Tony Williams

Tony Williams

Charles Dickens, Florence Nightingale & the Crimean War

The Crimean war, between Russia and the Western Powers from 1854 -1856, was an event which engaged Dickens’ awareness of international affairs very deeply. He blamed the Emperor of Russia for the decline in the sales of his books and responded to the privations of the soldiers by arranging to send them supplies of his works as reading matter. He described himself as being “full of mixed feelings about the war – admiration of our valiant men – burning desires to cut the Emperor of Russia’s throat”. He was also involved in a practical scheme to assist the work of Florence Nightingale in the hospital at Scutari.
Dr Tony Williams will be exploring these and other connections in his talk, to be given on 11th May 2010 – the day before the 190th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale; the centenary of her death will be marked on 13th August this year.