Sketch comedy series. A tribute to Florence Nightingale, charting how she revolutionised medicine and the treatment of the sick.
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# Terrible Tudors, gorgeous Georgians, slimy Stuarts, vile Victorians
# Woeful wars, ferocious fights Dingy castles, daring knights
# Horrors that defy description Cut-throat Celts, awful Egyptians
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# Romans, rotten, rank and ruthless Cavemen, savage, fierce and toothless
# Groovy Greeks, brainy sages Mean and measly Middle Ages
# Gory stories, we do that
# And your host, a talking rat
# The past is no longer a mystery
# Welcome to...
# Horrible Histories. #
Horrible Histories presents...
In a time of war,
came a nurse who changed the face of medicine -
the Lady with the Lamp.
What is the obsession with the lamp?
Everybody needs a lamp, it gets dark.
Even as a child, she loved to care...
Er... That's my sister Parthenope.
I'M over here.
Parthenope, I need you to check
my Latin translation of last year's flu statistics.
Flozza, you are such a spod.
When war broke out...
And it called Florence Nightingale,
the Lady with the Lamp.
For goodness' sake, will you please stop going on about the lamp?!
I will not be defined by a lamp.
I've got a bonnet as well - are you going to start calling me
"the Babe with the Bonnet?"
The Babe with the...
-Don't you dare.
The World's Most Famous Nurse.
And not just the Lady with the Lamp.
Terribly dark in here.
Has anyone seen my lamp?
It's true. Florence Nightingale became the world's most famous nurse
with her revolutionary ideas about cleanliness.
It's her fault you're always being told to wash your hands.
Her campaign to clean up hospitals was a disaster... for us rats...
..but it was GREAT for the patients and everyone else.
Over the years,
she must have saved millions of lives from infection, but did
you know, early on, people actually tried to put her off nursing.
Ah, come in, take a seat, Miss...?
Bet you'd be rather good at singing.
I do so love to sing,
but it is frivolous and cannot heal the wretched or soothe the dying,
so God has blessed me with a sore throat to take the temptation away.
If you'd like to tell me what you ARE good at and what
sort of thing you DO like, we can find the right career for you.
I'm fluent in several
European and classical languages,
I excel at arithmetic, physics
and chemistry and I have a passion for statistics and conchology.
-It's the study of seashells.
-Course it is. Con...
Righty-tighty! Well, according to my calculations,
the perfect career for you is...
It is a full-time post. After leaving school, you would be working
from home, excellent prospects and potential for promotion to...
mother in just nine months. Salary is...
Yeah, don't worry about the salary.
But after everything I've told you, my skills and talents?
Yes, but you're female.
And wife is pretty much the only job going for a rich girl like you.
I don't know why you're knocking it, I'd...LOVE to be a wife.
"Oh, darling, you're home early, I've still got my curlers in!
"Let me take my pinafore off, pop your feet up and I'll give you..."
I've had a calling from God!
He wants me to go into the world and help the needy.
Oh! You should have said!
Here we go, nun!
But I'm not a Catholic.
And we're back to...wife.
This is absurd!
I know what I want - to be a nurse,
to dedicate my life to helping the sick.
-And no MAN can stand in my way.
-What does your father say about that?
Well, I thank you for your time, sir,
but your cards have nothing to offer me.
Nursing is my destiny -
no woman with a shred of dignity should ever have to accept THIS.
-I'll take it, Flozza!
Welcome to Historical Sun,
Sea and Suspicious Parents,
where young Florence is off to
a nursing college in Salisbury for the trip of a lifetime.
-Over my dead body, she is.
I want to care for the sick.
Really?! Why can't you be more like your sister?
-Oh, what's SHE ever done? Nothing.
That's what rich Victorian ladies are supposed to do.
What's wrong with you?
Determined to change her mind, and caring attitude, the Nightingales
sent Florence on an all-expenses-paid
Grand Tour of Europe.
But what Florence doesn't know is that Mum,
Dad and sister Parthenope will be secretly watching
and listening to everything she does on the trip!
Well, I just hope she stops all this helping people nonsense and starts
behaving selfishly so that for once, we can actually be proud of her.
But rather than partying and enjoying herself,
Florence seems more interested in hanging out with the local nuns.
I knew it! She's gone straight to an Italian convent.
And she's watching them nurse
the sick, I mean, has she no shame?
-Never mind them.
As a parent, this is the last thing you want to see your daughter doing.
Unaware that her parents are watching, Florence has gone
all the way to Germany to spend four months in a religious community.
She's not just watching now.
She's joining in!
And with bank of Mum and Dad paying,
it's time to head home and face the music.
No staying up till gone nine o'clock in Barcelona,
no heavy tea drinking in Corfu,
just 24-hour binge nursing.
No wonder you didn't find yourself a husband!
I don't WANT a husband. I've got a job.
Superintendent to the Establishment for Gentlewomen During Illness.
And... # It's unpai-aid! #
Our daughter! A nurse!
Where did we go wrong?
The Crimean War broke out in 1853
and Britain, France, Turkey and Sardinia
all rallied together to fight Russia.
No-one expected it to be such a bloody and difficult war
and conditions were particularly awful for the soldiers who'd
travelled all that way to fight.
Well, for MOST of them, anyway.
I'm Lord Cardigan
and this is Crimean War,
As a soldier, I've had to learn to survive
some pretty extreme conditions.
I'm going to show you how.
X-treme Survival - Tip One!
Rations are low.
Your men are so hungry they are considering eating their privates
AND their corporals. You need food.
Look around you - what do you see?
Old leather boots
can be boiled and chewed
for much-needed nutrition.
-like to do, is...
bring wagon loads of food with me - yum!
And my own personal chef to cook me
whatever I like for dinner.
X-treme Survival Tip Two!
It's cold! The Army have only given you summer uniforms to wear.
You have a choice.
Keep warm or die!
Huddling together like a bunch
of gossiping fishwives can
provide some much-needed shared
body heat that will get you through.
But what I like to do is...
have my servant bring me a nice hot cup of tea,
an extra pair of socks
and a big old warm coat.
-Don't mind if I do.
This isn't Darjeeling,
it's Assam, Carruthers!
X-treme Survival Tip Three!
These old tents from the Battle of Waterloo 40 years ago can be
patched up and used to keep you dry.
But what I like to do is bring my yacht instead.
There she is. Anchored in the bay!
It's also a nice place for your friends to stay when you're at war.
Oh, they're playing Twister.
Wait for me, guys!
War truly is hell.
I'm Lord Cardigan and this has been
Crimean War X-treme Survival.
During the war, we Victorians actually travelled to the
Crimea to watch the battles as tourists.
Ooh! Sounds like they've started.
I don't want to miss anything.
Wait for me!
Looking for the holiday of a lifetime?
Then come to the sumptuous five-star surroundings of the Crimea.
Sit back, relax and let your Black Sea adventure begin as you enjoy
British war tourism at its finest.
Help, I'm drowning!
Please, help me!
-Don't take pictures!
Enjoy splendid day trips, including hillside views
of the battlefield and marvel
at the mindless violence.
-Come to the Crimea.
Voted Europe's Best War For Watching for the second year running.
And soon with added Lady of the Lamp.
Do you mind?
I have work to do.
If it's good enough for Florence Nightingale,
it's good enough for me.
Don't miss this unique offer.
This is a war you won't want to miss.
Come to the Crimea.
Full return with room and dining, only three sovereigns.
No liability accepted for death, dismemberment, dysentery,
typhoid, cholera, not ATOL protected - it's a war zone!
But our brave Flo hadn't gone to the Crimea to have a good time.
She was there to help the wounded soldiers at the hospital.
But that wasn't as simple as it sounds, especially as the soldiers
were as terrified of going to the hospital as they were of the enemy.
-What's happened, soldier? Oh, you're in a bad way.
-Oh, what, this, sir?
Nah, that's nothing, sir. You carry on, sir.
-I mean, there does seem to be quite a nasty wound on your leg.
-Nah, looks all right to me, sir.
-Doesn't to me.
No, it's fine, sir, it's fine. I can still wiggle me toes, see?
Look, there's no easy way to say this, but I'm afraid I... I think...
No, sir. Please, don't say it, sir.
-You're going to have to go to the hospital.
-No, not the hospital, sir!
Anything but the hospital, sir! It's filthy!
No-one comes out of there alive! I hated that leg, anyway, sir.
-It was slowing me down.
-Pull yourself together!
It's not that bad in the...hospital.
Please don't send me to the hospital in Scutari, sir. I can't stand it!
Just leave me on the battlefield. I'll live longer.
-I've got a wife and kid at home, sir, and a cat.
-I'm sorry, sir.
-But you are going to the hospital.
It's going back, sir, it's all right. Argh!
Soldiers really were terrified of coming to Scutari Hospital,
and for good reason.
Lots more soldiers were dying from diseases
they caught here than from their wounds.
The hospital was even built on a sewer,
meaning patients were drinking dirty water and wading through poo.
But our plucky Flo got straight to work, making the hospital cleaner,
feeding and clothing the patients, and helping them exercise.
Finally, the injured soldiers were being treated with the respect
No wonder they loved her so much.
# Because, you see It's all about this base
# About this base
# Nobody's healed
# This hospital's a waste of space
# Worse than the battlefield
# It's all about this nurse Making it less worse, so we all hail
# The lady with the lamp... #
Me, Florence Nightingale.
# Don't like red painted walls... #
-That's blood, ma'am.
# Probably doesn't help
# You've built this on a sewer
# Those Russians good at killing our men in Crimea
# But not half as good as this place
# Central Station diarrhoea!
# First I brought in some towels
# So when emptying their bowels
# Then at least their botties were clean
# Isn't funny!
# Help them get off their backs
# Offering tasty fresh snacks in the hos...
# ..pital canteen
# Took one look at the squalor
# And cases of cholera sores and dysentery
# Poorly tummy!
# And then here's the surprise
# Bought the stolen supplies back with my own money
# Because, you see It's all about this base
# About this base... #
Don't get annoyed!
I'll get a brand-new pillowcase, clear all trace of typhoid.
# It's all about this nurse Fortunes reverse
# At the double Helping soldiers feel less worse
# Don't need a hearse... #
# Took my light round at night check
# The men were all right and not suffering too much pain
# Feeling peaky!
# Most of all, I was spying
# Check nurses weren't lying But doing what they were saying
# Pretty sneaky!
# I ensured that the kitchen dished out good nutrition
# And everyone got enough
# Bubble and squeaky!
# And found that, over time
# That the deaths did decline... #
Turns out, she sure knows her stuff!
# Because it's all about this base
# About this base sanitation
# All about control of disease incubation
# Yes, it's all about this nurse and how she turned her abhorrence
# Of this curse into a cleaner universe
# She's Florence! #
Excellent work, Miss Nightingale!
And Florence wasn't the only brave woman helping people
out in the Crimean War.
At the same time Florence was improving her hospital,
Mary Seacole was running a thriving
but somewhat unusual hotel right at the Balaclava battlefront.
Oh, Bertie! I'm such a lucky girl to be honeymooning in the Crimea!
And, to cap it all, a stay at the British Hotel -
the finest in Balaclava!
-You are sure it's the finest hotel in the Crimea?
You there! Serving girl. We should like to speak to the manager.
That's me, Mary Seacole - born in Jamaica, Scottish father,
now proud proprietor of the British Hotel.
Then, we have a reservation for two - Mr and Mrs Burlington.
You, boy! Order, please! Can't you see I'm with a fancy couple?
Awfully sorry about this. Won't be a jiffy. There you go, doll.
Have a little bit of poo medicine. That'll sort your bum in nae time!
-Did you say poo medicine?
-Aye. Would you like some? It's home-made.
Stops them doing pumps!
-It doesn't sound like it.
You should hear them when they don't have it.
And, um, why do they need poo medicine?
They suffer terrible with diarrhoea from the dysentery.
Isn't that right, me child?
There we go - right as rain!
I must say, I feel we should have been warned about the building work.
Ah, that's not building work. The hotel is built with metal
and rotten driftwood found lying around the battlefield.
-I made it myself.
-Would you please show us to our bedroom?
-We don't actually have any beds.
-You're fully booked?
No, we literally don't have any beds.
It's part of the hotel's rustic charm.
We do have these reclaimed wooden recliners.
-I am not sleeping on a plank, Bertie!
-No, you should.
If you sleep on the ground, the rats will get you.
-Have that, you sneaky wee beast!
-Bertie, I'm going home to Mother!
-No, no! Clemmie, wait!
Nothing can stop me!
-Oh. You should try some of this.
Bung you up a treat.
-Clemmie? Let me help you.
Top stuff, Mary! You rarely came up trumps.
Now, back to Florence.
When the war was over, she returned to Britain
and continued her work improving hospital conditions.
Then, in 1860, a nursing school was founded in her name,
creating the first properly qualified professional nurses,
although finding the right people to study there wasn't always easy.
I'm Florence Nightingale,
and this is the Florence Nightingale School Of Nursing.
Thumbs up! Oh.
Thanks to public donations...for the first time ever,
15 of you can choose nursing as an actual paid career.
We're waiting for you. Point! You!
To qualify, simply answer these simple questions.
-First question again?
-Sorry I'm late. I missed the carriage.
-No, thank you!
That's right, love! I'm elderly.
-Huh? You need to speak up.
I'm honest, tidy, sober, punctual and orderly.
-I'd love to train to be a nurse.
-You'll make a great nurse.
-I'm deaf and 80!
Hello, I'm a handsome doctor, and I've come to Victorian Britain
to chat to this lady about her very embarrassing problem.
-Emily, how can we help you?
-Hello, handsome doctor.
-You see, the problem is, I am hideously ugly.
-Have you not seen my elephantine waist?
No man will marry me unless my waist looks like this.
No, you see, Emily, that's, um, pretty unhealthy.
I mean, the only way you could get a waist that small would be
to use some kind of iron corset to literally squeeze your stomach...
-I instantly feel more alluring!
Tell you what - it would be a little bit safer outside.
I can't go outside! That's how I got this hideous suntan!
Because you're worried about skin cancer?
No, I'm worried I'll look like a peasant.
Emily has some pretty extreme ideas about how to get
her desired complexion.
Vinegar to lighten the skin.
Just a little.
-And a few finishing touches.
-What are you doing?
Drawing on veins to make myself look all pale and see-through.
Aren't you captivated?
The card-collecting game that's sweeping the 19th century!
David Livingstone, glasses man, don't know, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Thanks to the brand-new invention of photography
and the larger number of celebrities, you can
now collect pictures of all your favourite Victorians!
I'm Isambard Kingdom Brunel,
and I printed my pictures as calling cards.
I never intended for people to collect them.
Tough luck, mutton chops!
They're collecting them now, and everyone's doing it!
-Um... OK, Harriet Beecher Stowe.
-Er... Hector Berlioz.
Yes, collect all your favourite Victorian celebrities!
-Have you got Florence Nightingale?
-That's silly. No-one's got her.
-She refuses to be photographed.
I don't want any personal publicity,
and I don't want anything to do with Cartomania!
If it's good enough for me, it's good enough for you,
and that's an order!
Oh! Yes, Your Majesty. How do you want me?
-Oh! Certainly not!
If God had wanted us to show our teeth,
he wouldn't have given us lips!
It's true - we Victorians loved collecting photos of celebrities,
and our obsession with celebs didn't end there.
Florence's work in Scutari was all over the newspapers,
and she quickly gained an army of die-hard Florence fans that
would put Directioners to shame!
But there was one person who wasn't at all happy with
Florence's A-list status.
Roll up, roll up! Yes, Florence Nightingale souvenirs!
You won't find quality like this anywhere else!
We've got hundreds of posters, prints, drawings, etchings -
all of them a genuine likeness of the lady of the lamp herself!
We've got Florence mats, Florence stamps, Florence spoons,
We've also got...this amazing Florence figurine!
It's almost as if the angel of the trenches were here right now.
-God bless her!
-No, no, it's just a statue.
Oh, you can still tell from the height.
Did you think she was in the distance? Bless you!
-I'm Florence Nightingale.
-Give over! You don't look nothing like her!
No, they look nothing like me!
-Florence, give us another smile, will you, darling?
-Lovely stuff. Gotcha!
-Parthenope Nightingale here.
-Always happy to pose with my famous sis!
-One more. Lovely!
-Lady of the lamp!
-Get off me!
-Come on, Flozza! For the camera!
You can do your cheeky face.
-When have you ever seen me do a cheeky face?
Excuse me, coming through. Coming through. Hello, Florence.
Do you remember me? I kissed your shadow as you passed.
Now, now, soldier! There was no kissing allowed on my wards.
It's most unhygienic!
# Oh, Florence Nightingale, so dear!
# She saved the soldiers in Crimea! #
-No more songs or poems!
-Oh! Lighten up, Flozza!
-I will not!
Nursing is a very serious business.
And all this lady of the lamp stuff is just trash!
-This is going right on my mantelpiece!
-Wow! Roll up! Roll up!
Get your Florence Nightingale trash!
-Virtually trashed by the lady of the lamp herself!
-I'm going home to bed!
For goodness' sake! Iodine, hot towels! It's meant to be my day off.
Crimea... Magic lamp...
Oh, hello there. So sorry.
I was just having a quick nap.
Well, not so quick.
I actually spent much of my later life in bed, and I wasn't pretending
to be ill so that I could avoid a maths test, like some people.
But do you know how long I actually spent in bed?
The answer is...
Yes, I spent 11 years in bed, and even did all my work there.
Mm, lovely! Speaking of which, I should probably get back there now.
Oh, maybe just a quick...
Wash your hands!
KNOCK ON DOOR
-Thank you so much, Miss Nightingale. I'm terribly sorry.
-I thought this was your office.
-It is my office.
I'm writing to important leaders around the world.
My campaign for universal sanitation will not rest.
Plus the commute is great!
-Do sit down, Dr Morgan.
I wondered if I could seek your opinion on the new government fund.
-May I introduce Gladstone?
-The British Prime Minister?
He's here, in your bed...office? Well, yes, I'd be honoured.
-You mustn't rub his tummy, though.
I mean, that would be very rude.
But I tell you who won't leave you alone
until you give his big fat belly a jolly good scratch - Mr Bismarck.
The German Chancellor's here? Well, the honour would be all mine.
Of course he's here!
He sits on my knee and laps rice pudding out of a plate,
like a gentleman.
-Good grief! Is that something German people do?
Look at your filthy paws! You give them a jolly good lick!
You know how I feel about cleanliness, Gladstone!
Yes, of course. Gladstone is a cat.
Well, I do hope Mr Bismarck isn't allergic to...
-He's a cat as well, isn't he?
-Of course he is.
Cats are the finest of creatures.
You must meet Tom, Topsy and Mr Muff.
Disraeli over there just had kittens.
-Oh, you must have one.
-Now, where has Mrs Smudge got to?
-Perhaps she's in the litter tray.
Why would my housekeeper be in the litter tray?
-Now, young man, about this kitten you asked for.
-Do you know what?
I don't really like cats.
Yeah, they make me a bit, um, sneezy.
Out of office? You're clearly in your bed...office.
-Can I just ask...
-Send me a letter.
-Look, since I'm here...
I am currently on annual leave and will contact you on my return.
-Maybe I do like cats. I suppose they're rather sweet.
-I'll see my...self out.
-Silly little man!
Florence Nightingale lived until she was 90 years old
and never stopped campaigning to make health care more hygienic.
That's why keeping surgeries
and hospitals as clean as possible is so important today.
Florence, you are a national treasure!
But not very popular in my neighbourhood. Ha!
Now, that calls for a song.
# Nursing girls don't get hurt by the men in suits
# It's absurd, I tried to change their views on care
# But they don't want to see their bureaucratic idiocy
# Is leaving nurses in despair
# One, two, three One, two, three, see?
# I can prove statistically
# More health care efficiency
# Would help significantly
# I'm going to bring about change to patient care
# Try and stop me if you dare
# Telling you things going to change from the norm
# Total social reform
# I'm going to try to talk to the Queen
# Help to intervene
# I'm going to bring about change around here
# Change around here
# Like a train through your government rule
# You'll never stop my nurse training school
# One of the first rules I put in place
# Was to clear old wards of bodily waste
# I brought about big change to patient care
# Couldn't stop me, didn't dare
# Telling you things
# Proper change from the norm
# Total social reform
# I brought about universal nursing care
# The lack of nurses wasn't fair
# Telling you I brought a change around here
# Change around here. #
Horrible Histories pays tribute to Formidable Florence Nightingale, The Lady with the Lamp (just don't let Florence hear you calling her that!) The programme charts how Florence revolutionised medicine and the treatment of the sick during the Crimean War, but also how she also unwittingly sparked the public's desire for trinkets and tat featuring her image. Elsewhere, there's the bizarre practice of Victorian war tourism (tea, cake and carnage), a look at some Embarrassing Victorian Bodies, and a visit to Mary Seacole's British Hotel.