Born: Marie Stopes
in Edinburgh in 1880.
At the age of eighteen, Marie won
a science scholarship at University College, London. Marie was a talented and committed student and
in 1901 achieved a double first in botany. She continued her studies and in 1905 she obtained her
DSc and became Britain's youngest doctor of Science.
After several unsuccessful
love affairs, Marie married Reginald Gates in 1911. Unlike Marie,
Reginald held traditional views of how women should behave. He strongly opposed her membership of
the Women's Freedom League. The marriage was annuled for non-consummation in 1916.
book Married Life, Marie argued that marriage should be an equal relationship between husband and
wife. However, she had great difficulty finding a publisher.
It was not until, March 1918,
that Marie Stopes found a small company that was willing to take the
risk of publishing Married Love. The book was an immediate success, selling 2,000 copies within a
fortnight and by the end of the year had been reprinted six times. Married Love was also published
in America but the courts declared the book was obscene and it was promptly banned.
Stopes wrote a
concise guide to contraception called Wise Parenthood. Marie Stopes' book upset the leaders of the
Church of England who believed it was wrong to advocate the use of birth control.
Marie Stopes was opposed to chemical
methods of contraception, famously saying: "Never put anything in your vagina that you would not put
in your mouth!"
spent the rest of her life campaigning for the causes she believed in. Much of her time was spent
writing articles for her newspaper Birth Control News. Marie also wrote novels and poetry. This
included Love's Creation (1928) and Love Songs for Young Lovers (1938).
Marie Stopes died in 1958.