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A question of breeding?

By ucyow3c, on 18 November 2011

Florence Nightingale, Courtesy of the Florence Nightingale Museum Trust, London“Put on your 19th century spectacles” was the advice given at UCL’s Petrie Museum on Thursday evening, in the last of a series of events to mark the centenary of the death of UCL’s Francis Galton.

Ben Davies tried to abandon his modern preconceptions to hear Natasha McEnroe discuss the lives and work of two “true Victorians”: Galton and his contemporary, Florence Nightingale.

If you stick to the stereotypes, the two could not be more different. Galton is best known for his pioneering work in eugenics, a discipline that is viewed as rather cold and unfeeling. Nightingale’s political campaigning is largely forgotten by the public, with the focus largely on her nursing in the Crimea.