No place: no date, circa 1850s-1860s. Broadside ballad printed on blue paper, measuring 10.5 x 3.5 inches. Woodcut illustration above title, lyrics printed in a single column. Small spot to head, light edgewear and toning to head and foot.
Nineteenth-century broadside ballad, celebrating the heroism of English nurse Florence Nightingale: “God sent this angel to succour the brave, / Some thousands she's saved from an untimely grave.” Nightingale's command of the field hospital at Scutari, described in countless letters from the Crimean front, created a market for popular tributes like this one. Most surviving broadsides of the ballad include idealized images of “the lady with the lamp” visiting the wounded. In contrast, this printing features a woodcut of the beasts of the field gazing up at a bird with arrows in her talons, an image which prefigures Lytton Strachey's description of Nightingale in Eminent Victorians: “it was not a swan they had hatched; it was an eagle.” Roud Folk Song Index 2655. A near-fine example.