On May 12th,1820 one of the most influential women in the history of Mathematics was born, Florence Nightingale. The uncommon name, Florence, was given to her due to the fact that she was in fact, born in the beautiful city of Florence, Italy. Nightingale came from a family of young, ambitious, and strong-willed parents. In her youth, Nightingale's parents , William and Frances Nightingale, and sister Parthe Nightingale moved back to England, where they were originally from. She always received the best education. At first she was taught by the family's governesses, but later on her father took on the role of taking care of his daughters' education. The education both Florence and Parthe received was broader than the education the women that lived in that period of time received. The early introduction to the intellectual world would later have great, positive effects on Nightingale's life (Armentrout, David, and Patricia Armentrout).
As a teen, Florence was very normal and popular, but she still had an enormous desire buried deep down in her heart, the desire to do something big and useful with her life. Getting married, having children, and being the typical stay-home wife was what was expected of her, but that was not the way she wanted to live. Writing became a habit of Florence's because it was her way to get away from the real world, the expectations, and to just be able to be whatever she wanted. She ended up calling her writings her "private notes." In 1837, Florence reported to her diary that she had received a call from God calling her to his service, but she was not sure for what. .
For the next sixteen years Florence Nightingale lived an unhappy life, leading the social life her mother prescribed. One thing she would always find time for was performing God's service, whether it was be visiting and nursing her sick relatives, or just doing self-reflection. In 1839 Florence and her sister Parthe were old enough to date and were presented "at court," which means her family put them out there for noble men to come and ask for permission to date them.