Marie Stopes

Standard Name: Stopes, Marie
Birth Name: Marie Charlotte Carmichael Stopes
Pseudonym: Mark Arundel
Pseudonym: Erica Fay
Pseudonym: Marie Carmichael
Pseudonym: G. N. Mortlake
MS was best known for her early-twentieth-century writing on motherhood and birth control, and for her strong commitment to educating women in the practice of contraception. In order to communicate detailed instructions on topics that were taboo, she often employed a literary style that may now seem over-mystical or lyrical. She published widely, writing in various disciplines such as science, sexology, philosophy and theology, in a number of literary genres such as drama, autobiography, poetry, and the novel, and on a wide range of topics, including censorship, love, and marriage.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Cultural formation Charlotte Stopes
Though little is known about her early religious experiences, she brought up her daughters as members of the Free Church of Scotland .
Commire, Anne, and Deborah Klezmer, editors. Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Yorkin Publications.
According to her daughter Marie , CS raised them in the...
Education Fay Weldon
FW learned to read at three: I remember . . . the way the letters suddenly made sense.
Weldon, Fay. Auto da Fay. Flamingo.
After her grandmother joined the family in 1942 she was able to borrow adult books from...
Education Diana Athill
DA was taught at home by governesses (seven successively before she was sent to school), who followed a correspondence course designed for home schooling which was known as Parents Educational National Union . A French...
Family and Intimate relationships Kate Clanchy
While the family was in Edinburgh, KC 's mother, Joan Clanchy , was the Headmistress of St George's School for Girls (which numbers Ménie Muriel Dowie among its distinguished former students).
Scott, Jane. “By Virtue Of An Explosive Arts Debut”. The Herald.
When KC 's...
Family and Intimate relationships Margaret Forster
From about the time she entered her teens, MF was haunted by the determination that her life should not be like what she saw as the empty, monotonous lives of her mother and her aunts...
Family and Intimate relationships Naomi Mitchison
The marriage endured, though NM had several years of unenjoyable sex before she discovered Marie Stopes 's Married Love. When the couple were apart they normally wrote to each other every day (or every...
Family and Intimate relationships Charlotte Stopes
CS bore her daughter, Marie Stopes , the future scientist and sex reformer.
Stephen, Sir Leslie, and Sidney Lee, editors. The Dictionary of National Biography. Smith, Elder.
Friends, Associates Angela Brazil
Visiting Polperro in Cornwall, AB introduced herself by letter to Marie Stopes , on the excuse that they shared the same publisher, Blackie .
Freeman, Gillian. The Schoolgirl Ethic: The Life and Work of Angela Brazil. Allen Lane.
Friends, Associates Naomi Mitchison
Naomi's close childhood friends included Julian and Aldous Huxley . Close family friends included Florence Buchanan , distinguished physiologist, and Marie Stopes , paleobotanist and birth control educator (the latter role emerged only later).
Squier, Susan M., and Naomi Mitchison. “Naomi Mitchison: The Feminist Art of Making Things Difficult”. Solution Three, Feminist Press at The City University of New York, pp. 161-83.
Benton, Jill. Naomi Mitchison: A Biography. Pandora.
Friends, Associates Phyllis Bentley
Vera Brittain introduced PB , during her stay in Chelsea, to birth-control crusader Marie Stopes .
Brittain, Vera. Chronicle of Friendship. Editor Bishop, Alan, Gollancz.
Friends, Associates Muriel Spark
For the next few years she lived the stimulating, bohemian, often harsh life of a modern poet in London, though she despised those literary circles which she felt to be self-serving and amateurish. Although she...
Intertextuality and Influence Maude Royden
She had originally given the first seven of the eleven chapters as addresses at Kensington Town Hall on a series of consecutive Sunday nights.
Royden, Maude. Sex and Common-Sense. G. P. Putnam’s Sons.
This was the same year in which Marie Stopes formed...
Leisure and Society Angela Brazil
AC often entertained school-children and orphans at her home. She suggests a different slant on the eugenics movement when describing this activity to Marie Stopes : A spinster lady can't do much in your line...
Occupation Charlotte Stopes
After completing her education, she taught privately. CS was also her daughter Marie 's primary educator until Marie reached the age of twelve.
Blain, Virginia et al., editors. The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present. Yale University Press; Batsford.
Commire, Anne, and Deborah Klezmer, editors. Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Yorkin Publications.
Occupation Muriel Spark
She later recounted the ructions that cost her her Poetry Society job. She set out to raise the quality of the Poetry Review, to cease railing against the moderns,
Spark, Muriel. Curriculum Vitae: Autobiography. Constable.
to render an amateur...


April 1900: Shafts, a paper for women and the working...

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April 1900

Shafts, a paper for women and the working classes, then a magazine of progressive thought, ceased publication.

By September 1915: US birth-control activist Margaret Sanger...

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By September 1915

US birth-control activist Margaret Sanger probably showed Marie Stopes (as a French pessary) an example of the original contraceptive cap of the kind dating from 1838.

16 October 1916: Margaret Sanger opened a birth-control clinic...

National or international item

16 October 1916

Margaret Sanger opened a birth-control clinic at 46 Amboy Street in New York (Brooklyn), four and a half years ahead of the first such British clinic, which was the brainchild of Marie Stopes .
American National Biography.

1929: The Society for Constructive Birth Control...

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The Society for Constructive Birth Control and Racial Progress (founded by Marie Stopes in August 1921) began to advocate sterilization in certain cases where women were congenitally diseased, physically or mentally handicapped, or had previous...

1930: A number of rival birth-control clinics joined...

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A number of rival birth-control clinics joined forces as the National Birth Control Association (later the Family Planning Association).

31 July 1930: Memorandum 153/MCW, a clause introduced by...

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31 July 1930

Memorandum 153/MCW, a clause introduced by the Ministry of Health, first allowed dispensation of contraceptive advice.

2 June 1942: The criminal trial by jury of Dr Eustace...

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2 June 1942

The criminal trial by jury of Dr Eustace Chesser for his educational book Love without Fear began; he was charged with publishing an obscene libel.

1991: RU 486, the morning after pill, was approved...

National or international item


RU 486, the morning after pill, was approved for use in the UK.


Stopes, Marie. A Journal from Japan. Blackie and Son, 1910.
Stopes, Marie. A Letter to Working Mothers. Printed for the author.
Stopes, Marie. A New Gospel to All Peoples. Arthur L. Humphreys, 1922.
Stopes, Marie. A Road to Fairyland. G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1926.
Stopes, Marie. Ancient Plants. Blackie and Son, 1910.
Stopes, Marie, editor. Birth Control News. John Bale, Sons, and Danielsson.
Stopes, Marie. Don’t Tell Timothy. G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1925.
Stopes, Marie, and Kenrio Watanabe. Love Letters of a Japanese. Editor Stopes, Marie, Stanley Paul and Company, 1919.
Stopes, Marie. Love Songs for Young Lovers. William Heinemann.
Stopes, Marie. Love’s Creation. John Bale, Sons and Danielsson, 1928.
Stopes, Marie. Man, Other Poems and a Preface. William Heinemann, 1914.
Stopes, Marie. Married Love. A. C. Fifield.
Stopes, Marie. Mother England. John Bale, Sons and Danielsson.
Stopes, Marie. Radiant Motherhood. G. Putnam’s Sons.
Stopes, Marie, editor. The Sportophyte.
Stopes, Marie. Vectia. John Bale, Sons and Danielsson, 1926.
Stopes, Marie. We Burn. De La More Press, 1949.
Stopes, Marie. Wise Parenthood. A. C. Fifield.