IN writing this biography I have been given the opportunity of pre senting wharl believe to be a complete picture of Miss Nightingale for the first time. When Sir Edward Cook wrote his admirable official life immediately after Miss Nightingale's death, there was a large body of material which, for family and personal reasons, was either not available to him or he was asked not to use. He did not, for instance, see the Verney Night ingale papers; he saw only part of the collection I have described as the Herbert papers; and there was a great deal of other correspondence of which he was asked to make only a limited use. I have been fortunate enough to be given access to this material. My thanks are due, first and foremost, to Sir Harry Verney, Bart., who most generously placed at my disposal the very important V erney Nightingale papers comprising the domestic correspondence and private papers of Miss Nightingale's mother, Frances, her sister Parthenope, Lady Verney, and the Nightingale family circle. I am deeply indebted to Lord Herbert for allowing me to use unpublished material from the Herbert papers, establishing, among other important points, the true nature of the relationship between Miss Nightingale and Lord and Lady Herbert of Lea. I should like to thank the late Mrs. Salmon, Sir Harry Verney's sister, for unpublished letters and private information, and I owe very much to the late Lady Stephen, not only for unpublished let ters and reminiscences, but for her kindness, too, in procuring me access to family papers.