Ettie Rout: New Zealand's Safer Sex Pioneer

Author(s): Jane Tolerton

NZ Biography

Ettie Rout fought a battle for safer sex in the First World War - and won. She gave New Zealand the best sexual health system when its army adopted her prophylactic kit and made every soldier going on leave take one - while she was banned from the pages of the newspapers so New Zealanders wouldn't find out. In Paris, having transformed Madame Yvonne's into a safer sex brothel, she met soldiers at the railway station and convinced them to go there if they chose to have sex. Armed with a wicked sense of humour, an intolerance of hypocrisy and boundless energy, Ettie Rout proved the case for safer sex decades before the term was coined - and the soldiers loved her for it. This book celebrates an unlikely heroine of the First World War who is now internationally recognised for waging a successful public health crusade. A woman way ahead of her time. Also available as an eBook


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Jane Tolerton is a Wellington writer. Having studied History and American Studies at the University of Canterbury, she became a newspaper reporter and magazine feature writer, winning the Dulux News Award and the Cowan Prize for Historical Journalism. She and Nicholas Boyack set up the World War One Oral History Archive while based at the Stout Research Centre at Victoria University of Wellington in 1987. They interviewed 84 veterans and produced In the Shadow of War (1990). Tolerton's bestselling An Awfully Big Adventure: New Zealand World War One veterans tell their stories, is a chronological oral history of the war edited from the interviews. It was one of the New Zealand Listener's 100 Best Books of 2013. Her other oral history books are Convent Girls (1984), Sixties Chicks (1987) and It's Time We Started Telling These Stories (2008), which was part of the It's Not Okay campaign against family violence. Tolerton won a New Zealand Book Award and PEN Best First Book prize for Ettie: A Life of Ettie Rout (1992). She decided to write a shorter, more accessible version of Ettie Rout's safer sex campaign as part of the centennial commemoration of the First World War.

General Fields

  • : 9780143573241
  • : Penguin Group (NZ)
  • : Penguin Books (NZ)
  • : August 2015
  • : 210mm X 139mm X 19mm
  • : New Zealand
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Jane Tolerton
  • : Paperback
  • : 256