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Josephine Butler

1828 – 1906

Hunted by angry mobs

Read this newspaper article about what sometimes happened to Josephine Butler in public:

This is part of an obituary, an article which gets written about people after they die.

In the archives at Woodhorn, there is a huge book which contains thousands of obituaries about Josephine.

What do you think Josephine Butler might have done, to upset some people this much?

What sort of things would someone have done nowadays, to attract this much anger?

Now read this, another obituary of Josephine:

This article explains how Josephine fought for women to be treated equally in education. This was one of the hundreds of things she did to try to improve women’s rights in Britain. Read more about her work here.

Josephine Butler was not afraid of mobs. She kept on speaking out for her cause, even though a lot of people disapproved and tried to shut her up.

Can you think of any other heroes who are brave because they stand up for themselves?

Do you know anyone in your family or community who is very brave? Someone who has overcome problems to stand up for themselves or others?

Can you think of a time when you have been brave and stood up for yourself?

Read this poem by Maya Angelou:

Life Doesn’t Frighten Me – Poem by Maya Angelou

Make a list of things you have found scary.

Now write a poem where you stand up to those fears, like Josephine Butler or Maya Angelou.

You might like to repeat ‘they don’t frighten me at all’.

You might like to write in the voice of someone else, a hero who has been brave and unafraid.

You might like to write in the voice of Josephine Butler.

What to do next?

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We’d love to see your work from this workshop. Send it in using the link below.

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Take a look at the next workshop

The next workshop is entitled: Memories

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