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Josephine Butler
Josephine Butler

Josephine Butler

Patron Saint of Prostitutes


272 Pages, 6.14 x 9.21

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $25.95 (CA $34.95) (US $25.95)

Publication Date: October 2021

ISBN 9780750996570

Rights: US & CA

The History Press (Oct 2021)

Price: $25.95


A biography of the charismatic campaigner who fought Victorian exploitation of vulnerable women, and the State organization of prostitution  

The ‘steel rape’ of women is a scandal that is almost forgotten today.In Victorian England, police forces were granted powers to force any woman they suspected of being a ‘common prostitute’ to undergo compulsory and invasive medical examinations, while women who refused to submit willingly could be arrested and incarcerated. This scandal was exposed by Josephine Butler, an Evangelical campaigner who did not rest until she had ended the violation and helped repeal the Act that governed it. She went on to campaign against child prostitution, the trafficking of girls from Britain to Europe, and government-sponsored brothels in India. In addition, Josephine was instrumental in raising the age of consent from 13 to 16.Josephine Butler is the poignant tale of a nineteenth-century woman who challenged taboos and conventions in order to campaign for the rights of her gender. Her story is compelling – and unforgettable.

Author Biography

HELEN MATHERS has a PhD in history from the University of Sheffield and has taught many courses on Victorian and women’s history as an associate lecturer. She currently teaches for the Open University. A member of the Society of Authors since 2006, Helen is the author of Born in Sheffield: A History of the Women’s Health Services 1864–2000 and Steel City Scholars: The Centenary History of the University of Sheffield. Helen began research on Josephine Butler in the late 1990s and has published three articles and given talks about her.