marchant’s heroines

in Nurse Writers of the Great War
Hysterical tetanus in the Victorian South Pacific
Daniel Simpson

; as with rumours of cannibalism, reports of poison were fleeting, vague, and requiring of little evidentiary support. 6 Much of Messer's argument was therefore controversial at the time. Lauded not only in Sydney society but throughout the British Empire as a paragon of the rational, moral, and Christianly virtues then thought to exemplify the ‘modern’ condition, Goodenough was an inauspicious target for the surgeon's claim that a ‘civilised’ state could be lost as well as

in Progress and pathology
Christine E. Hallett

-class ladies of the British Empire brought a strong element of patriotism to their writings, even as they began to realise that the war was not the simple crusade against a marauding Teutonic horde they had believed it to be. It also inclined them to express a remarkable level of confidence in their own natural abilities as nurturers of the wounded.56 A project that they embraced with particular eagerness was the presentation of nursing itself as an ordeal, through which only the strongest could pass unscathed. The ‘truth’ that most seemed anxious to convey was that nursing

in Nurse Writers of the Great War
Charlotte Dale

’, in practice all large hospitals (and most small ones by the end of the century) provided some level of training and certification for their probationary nurses.28 Nevertheless, this essentially unregulated environment created an ambiguity regarding the position of nurses and news of ‘frivolling women’ acting as nurses from southern Africa would do nothing to promote the cause.29 Furthermore, the nurses who served in southern Africa came from across the British Empire, and British nurses, both military and civilian, found themselves working alongside nurses from the

in Colonial caring
Open Access (free)
Christine E. Hallett

Zone contains two significant themes. It bears witness to the suffering of those injured by the war. And it points out that women as well as men might be damaged as a result of their war work – not so directly and obviously, perhaps, as men on active service, but insidiously, as a direct result of their heavy exhausting work, long hours, and poor living and working conditions.6 Finzi’s writing, perhaps unwittingly, undermines the imperialist propaganda that the women of the British Empire were part of an invincible force that was fighting for the right in a simple

in Nurse Writers of the Great War
Christine E. Hallett

Adventure with the Serbian Army, 1916–1919 (New York: Frederick A. Stokes, n.d.). 40 On the novels of Bessie Marchant, see: Michelle Smith, ‘Adventurous Girls of the British Empire: The Pre-War Novels of Bessie Marchant’, The Lion and the Unicorn, 33.1 (2009): 1–25. 41 Sandes, An English Woman-Sergeant: 19–21. 42 Smith, The Second Battlefield: 55–6. 43 Mabel St Clair Stobart, The Flaming Sword in Serbia and Elsewhere (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1916): passim. 44 Stobart, Flaming Sword: 1–4. 45 Stobart, Flaming Sword: 1–4. On Mabel St Clair Stobart, see: Angela Smith

in Nurse Writers of the Great War