I am a professional historian with a PhD from the University of Sheffield. I have taught many courses on Victorian and women’s history and am proud to be a long-standing associate lecturer for the Open University. My students are of all ages, 18- 80, and come from all kinds of backgrounds. I often think about my students when I am writing – what do they need to know and understand?
When I first learned about Josephine Butler I was astonished by her achievements. She was a Victorian woman, with no vote, who persuaded Parliament to repeal a law she did not like! And she led a nationwide women’s campaign in order to achieve that! And the law was about prostitutes, the ‘fallen’ women who most Victorians thought were beneath contempt. Why did Josephine care at all? It took a lot of research to find the answers. On the way I discovered Josephine’s astonishing life story – of great love and devastating tragedy. I have produced a biography with a difference – ‘Patron Saint of Prostitutes’ tells Josephine’s life story and explains the historical background as well. But it’s not academic – it’s definitely intended as a ‘good read’ .