Autograph letter, signed ("Florence Nightingale"), to explorer David Livingstone's daughter Mrs. Livingstone Bruce, praising her father and agreeing to be quoted in a to be published biography on Dr. Livingstone.
[Derby]: October 23, 1880.
3pp., folded sheet mourning stationery. With the original mailing envelope. Usual fold. Old tape repair on conjugate leaf with resulting stain affecting a few words of text but not affecting signature Item #320579
"I am very glad that there is to be a real life of the never to be forgotten glorious Dr. Livingstone. I wish Dr. Blaikie God speed. With regard to my private letter to you, it was, I need hardly say, from the depths of my heart, & not written with a view to publication and I cannot recall a word that was in it. But if you think that my poor words can contribute anything to what must be the object of every English speaking nation, & not only this but of every man, woman & child all over the world, viz. to make known one who has opened the way of peace (& not terror) to those who were 'lying in darkness & the shadow of death' on so large a portion of the globe. I feel that I cannot decline what otherwise is so repugnant to me ... And pray believe me ever the faithful servant of yourself & the great memory of as true a hero saint as ever lived ..."
Written on the occasion of the preparation for imminent publication of William Garden Blaikie's biography of Livingstone (published 1880), the letter gives permission for a letter of hers to be published, in which she said of Livingstone: "We cannot console ourselves for our loss. He is irreplaceable" (p. 458) and called him "the greatest man of his generation."
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