Mary Seacole begins by telling of her early life in Jamaica and how her mother, a famous healer, taught her all her healing skills.
Then, in 1854, when war broke out in the Crimea, Mary travelled to England.
Mary's intention was to volunteer her services to Florence Nightingale, who was setting up a hospital in the Crimea.
Even on the journey to England Mary encountered prejudice: as a Creole (with a white father and a black mother) she was considered of inferior status.
When she applied to the War Department in London to join Florence Nightingale as a nurse, she was turned away with the weak excuse that no more nurses were needed...although Mary was under no illusion that she was being rejected because of her colour.
So Mary decided to travel to the Crimea and build her own hospital and in spite of hearing stories about the harsh conditions she would encounter in the Crimea, she was determined to carry out her plans.
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