Stopes, Marie Carmichael 1880-1958

Alternative names
Birth 1880-10-15
Death 1958-10-02

Biographical notes:

Epithet: pioneer of birth control

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000613.0x000171

Pioneer in birth control and sex education, poet.

From the description of Letters, 1916-1958. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122515055

Pioneer of birth control and sexual education.

From the description of Letters, 1950. (Duke University). WorldCat record id: 31822012

Marie Stopes, the daughter of Henry Stopes and Charlotte Carmichael, was born in Edinburgh in 1880. Charlotte, the daughter of the artist, J.F. Carmichael, was the first woman in Scotland to obtain a University Certificate. Charlotte's university experiences turned her into a passionate feminist and she made sure her daughter was fully aware of the arguments for women's suffrage.

Henry Stopes was a distinguished scientist and Marie Stopes shared her father's interest in this subject. Although very involved in her academic work, Marie Stopes was also interested in politics. Like her mother she supported the women's suffrage campaign and eventually joined the Women's Freedom League. It was not until, March 1918, that Marie Stopes found a small company that was willing to take the risk of publishing "Married Love". Stopes' next book was about birth control. In 1918 Stopes wrote a concise guide to contraception called "Wise Parenthood", which upset the leaders of the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church.

From the description of Marie Carmichael Stopes Birth Control Collection, [ca. 1871-1967] (Bulk Dates 1920-1958) (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 59760029


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Ark ID:


  • Contraception
  • Pro-choice movement--History
  • Freedom of the press
  • Feminism
  • Sexual ethics
  • Sex instruction--History
  • Women dramatists, English
  • Freedom of speech
  • Husband and wife
  • Religion and Sex
  • Sex instruction
  • Marriage
  • Prostitution
  • Social problems
  • Birth control--Religious aspects--Catholic Church
  • Sterilization (Birth control)
  • Intrauterine contraceptives
  • Women--Sexual behavior--History
  • Birth control
  • Sex customs
  • Eugenics
  • Intrauterine devices
  • Birth control--History
  • Women social reformers
  • Family Planning Services
  • English literature--20th century
  • family planning


  • Women poets, English


  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • England (as recorded)
  • Monk's House, Sussex; home of Leonard and Virginia Woolf (as recorded)