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Patron Saint of Prostitutes: Josephine Butler and the Victorian Scandal [Kindle Edition]

Helen Mathers
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £16.99
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Book Description

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 medical examinations. Women who refused to submit willingly, some as young as 13, could be arrested and incarcerated. The scandal was exposed by Josephine Butler, a beautiful, 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 and the trafficking of frightened girls to government-planned brothels in India, and was instrumental in raising the age of consent from 13 to 16. She challenged taboos and conventions in order to campaign for the rights of women. Her story is compelling - and unforgettable.

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Product Description

About the Author

Helen Mathers has taught many courses on Victorian and women's history. She began research on Josephine Butler in the late 1990s and has published three academic articles and given conference talks about her.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1949 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (15 Aug. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • : Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #276,678 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Helen Mathers is an experienced author; 'Patron Saint of Prostitutes' is her fourth published history book. She has also written several articles on Josephine Butler. She is available to give talks about Josephine Butler and answer questions.

Helen is a professional historian with a PhD from the University of Sheffield. She has taught many courses on Victorian and women's history and is proud to be a long-standing associate lecturer for the Open University. Her students are of all ages, 18- 80, and come from all kinds of backgrounds. She think about her students when she is writing - what do they need to know and understand?

Tweet Helen @HelenMathersC19

Helen's website and blog is

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating book that captures life in Victorian times, and is a remarkable testimony to Josephine Butler's bravery. The writing is academically rigorous, comprehensively referenced from letters and other material from the time, but is very readable. The story races along, and the sympathetic, but not hagiographic, account of Butler's early life and losses put in to context her later actions. Feminism and the Victorian era are not common bedfellows, but this book enhances understanding of both in a well-balanced historical account. Josephine Butler will gain greater recognition through this book, and I hope it is widely read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling account of an extraordinary life 3 Oct. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Josephine Butler was a truly remarkable woman, and far less well known than she deserves. As her latest biographer, Helen Mathers, says, ‘her achievements had lasting impact. Her name deserves to be remembered by all who value women’s struggles to improve their lives’. Helen’s book both justifies that claim, and explains why she is so much less well-known than her contemporary, Florence Nightingale, for example. It's a moving and inspirational story, compellingly told.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dedication 17 Jan. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fantastic read. Opens your eyes to the pain and misery suffered by young children and women in poverty. And the hard work and dedication of a few saints who improved the prospects and changed the world for the better.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good read, I learnt a lot 18 May 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well written and researched. A good read, I learnt a lot! The woman dedicated her life to improving the lot of women in her time- definitely a saint!
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