"Women crave for being loved, not for loving. They scream out at you for sympathy all day long, they are incapable of giving any in return, for they cannot state a fact accurately to another, nor can that other woman attend to it accurately enough for it to become information. Now is not all this the result of want of sympathy? I am sick with indignation at what wives and mothers will do of the most shocking selfishness. And people call it all maternal or conjugal affection, and think it pretty to say so. No, no, let each person tell the truth from their own experience."
Letter to Mary Clarke Mohl (13 Dec 1861), published in Florence Nightingale on Women, Medicine, Midwifery and Prostitution: Collected Works of Florence Nightingale (2005), Volume 8, edited by Lynn McDonald, p. 84