We use cookies to provide essential features and services. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies .


COVID-19 Response at Fishpond

Read what we're doing...

Lucy Osburn, a Lady Displaced


Product Description
Product Details

Table of Contents


  1. Discovering Lucy Osburn
  2. A Yorkshire childhood
  3. Two women in search of a purpose
  4. Australia and the imperial dream
  5. Lucy Osburn, lady probationer
  6. Preparations for Sydney
  7. A royal welcome
  8. Taking control
  9. Resignation
  10. Letters to Nightingale
  11. Under attack
  12. Desperate love in accident ward
  13. Slander and scandal
  14. Bible burning
  15. Alliances broken and cemented
  16. The Royal Commission, 1873
  17. Defending Miss Osburn
  18. Changing of the guard
  19. Intolerable pressure
  20. Starting again
  21. Conclusion and epilogue


About the Author

Judith Godden is an honorary associate of the Department of History at the University of Sydney.


'... it is an important book for Nightingale scholars and for colonial nursing history.' -- Merlyn Stuart * Nursing History Review *
'Godden's portrait of Lucy Osburn is both informative and entertaining, and it would have a wide appeal to many audiences. This is a well-written and engaging book. To a researcher interested in the development of women's careers, it offers a poignant lesson in the difficulties faced by women who stepped outside the traditional roles of wife and mother in the Victorian age.' -- Diana Jefferies * Journal of Religious Studies *
'Godden sets Lucy Osburn's time in Australia firmly in its social and political context. Many of Osburn's letters to Florence Nightingale have survived, and Godden was able to examine in some detail the tense relationships between Nightingale in England, Osburn in Sydney and the various members of Sydney's political and medical elites.' -- Sally Wilde * Australian Journal of Politics and History *
'Godden has made extensive use of an exceptional array of primary sources, and the research is meticulous throughout ... Lucy Osburn, a Lady Displaced is a particularly arresting addition to medical and nursing history, biography and colonial women's history. Better still, it will be read with pleasure, as well as much gain.' -- Lisa Featherstone * History Australia *
'Godden's book is a rich-textured read and a major contribution to the literature in a number of fields: Victorian studies, gender studies, colonial history and the history of medicine and nursing. While it is an important Australian story, Australia only provides the setting. So much of the story is that of a lady, displaced within the empire, restless and capable, but at the mercy of the elements. Godden's sympathetic and rigorous treatment of the subject will stand.' -- Sioban Nelson * Nursing Inquiry *
'In an engaging and highly readable style, University of Sydney historian, Judith Godden has reconstructed the life of New South Wales' first professional nurse, Lucy Osburn.' -- Melanie Oppenheimer * Labour History *
'This is a detailed narrative history which is enjoyable and certainly informative. Godden provides insights into colonial institutions and female power, class and gender roles, also commenting briefly on Osburn's sexuality and to an extent, her emotional experiences. An important contribution to medical/nursing biography, this work could also be read as a contribution to feminist history and the social history of women's work and colonial life.' -- Catharine Coleborne * Australian Historical Studies *
'This book is a model of careful scholarship. It is more than a biography of a flawed but determined individual; it is an account of changing gender relation ships and the development of institutionalised medical practice. It is also very readable, perhaps due to what the author describes as 'the unholy trinity of sex, politics and religion.' -- Peter J. Tyler * Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society *
'Judith Godden's lively and insightful biography sets Osburn's contribution to the Sydney Infirmary in the wider context of her life and does not shirk from criticism of those aspects of her character which undermined her effectiveness as a flag bearer for Nightingale's vision.' * Health & History *
' ... this is a 'riveting read'. I found it impossible to put down as each chapter revealed yet more about this independent, stubborn, courageous and sometimes misguided woman who always seemed to relish a fight.' -- Judith A. Cornell AM * Nursing.Aust *

Ask a Question About this Product More...
Write your question below:
Look for similar items by category
Home » Books » Biography » General
People also searched for
Item ships from and is sold by Fishpond Retail Limited.
Back to top