By Nancy Boyd
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Additional info for Josephine Butler, Octavia Hill, Florence Nightingale: Three Victorian Women Who Changed Their World
This is awfully true; my sisters thought I was a little mad. Perhaps I was. For one long year of darkness the trouble of heart and brain urged me to lay all this at the door of the God, whose names I had learned was love. I dreaded Hirn - I fled from Hirn until grace was given me to arise and wrest, as Jacob did, with the mysterious Presence, who must either slay or pronounce deliverance. And then the great questioning aga in went up from the earth to heaven, 'God, Who art Thou? Where art A Touch 0/ Genius 29 Thou?
Florence Nightingale signed. So did many leading Quakers, induding Mary Carpenter, Mary Priestman, and John Bright's sister, Ursula. Harriet Martineau, who had earlier written several artieies questioning the Act, gave her full support. As the pace quiekened, J osephine travelled from town to town speaking of the evils of regulation. Though she was inspired by the vision of a unified society, Josephine was not above using society's divisions for her politieal ends. She pointed out that while all men, rieh and poor, would gain from regulation, only the daughters of the poor would be required to pay the priee.
In a community dominated by distinguished intellectuals she was merely the wife of an 32 Josephine Butler untried, if promising, young scholar. A woman in a society led by male opinion, she found her views ignored. As a result of her own experience of male hostility and rejection, she became more sensitive to the problems of other women. It occurred to her that the terrible civil injustices that had been so apparent in her study of the slave question in the United States had a counterpart, less dramatic but no less real, in the relations between men and women in Great Britain.