Marie Stopes in her laboratory, 1904
|Born||Marie Charlotte Carmichael Stopes
15 October 1880
|Died||2 October 1958 (aged 77)
|Institutions||University of Manchester|
|Known for||Family planning, Eugenics|
|Spouse||Reginald Ruggles Gates (m. 1911; annulled 1914)
Humphrey Verdon Roe (m. 1918; ? 1935)
Marie Charlotte Carmichael Stopes (15 October 1880 – 2 October 1958) was a British author, palaeobotanist and campaigner for eugenics and women's rights. She made significant contributions to plant palaeontology and coal classification, and was the first female academic on the faculty of the University of Manchester.
With her second husband, Humphrey Verdon Roe, Stopes founded the first birth control clinic in Britain. Stopes edited the newsletter Birth Control News, which gave explicit practical advice. Her sex manual Married Love was controversial and influential, and brought the subject of birth control into wide public discourse. Stopes opposed abortion, arguing that the prevention of conception was all that was needed.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 Scientific research
- 3 Married Love
- 4 New Gospel
- 5 Family planning
- 6 Literary life
- 7 Views on abortion
- 8 Eugenics
- 9 Personal life
- 10 Selected works
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 Bibliography
- 14 External links
Early life and education
Stopes was born in Edinburgh. Her father, Henry Stopes, was a brewer, engineer, architect and palaeontologist from Colchester. Her mother was Charlotte Carmichael Stopes, a Shakespearean scholar and women's rights campaigner from Edinburgh. At six weeks old, her parents took Stopes from Scotland; the family stayed briefly in Colchester then moved to London, where in 1880 her father bought 28 Cintra Park in Upper Norwood. Both of her parents were members of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, where they had met. Marie was taken to meetings where she met the famous scholars of the day. At first, she was home-schooled, but from 1892 to 1894 she attended St George's School for Girls in Edinburgh. Stopes was later sent to the North London Collegiate School, where she was a close friend of Olga Fröbe-Kapteyn.
Stopes attended University College, London as a scholarship student, where she studied botany and geology; she graduating with a first class B.Sc. in 1902 after only two years by attending both day and night schools. Following this, Stopes earned a D.Sc. degree from University College London, becoming the youngest person in Britain to have done so. In 1903 she published a study of the botany of the recently dried-up Ebbsfleet River. After carrying out research on Carboniferous plants at the Royal Botanic Gardens,Kew, and at University College, London, she studied the reproduction of living cycads at the University of Munich, receiving a Ph.D. in botany in 1904. She was also Fellow and sometime Lecturer in Palaeobotany at University College, London until 1920. She held the post of Lecturer in Palaeobotany at the University of Manchester from 1904 to 1910; in this capacity she became the first female academic of that university.
During Stopes's time at Manchester, she studied coal and coal balls and researched the collection of Glossopteris (Permian seed ferns). This was an attempt to prove the theory of Eduard Suess concerning the existence of Gondwana or Pangaea. A chance meeting with Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott during one of his fund-raising lectures in 1904 brought a possibility of proving Suess's theory. Stopes's passion to prove Suess's theory led her to discuss the possibility of joining Scott's next expedition to Antarctica. She did not join the expedition, but Scott promised to bring back samples of fossils to provide evidence for the theory. Scott died during the 1912 Terra Nova Expedition, but fossils of plants from the Queen Maud Mountains found near Scott's and his companions' bodies provided this evidence.
In 1907, Stopes went to Japan on a scientific mission. She spent eighteen months at the Imperial University, Tokyo and explored coal mines on Hokkaido for fossilised plants. She published her Japanese experiences as a diary, called "Journal from Japan: a daily record of life as seen by a scientist", in 1910.
In 1910, the Geological Survey of Canada commissioned Stopes to determine the age of the Fern Ledges, a geological structure at Saint John, New Brunswick. It is part of the Early Pennsylvanian epoch Lancaster Formation. Canadian scholars were divided between dating it to the Devonian period or to the Pennsylvanian/Upper Carboniferous period. Stopes arrived in North America before Christmas to start her research. On 29 December, she met the Canadian researcher Reginald Ruggles Gates in St. Louis, Missouri; they became engaged two days later. Starting her work on the Fern Ledges in earnest in February 1911, she did geological field work and researched at geological collections in museums, and shipped specimens to England for further investigation. The couple married in March and returned to England on 1 April that year. Stopes continued her research. In mid-1912 she delivered her results, finding for the Pennsylvanian period of the Carboniferous. The Government of Canada published her results in 1914. Later the same year, her marriage to Gates was annulled.
During the First World War, Stopes was engaged in studies of coal for the British government, which culminated in the writing of "Monograph on the constitution of coal" with R.V. Wheeler in 1918. The success of Stopes' work on marriage issues and birth control led her to reduce her scholarly work; her last scientific publications were in 1935. According to W. G. Chaloner (2005), "between 1903 and 1935 she published a series of palaeobotanical papers that placed her among the leading half-dozen British palaeobotanists of her time". Stopes made major contributions to knowledge of the earliest angiosperms, the formation of coal balls and the nature of coal macerals. The classification scheme and terminology she devised for coal are still being used. Stopes also wrote a popular book on palaeobotany, "Ancient Plants" (1910; Blackie, London), in what was called a successful pioneering effort to introduce the subject to non-scientists.
Around the start of her divorce proceedings in 1913, Stopes began to write a book about the way she thought marriage should work. In July 1915, she met Margaret Sanger, who had just given a talk on birth control at a Fabian Society meeting. Stopes showed Sanger her writings and sought her advice about a chapter on contraception. Stopes' book was finished by the end of 1913. She offered it to Blackie and Son, who declined. Several publishers refused the book because they thought it too controversial. When Binnie Dunlop, secretary of the Malthusian League, introduced her to Humphrey Verdon Roe—Stopes' future second husband—in 1917, she received the boost that helped her publish her book. Roe was a philanthropist interested in birth control; he paid Fifield & Co. to publish the work. The book was an instant success, requiring five editions in the first year, and elevated Stopes to national prominence.
Married Love was published on 26 March 1918; that day, Stopes was visiting Humphrey Roe, who had just returned with a broken ankle from service during the First World War after his aeroplane crashed. Less than two months later they were married and Stopes had her first opportunity to practise what she preached in her book. The success of Married Love encouraged Stopes to provide a follow-up; the already written Wise Parenthood: a Book for Married People, a manual on birth control that was published later that year. Many readers wrote to Stopes for personal advice, which she energetically endeavoured to give.
The following year, Stopes published A Letter to Working Mothers on how to have healthy children and avoid weakening pregnancies, a condensed version of Wise Parenthood aimed at the poor. It was a 16-page pamphlet and was to be distributed free of charge. Stopes's intended audience had—until this work—been the middle classes. She had shown little interest in, or respect for, the working classes; the Letter was aimed at redressing her bias.
On 16 July 1919, Stopes—pregnant and a month overdue—entered a nursing home. Stopes and the doctors clashed over the method of birth—she was not allowed to give birth on her knees. The child was stillborn; the doctors suggested the incident was due to syphilis, but an examination excluded the possibility. Stopes was furious and said her baby had been murdered. She was 38 years old.
When Stopes had sufficiently recovered she returned to work in 1920; she engaged in public speaking and responding to letters seeking advice on marriage, sex and birth control. She sent Mrs. E. B. Mayne to disseminate the Letter to Working Mothers to the slums of East London. Mayne approached twenty families a day, but after several months she concluded the working class was mistrustful of well-intentioned meddlers.
This lack of success made Stopes contemplate a different approach to taking her message to the poor. A conference of Anglican bishops was due to be held in June; not long before the conference, Stopes had a vision. She called in her secretary and dictated a message addressed to the bishops which began: "My Lords, I speak to you in the name of God. You are his priests. I am his prophet. I speak to you of the mysteries of man and woman." In 1922, Stopes wrote A New Gospel to All Peoples. The bishops were not receptive; among the resolutions carried during the conference was one aimed against "the deliberate cultivation of sexual union" and another against "indecent literature, suggestive plays and films [and] the open or secret sale of contraceptives". The Catholic Church's reaction was more strident, marking the start of a conflict that lasted the rest of Stopes' life.
In 1917, before meeting Marie Stopes, Humphrey Roe offered to endow a birth control clinic attached to St Mary's Hospital in Manchester. He proposed all patients would be married and that no abortions would be done, but his offer was declined. This was a serious issue for Roe; after their marriage, he and Stopes planned to open a clinic for poor mothers in London.
Margaret Sanger, another birth-control pioneer, had opened a birth control clinic in New York but the police closed it. In 1920, Sanger proposed opening a clinic in London; this encouraged Stopes to act more constructively, but her plan never materialised. Stopes resigned her lectureship at University College, London at the end of 1920 to concentrate on the clinic; She founded the Society for Constructive Birth Control and Racial Progress, a support organisation for the clinic. Stopes explained that the object of the Society was:
“...to counteract the steady evil which has been growing for a good many years of the reduction of the birth rate just on the part of the thrifty, wise, well-contented, and the generally sound members of our community, and the reckless breeding from the C.3 end, and the semi-feebleminded, the careless, who are proportionately increasing in our community because of the slowing of the birth rate at the other end of the social scale. Statistics show that every year the birth rate from the worst end of our community is increasing in proportion to the birth rate at the better end, and it was in order to try to right that grave social danger that I embarked upon this work.”
Three months later she and Roe opened the Mothers' Clinic at 61 Marlborough Road, Holloway, North London, on 17 March 1921. The clinic was run by midwives and supported by visiting doctors. It offered mothers birth control advice, taught them birth control methods and dispensed Stopes own "Pro-Race" brand cervical cap.
The free clinic was open to all married women for knowledge about reproductive health. Stopes opposed abortion; she tried to discover alternatives for families and increase knowledge about birth control and the reproductive system. Options included the cervical cap—which was the most popular—coitus interruptus, and spermicides based on soap and oil. Stopes rediscovered the use of olive oil-soaked sponges as an alternative birth control. Olive oil's use as a spermicide dates to Greek and Roman times. Her recipe proved very effective. She tested many of her contraceptives on patients at her clinics.
Stopes became enthusiastic about a contraceptive device called the "gold pin", which was reportedly successful in America. A few months later, she asked Norman Haire, a young Australian doctor, whether he would be interested in running a clinical trial of the device, as she had two correspondents who wanted to use it. Haire had already investigated the device and found it to be dangerous. Haire became involved in another birth control clinic that opened in Walworth in November 1921; later a rivalry between Stopes and Haire erupted in The Lancet. Haire brought up the gold-pin episode, even though Stopes' clinic had never used it. The issue of the gold pin device resurfaced in the Stopes-Sutherland libel case a few years later.
In 1925, the Mothers' Clinic moved to Central London, where it remains as of 2015[update]. Stopes gradually built up a small network of clinics across Britain, working to fund them. She opened clinics in Leeds in April 1934; Aberdeen in October 1934; Belfast in October 1936; Cardiff in October 1937; and Swansea in January 1943.
The Marie Stopes International organisation
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The clinics continued to operate after Stopes' death, but by the early 1970s they were in financial difficulties and in 1975 they went into voluntary receivership. Marie Stopes International was established a year later as an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) working on sexual and reproductive health. The global partnership took over responsibility for the main clinic, and in 1978 it began its work overseas in New Delhi, India. Since then the organisation has grown steadily; today it works in over forty countries, has 452 clinics and has offices in London, Brussels, Melbourne and in the US.
Opposition and libel case
In 1922, Dr Halliday Sutherland wrote a book called Birth Control: A Statement of Christian Doctrine Against the Neo Malthusians. In the inter-war years, the terms "birth control" and "eugenics" were closely related; according to Jane Carey they were "so intertwined as to be synonymous".
Following attacks on "the essential fallacies of Malthusian teaching", Sutherland's book attacked Stopes. Under the headings "Specially Hurtful to the Poor" and "Exposing the Poor to Experiment", it read:
In the midst of a London slum a woman, who is a doctor of German philosophy (Munich), has opened a Birth Control Clinic, where working women are instructed in a method of contraception described by Professor McIlroy as ‘The most harmful method of which I have had experience’. When we remember that millions are being spent by the Ministry of Health and by Local Authorities – on pure milk for necessitous expectant and nursing mothers, on Maternity Clinics to guard the health of mothers before and after childbirth, for the provision of skilled midwives, and on Infant Welfare Centres – it is truly amazing that this monstrous campaign of birth control should be tolerated by the Home Secretary. Charles Bradlaugh was condemned to jail for a less serious crime.
Stopes was incensed. The reference to "doctor of German philosophy" sought to undermine Stopes because she was not a medical doctor and, being so soon after the First World War, sought to harness anti-German sentiment. Stopes' work had been associated with Charles Bradlaugh, who had been convicted of obscenity 45 years earlier when he had republished an American Malthusian text in Britain, which "advocated and gave explicit information about contraceptive methods". Stopes challenged Sutherland to a public debate. When Sutherland did not respond, she brought a writ for libel against him. The court case began on 21 February 1923; it was acrimonious. The jury found in favour of Stopes, answering the judge's four questions:
- Were the words complained of defamatory of the plaintiff? Yes.
- Were they true in substance and in fact? Yes.
- Were they fair comment? No.
- Damages, if any? £100.
The judge ignored the general tenor of the jury's response and found in Sutherland's favour based on the response to #2. It was a moral victory for Stopes as the press saw it, and she appealed. On 20 July, the Court of Appeal reversed the previous decision, awarding the £100 to Stopes, but the Catholic community mobilised to support Sutherland—himself a Catholic—for a final appeal to the House of Lords on 21 November 1924. The Lords' irrevocable decision was in Sutherland's favour. The cost for Stopes was vast; but publicity and book sales partially compensated her losses. The trial had made birth control a public topic and the number of clients visiting the clinic doubled.
Stopes was even remembered in a playground rhyme:
Jeanie, Jeanie, full of hopes,
Read a book by Marie Stopes,
But, to judge from her condition,
She must have read the wrong edition.
Stopes was acquainted with many literary figures of the day. She had longstanding correspondences with George Bernard Shaw and Aylmer Maude, and argued with H. G. Wells. Noël Coward wrote a poem about her, and she edited Lord Alfred Douglas' letters. She unsuccessfully petitioned Neville Chamberlain to gain for Douglas a civil list pension; the petition was signed by Arthur Quiller-Couch, John Gielgud, Evelyn Waugh and Virginia Woolf, among others. The general secretary of the Poetry Society, Muriel Spark, had an altercation with Stopes; according to Mark Bostridge, Spark "found herself lamenting that Stopes's mother had not been better informed on [birth control]".
Stopes wrote poems and plays; during the First World War she wrote increasingly didactic plays. Her first major success was Our Ostriches, a play that dealt with society's approach to working class women being forced to produce babies throughout their lives. The play ran for three months at the Royal Court Theatre. It hurriedly produced in place of Vectia another of Stopes' plays. Vectia is an autobiographical attempt to analyse the failure of Stopes' first marriage. Because of its themes of sex and impotence, it was denied a licence to be performed, despite Stopes's frequent efforts. In 1926, Stopes had Vectia printed under the title A Banned Play and a Preface on Censorship. None of her later plays reached the stage.
Stopes published several volumes of poetry in her later years.
Views on abortion
Stopes was strongly against the termination of a pregnancy; during her lifetime her clinics did not offer abortions. Stopes thought birth control was the only means families should use to limit their number of offspring. Nurses at Stopes' clinic had to sign a declaration not to "impart any information or lend any assistance whatsoever to any person calculated to lead to the destruction in utero of the products of conception". When Stopes learnt that one of Avro Manhattan's friends had had an abortion, Stopes accused him of "murdering" the unborn child.
According to June Rose, Stopes was "an elitist, an idealist, interested in creating a society in which only the best and the beautiful should survive". Eugenics was central to her birth control vision. Stopes' enthusiasm for eugenics was in line with many of the intellectuals and public figures of the time, for example, Havelock Ellis, John Maynard Keynes, Cyril Burt and George Bernard Shaw. As a child she met the founder of the Eugenics movement, Francis Galton, both through the British Association for the Advancement of Science and socially through her father.
Stopes attended the inaugural congress of the Eugenics Society in 1912 and became a fellow in 1921. The same year, she founded the Society for Constructive Birth Control and Racial Progress to "promote eugenic birth control", in part because "the Society refused to place birth control prominently on its platform". The Mother's Clinic was established in 1921 to further eugenic aims; it dispensed the so-called "Pro-Race" cervical cap. According to historian Richard Soloway's The Galton Lecture in 1996:
If Stopes' general interest in birth control was a logical consequence of her romantic preoccupation with compatible sexuality within blissful marriage, her particular efforts to provide birth control for the poor had far more to do with her eugenic concerns about the impending "racial darkness" that the adoption of contraception promised to illuminate.
In Stopes' book Radiant Motherhood, she advocated "the sterilisation of those totally unfit for parenthood [to be] made an immediate possibility, indeed made compulsory". The "unfit" included "the inferior, the depraved, and the feeble-minded". Stopes used terminology in accordance with the Mental Deficiency Act 1913, which categorised people with mental health problems and disabilities as "idiots", "imbeciles", "moral defectives" and "feeble-minded". She contributed a chapter to The Control of Parenthood (1920), comprising a manifesto for her circle of Eugenicists, arguing for a "utopia" to be achieved through "racial purification":
Those who are grown up in the present active generations, the matured and hardened, with all their weaknesses and flaws, cannot do very much, though they may do something with themselves. They can, however, study the conditions under which they came into being, discover where lie the chief sources of defect, and eliminate those sources of defect from the coming generation so as to remove from those who are still to be born the needless burdens the race has carried.
In the chapter, Stopes says the leading causes of "racial degeneration" are overcrowding and sexually transmitted disease. It concludes somewhat vaguely, that racial consciousness needs to be increased so that, "women of all classes [may] have the fear and dread of undesired maternity removed from them ..." to usher in the promised utopia, described throughout.
Stopes also campaigned to get eugenic ideas adopted by those in power. In 1920, she sent a copy of "Radiant Motherhood" to Prime Minister Lloyd George's secretary and drew attention to the chapter on eugenics (Chapter XX) In 1922, she sent a declaration to the candidates in the upcoming parliamentary election, asking them to sign it. It read:
I agree with the present position of breeding chiefly from the C3 population and burdening and discouraging the A1 is nationally deplorable, and if I am elected to Parliament, I will press the Ministry of Health to give such scientific information through the Ante-natal Clinics, Welfare Centres and other institutions in its control as will curtail the C3 and increase the A1
She received 150 replies.
In 1935 Stopes attended the International Congress for Population Science in Berlin. She was more than once accused of being anti-Semitic by other pioneers of the birth control movement. During the Second World War, Stopes received a letter from friends whom she had invited to lunch asking whether they could bring with them a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany in their care; Stopes replied they could not; it would offend her other guests.
According to Ruth Hall, Stopes wrote poetry expressing her anti-Prussian, anti-Catholic and anti-Russian views. In August 1939, Stopes sent a copy of her book Love Songs for Young Lovers to Adolf Hitler with the following cover letter:
Dear Herr Hitler,
Love is the greatest thing in the world: so will you accept from me these [poems] that you may allow the young people of your nation to have them? The young must learn love from the particular 'till they are wise enough for the universal. I hope too that you yourself may find something to enjoy in the book.
She wanted her poems to be distributed through the German birth control clinics, but the letter has been interpreted as showing sympathy for Hitler. However, according to Rose, any sympathy she may have had would have dissipated when Hitler closed the clinics. On 12 July 1940 she wrote to Winston Churchill to offer a slogan, "Fight the Battle of Britain in Berlin's Air".
Stopes had a relationship, mainly through correspondence, with Japanese botanist Kenjiro Fujii, whom she met at the University of Munich in 1904 while researching her Ph.D. In 1907, during her 1904–1910 tenure at Manchester University, she arranged to research in Japan, allowing her to be with Fujii. The relationship ended.
In 1911, Stopes married Canadian geneticist Reginald Ruggles Gates. She had maintained her name out of principle; her work was blooming while his was struggling. He was disturbed by what he considered her suffragette support. He failed to assert his position as head of the household and was frustrated. After another year, she sought legal advice about ending the marriage. Not receiving useful help, she read the legal code seeking a way to get a divorce. The marriage had fallen apart amid squabbling over the house and rent. On 11 May 1913, Stopes filed for divorce on the grounds that the marriage had never been consummated. Gates left England the following year and did not contest the divorce.
In 1918 she married Humphrey Verdon Roe, the financial backer of her most famous work, Married Love: A New Contribution to the Solution of the Sex Difficulties. Their son, Harry Stopes-Roe, was born in 1924. Stopes disliked Harry's companion, Mary Eyre Wallis, who was the daughter of the noted engineer Barnes Wallis. When Harry announced their engagement in October 1947, his mother set about "to try to sabotage the union". She found fault with Mary and wrote to Mary's father to complain. She tried to get Humphrey's support against the marriage, arguing that any grandchildren might inherit Mary's myopia. He was not persuaded. Later, believing "he had betrayed her by this marriage", Stopes cut him out of any substantial inheritance.
In 1923, Marie Stopes bought the Old Higher Lighthouse on the Isle of Portland, Dorset, as an escape from the difficult climate of London during her court case against H. G. Sutherland. The island's Jurassic fossil forests provided her with endless interest. She founded and curated the Portland Museum, which opened in 1930. The cottage housing the museum was an inspiration behind The Well-Beloved, a novel by Thomas Hardy, who was a friend of Marie Stopes.
Stopes died on 2 October 1958, aged 77, from breast cancer at her home in Dorking, Surrey. Her will left her clinic to the Eugenics Society; most of her estate went to the Royal Society of Literature. Her son Harry received her copy of the Greater Oxford Dictionary and other small items. An English Heritage blue plaque commemorates Stopes at 28 Cintra Park, Upper Norwood, where she lived from 1880 to 1892.
- Marie C. Stopes (1910). A Journal From Japan. London: Blackie & Son, Limited. OL 9026688W.
- Marie C. Stopes (1912). Botany; or, The modern study of plants. London and Edinburgh: T. C. & E. C. Jack. OL 9026684W.
- Marie C. Stopes (1913). Catalogue of the Mesozoic Plants in the British Museum (Natural History): The Cretaceous Flora: Part I - II. London: British Museum.
- Marie C. Stopes; Jôji Sakurai (1913). Plays of Old Japan. London: William Heinemann.
- Marie C. Stopes; Jôji Sakurai (1927). Plays of Old Japan: The 'Nô'. Eclipse Press. OL 9026704W.
- Marie C. Stopes (1914). The 'Fern ledges' Carboniferous flora of St. John, New Brunswick. Ottawa: Government of Canada, Government Printing Bureau.
- Marie C. Stopes (1914). Man, other poems, and a preface. London: William Heinemann. OL 9026691W.
- Marie C. Stopes (1917). Conquest; or, A piece of jade; a new play. London: French.
- Marie C. Stopes (1918). Married Love. London: Fifield and Co. ISBN 0-19-280432-4. OL 9026716W.
- Marie C. Stopes (1918). Wise Parenthood: A Treatise on Birth Control or Contraception. London: Rendell & Co. ISBN 0-659-90552-3. OL 9026714W.
- Marie C. Stopes (1918). On the Four Visible Ingredients in Banded Bituminous Coal: Studies in the Composition of Coal, No. 1. Ottawa: Government of Canada, Government Printing Bureau.
- Marie C. Stopes (1920). Radiant Motherhood. London: Putnam. OL 9026706W.
- Marie C. Stopes (1921). The Truth about Venereal Disease. London: Putnam.
- Marie C. Stopes (1923). Contraception (birth control) its theory, history and practice. London: J. Bale, Sons & Danielsson. OL 9026713W.
- Marie C. Stopes (1923). Our Ostriches. London: Putnam. OL 9026703W.
- Marie C. Stopes (1926). Sex and the Young. New York and London: Putnam. OL 53799W.
- Marie C. Stopes (1926). The Human Body. New York and London: Putnam. OL 9026707W.
- Marie C. Stopes (1926). A Banned Play and a Preface on the Censorship. London: J. Bale, Sons & Danielsson. OL 9026682W.
- Marie C. Stopes (1928). Enduring Passion. New York: Putnam.
- Marie C. Stopes (1935). Marriage in My Time. Rich & Cowan Ltd.
- Marie C. Stopes (1936). Change of Life in Men and Women. New York: Putnam. OL 9026710W.
- Marie C. Stopes (1939). Your Baby's First Year. London: Putnam.
- Marie C. Stopes (1940). Oriri. London: William Heinemann.
- Marie C. Stopes (1946). The Bathe, an Ecstasy. London: A. Moring. OL 412916W.
- Maude, Aylmer (1933). Marie Stopes: Her Work and Play. John Bale & Sons and Danielsson. p. 42.
- Briant, Keith (1962). Passionate Paradox: The Life of Marie Stopes. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. p. 14.
- Stephanie Green (2013). The Public Lives of Charlotte and Marie Stopes. London: Pickering & Chatto. p. 48. ISBN 9781848932388.
- Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. p. 16.
- Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. p. 28.
- Fraser, H. E. & C. J. Cleal, "The contribution of British women to Carboniferous palaeobotany during the first half of the 20th century", in Burek, C. V. & Higgs, B., eds. (2007). The Role of Women in the History of Geology. Geological Society, London. p.56.
- The interior of Antarctica, being perpetually below 0 °C, is not suitable for life, so the presence of fossils provides evidence of major changes in biological conditions there during geologic time.
- Morgan, Nina (6 June 2008). "Cold Comfort". Geological Society. Archived from the original on 23 November 2008. Retrieved 18 May 2015.[dead link]
- Falcon-Lang, H.J.; Miller, R.F. (2007-01-01). "Marie Stopes and the Fern Ledges of Saint John, New Brunswick"". Geological Society, London, Special Publications 2007. 281: 227–245. doi:10.1144/SP281.13.. (also printed in The Role of Women in the History of Geology edited by C. V. Burek & B. Higgs published by the Geological Society, London (2007) pp.232,236).
- Stopes, Marie C. (1914). Fern Ledges Carboniferous Flora of St. John, New Brunswick. Department of Mines, Geological Survey; Geological Series 38, Memoir 41. Ottawa: Government Printing Bureau.
- Chalone, W.G. (2005-01-01). "The palaeobotanical work of Marie Stopes". Geological Society of London, Special Publications 2005. 241: 127–135. doi:10.1144/GSL.SP.2003.207.01.10.
- Greer, Germaine (1984). Sex and Destiny. Secker and Warburg. p. 306.
- Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. pp. 102–103.
- Burke, Lucy, "In Pursuit of an Erogamic Life" in Ardis, Ann L., and Leslie W. Lewis, eds. (2003). Women’s Experience of Modernity, 1875–1945. The Johns Hopkins University Press. p.254.
- Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. pp. 140–141.
- Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. p. 148.
- Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. pp. 125–126.
- Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. p. 173.
- Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. pp. 127–129.
- Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. p. 132.
- Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. p. 174.
- Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. p. 160.
- Stopes, Marie Carmichael (1922). A New Gospel to All Peoples. Arthur L. Humphreys.
- Garrett, William (2007). Marie Stopes: Feminist, Eroticist, Eugenicist. San Francisco: Kenon. p. xvii–xix.
- Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. pp. 162–164.
- Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. p. 140.
- Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. p. 143.
- Rose, J. (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. London: Faber and Faber Limited. Page 135. "In the two eventful years since they had met and married, Marie and Humphrey had discussed birth control, and looked for a way to work in that field. Tired of delays and timidity of other birth controllers, the couple decided to open their own clinic, and by 1920 they had begun to look for suitable premises, both passionately involved."
- Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. pp. 185–6.
- Rose, J. (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. London: Faber and Faber Limited. Page 153.
- Box, M. (Ed.). (1967). The Trial of Marie Stopes. London: Femina Books Ltd. Page 76.
- Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. p. 186.
- Marie Stopes (1925). The First Five Thousand. London: John Bale, Sons & Danielsson. p. 9.
- Rose, J. (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. London: Faber and Faber Limited. Page 145.
- Stopes, Maire (2013). Wise Parenthood a Sequel to Married Love a Book for Married People. London: Forgotten Books.
- James, Peter (1994). Ancient Inventions. New York: Ballantine Books.
- Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. pp. 168–169.
- Wyndham, Diana (2012). Norman Haire and the Study of Sex. Sydney: Sydney University Press. pp. 99–100.
- Box, M. (Ed.). (1967). The Trial of Marie Stopes. London: Femina Books Ltd. Page 94.
- Cohen, Deborah A. "Private Lives in Public Spaces: Marie Stopes, the Mothers' Clinics and the Practice of Contraception". History Workshop No. 35. Spring 1993: 95. doi:10.1093/hwj/35.1.95.
- Halliday Sutherland, Birth Control: A Statement of Christian Doctrine against the Neo-Malthusians New York, PJ Kennedy and Sons, 1922.
- Carey, Jane (2012). "The Racial Imperatives of Sex: Birth Control and Eugenics in Britain, the United States and Australia in the Interwar Years". Women's History Review 21. Monash University. 5: 753-552.
- Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. p. 158.
- Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. pp. 172–173.
- Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. pp. 174–175.
- Kalsem, Kristin Brandser (2004). "Law, Literature and Libel: Victorian Censorship of "Dirty Filthy" Books on Birth Control'" (PDF). William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law. 10: 566.
- Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. p. 5.
- Sullivan, Esther Beth, "Vectia, Man-Made Censorship, and the Drama of Marie Stopes" in Theatre Survey, 46:1 (May 2005), p.93.
- Briant, Keith (1962). Passionate Paradox: The Life of Marie Stopes. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. p. 210.
- Mark Bostridge (2 August 2009). "Muriel Spark: The Biography by Martin Stannard". The Guardian.
- Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. pp. 180–1.
- Stopes, Marie (1926). A Banned Play and a Preface on Censorship. London: J. Bale, Sons & Danielsson. p. 6.
- Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. p. 76.
- Marie Stopes (1925). The First Five Thousand. London: John Bale, Sons & Danielsson. pp. 16–17.
- Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. p. 239.
- Rose, June (1992). ,Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. London: Faber and Faber.
- Briant, Keith (1962). Passionate Paradox. New York: W. W.Norton & Co. p. 31.
- British Library 58743, Folios 36–37.
- http://www.galtoninstitute.org.uk/Newsletters/GINL9603/social_context.htm viewed 27/1/2014
- The Racial Imperatives of Sex: Birth Control and Eugenics in Britain, the United States and Australia in the Interwar Years by Jane Carey, Monash Women’s History Review 21, no. 5(2012): 733-752. "... she founded the Society for Constructive Birth Control and Racial Progress to spread the eugenic birth control cause across the country, and indeed around the world. The first aim of this group was ‘the illumination of sex life as a basis of racial progress.’"
- The Galton Lecture 1996: "Marie Stopes, Eugenics and the Birth Control Movement" by Richard A Soloway, published by The Galton Institute ISBN 0-9504066-2-7, p. 54.
- Radiant Motherhood. 1920. p. 247,249.
- See last paragraph of Idiots Act 1886
- Stopes, Marie C. (chapter) (1920). "Racial and Imperial Aspects". In James Marchant. The Control of Parenthood. G. P. Putnam & Sons. pp. 208–221.
- Rose, J. (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. London: Faber and Faber Limited. P. 138.
- Rose, J. (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. London: Faber and Faber Limited. P. 161.
- Diane Paul, Controlling Human Heredity (1995), pp. 84–91 at the Wayback Machine (archived 7 June 2010), Virginia Tech.: Eugenics in Germany
- McCrystal, Cal (23 August 1992). "Notebook: The monster and the master race: She altered women's lives for ever. But a new book reveals that Marie Stopes's motives were distinctly dubious". Retrieved 18 May 2015.
- Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. p. 288.
- Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. pp. 219–220.
- Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. p. 222.
- Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. pp. 93–94.
- Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. p. 101.
- Morpurgo, JE, (1972). Barnes Wallis, a Biography. London: Longman Group Ltd. (Page number?)
- Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. p. 234.
- Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. pp. 234–235.
- In Rose's words, Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. p. 236.
- Peter Pugh (2005) Barnes Wallis Dambuster. Thriplow: Icon ISBN 1-84046-685-5; p. 178
- Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. p. 303.
- Falcon-Lang, H.J. (July–August 2008). "Marie Stopes: passionate about palaeobotany". Geology Today. 24.4: 136. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2451.2008.00675.x.
- "Marie Stopes Pictures, Portland, Dorset". Steps in Time—Images Project (SITIP) archive.
- "Portland Museum". About Britain.
- Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. p. 244.
- Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. p. 325.
- "STOPES, Marie (1880-1958)". English Heritage. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
- "Author Query for 'Stopes'". International Plant Names Index.
- "Dr. Marie Stopes". The Medico-legal Journal. 26 (2): 70–1. 1958. PMID 13622045.
- Taylor, L. (October 1971). "The unfinished sexual revolution (Marie Stopes)". Journal of Biosocial Science. 3 (4): 473–92. doi:10.1017/S0021932000008233. PMID 4942965.
- Simms, M. (October 1975). "Marie Stopes Memorial Lecture 1975. The compulsory pregnancy lobby—then and now". The Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners. 25 (159): 709–19. PMC . PMID 1104826.
- Hall, L. A. (June 1983). "The Stopes collection in the Contemporary Medical Archives Centre at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine". The Society for the Social History of Medicine Bulletin. 32: 50–1. PMID 11611236.
- Hall, L. A. (1985). ""Somehow very distasteful": doctors, men and sexual problems between the wars". Journal of Contemporary History. 20 (4): 553–74. doi:10.1177/002200948502000404. PMID 11617291.
- Bacchi, C. (1988). "Feminism and the "eroticization" of the middle-class woman: the intersection of class and gender attitudes". Women's Studies International Forum. 11 (1): 43–53. doi:10.1016/0277-5395(88)90006-4. PMID 11618316.
- Davey, C. (1988). "Birth control in Britain during the interwar years: evidence from the Stopes correspondence". Journal of Family History. 13 (3): 329–45. doi:10.1177/036319908801300120. PMID 11621671.
- Fairley, A. (May 1990). "The birth of birth control". Canadian Medical Association Journal. 142 (9): 993–95. PMC . PMID 2183921.
- Jones, G. (August 1992). "Marie Stopes in Ireland—the Mother's Clinic in Belfast, 1936–47". Social History of Medicine. 5 (2): 255–77. doi:10.1093/shm/5.2.255. PMID 11623088.
- Geppert, A. C. T. (January 1998). "Divine sex, happy marriage, regenerated nation: Marie Stopes's marital manual Married Love and the making of a best-seller, 1918–1955". Journal of the History of Sexuality. 8 (3): 389–433. PMID 11620019.
- Fisher, Kate (2002). "Contrasting cultures of contraception: birth control clinics and the working-classes in Britain between the wars". Clio Medica. 66: 141–57. PMID 12028675.
- Sakula, Alex (August 2003). "Plaques on London houses of medico-historical interest; Marie Stopes (1880–1958)". Journal of Medical Biography. 11 (3): 141. PMID 12870036.
- Aylmer Maude (1924). The Authorized Life of Marie C. Stopes. London: Williams & Norgate.
- Aylmer Maude (1933). Marie Stopes: Her Work and Play. London: John Bale & Sons and Danielsson.
- Works written by or about Marie Carmichael Stopes at Wikisource
- Works by Marie Stopes at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Marie Stopes at Internet Archive
- Works by Marie Stopes at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
- "Situating Stopes", by Lesley A. Hall, Wellcome Library, London
- "Blast from the Past", by Ingrid Birker, McGill University
- 'The Colonisation of a Dried River Bed' – PDF file of Marie Stopes's 1903 article
- Marie Stopes International
- Marie Stopes International UK
- Marie Stopes International Australia
- Marie Stopes International México
- Marie Stopes International South Africa
- Pictures of Marie Stopes and Thomas Hardy at her Portland, Dorset home
- Archival material relating to Marie Stopes listed at the UK National Archives
- postage stamp to Marie Stopes