Florence Nightingale: The Lady with the Diagrams

Posted on: 02/11/2019 Back to all blog posts

Mathematical Lives Series: The Lady with the Diagrams Nightingale:

Royal Fireworks Press is proud to announce Florence Nightingale: The Lady with the Diagrams, the second biography in the Mathematical Lives series. Written by Robert Black, with whom many readers are familiar from his Mathematical Nights novels, the book delves into the mathematical life of Florence Nightingale.

Known for her revolutionary impact on medicine, Florence Nightingale transformed the hospital system and dramatically reduced the death rate from infection and disease. But what most people don’t know is that Nightingale’s influence went far beyond the medical profession. In an effort to make the results of her research on disease and death rates accessible to people, she began creating diagrams—visual tools to allow people to see beyond the simple numbers they were reading in order to understand the true nature of what those numbers conveyed. She invented an array of circular diagrams and bar charts, many of which are still in use today or which have evolved to become commonplace to our modern eyes. The “Lady with the Lamp” can also be credited as the “Lady with the Diagrams” for her work in pioneering ways for mathematicians and statisticians to present bare facts as intelligible truths.

See more information about
Florence Nightingale: The Lady with the Diagrams.

The Mathematical Lives series explores the lives and contributions of a number of innovative and groundbreaking mathematicians as readers are introduced to the people and the circumstances surrounding them. The books also feature problems for readers to solve.

The first book in the series is Pascal and Fermat: The Probability Pen Pals.


Those who are familiar with Robert Black’s work know that central to his concerns is the application of mathematics to the experience of people. In Black’s three mathematical fiction novels, he poses a series of problems that all have mathematical solutions. Through the course of the three books, seventh grader Lennie Miller has to solve math problems so that supernatural creatures will know what course of action to take. The books show kids, in a fun and engaging way, how to apply math to real-world—and out-of-this-world—situations! See more information about the Mathematical Nights novels.

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