Butler, Josephine Catharine of Siena

  • Lucinda Matthews-JonesEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-02721-6_113-1


Josephine E. Butler’s Catharine of Siena: A Biography was first published in 1878. Over 338 pages, Butler charts the life story of Catharine of Siena, a fourteenth-century Saint. Butler presents Catharine as a spiritual exemplar and her work as a model for the kind of social action work needed in the nineteenth century.


Catharine of Siena: A Biography by Josephine E. Butler, the English feminist and social activist, was published in 1878. The opening lines state Butler’s intention: “I desire to make better known among us in England” the life of a fourteenth-century saint, Catharine of Siena (Butler 1885, 1). According to Butler, no English biography of Catharine had existed until her study (Butler 1885, viii). Hagiographies had not fully charted her personal life and action. For Butler, saints like Catharine offered practical insights into how one should live one’s own life. Over 338 pages, Butler charts Catharine’s “active life and public career” (Butler 1885,...


Josephine Butler Catharine of Siena Saints Feminism Social action Religion Christianity Auto/biography Prayer 
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Copyright information

© Crown 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Liverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Emily Morris
    • 1
  1. 1.St. Thomas More College, University of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada