Josephine Butler. Patron Saint of Prostitutes

Biography by Helen Mathers, now available in paperback.
‘A clearly written, vivid account’ JUNE PURVIS

‘Helen Mathers deftly brings together the public political drama and private emotional relations of Butler’s complex, sometimes tragic life.’ SUE MORGAN

Josephine Butler  was once described as ‘the most distinguished Englishwoman of the nineteenth century’.

She was the leader of a national women’s political campaign in Victorian England, at a time when women did not have the vote. She campaigned on behalf of prostitutes and abused and trafficked women from 1869 until her death in 1906. Against all the odds, she succeeded in repealing a law which allowed prostitutes to be sexually assaulted by police surgeons on a regular basis.

Josephine Butler’s dramatic life story is far more sexually graphic than any Victorian novel. She went into brothels, prisons and the ‘lock’ hospitals where women were examined and treated against their will. She stood up to cruel and coldly calculating authority figures such as the Superintendant of the Morals Police in Paris, the Minister of Justice in Rome and the Public Prosecutor in Brussels. It is also a great love story – the marriage of Josephine and George Butler was blissfully happy and an invaluable source of support to her.

This story is not well-known. It has never been the subject of a film or major TV programme.  Josephine Butler. Patron Saint of Prostitutes tells this story.

From 2021 this biography is available in the UK as a paperback, priced at 11.99 on Amazon and, with Kindle edition priced at £3.79.  

Available in USA and Canada from IPG    Order from IPG

 Updated 1 April 2021

2 thoughts on “Josephine Butler. Patron Saint of Prostitutes

  1. Letitia Six says:

    I just came across your comment from months ago, and I thank you for pointing those things out. I have updated that information (among a few other things) for clarification. I look forward to reading some of Ellen Buckingham Mathews (AKA Helen Mathers) books. Perhaps one can help me with my thesis. Butler was an amazing woman.

    Best regards,
    L. R. Six

  2. I am glad my comment was helpful. I need to clarify that Ellen Buckingham Matthews is not me. Nor, confusingly, is another author named Helen Mathers, a novelist who lived in Victorian times. Various websites get this mixed up, so I am not surprised that you have!
    I am happy to try to answer any queries you have.
    Best wishes with your thesis,
    Helen Mathers

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