Marie Carmichael Stopes


In continued celebration of International Women’s Day this blog will profile eight amazing women throughout the month of March.


It is never easy to make marriage a lovely thing; and it is an achievement beyond the powers of the selfish, or the mentally cowardly.  Knowledge is needed and, as things are at present, knowledge is almost unobtainable by those who are most in want of it.  ~  Marie Stopes, Married Love

Marie Stopes, sexual health and birth control advocate, scientist and author was born in 1880.  She was the daughter of Charlotte Carmichael Stopes—a scholar, author and  advocate for women’s rights,  Charlotte was the first woman to obtain a ‘Certificate of Arts’ from a university at a time when women were not permitted to read for a degree.  Marie, naturally, followed in her mother’s footsteps.  Encouraged to study, she  graduated from University College London in 1902 with honours in botany and geology.  She then went on to obtain a PhD in Munich before returning to England where she earned a doctoral degree, the youngest woman to do so, and established herself as a palaeobotanist.  She taught at Manchester University and in 1907 took leave to undertake research in Japan.

While her professional life flourished, Marie’s first marriage faltered and she turned her attention to writing about women’s issues.  In 1918 she published Married Love and soon followed it with Wise Parenthood, a birth control manual.  In 1921, she founded the Holloway Clinic and the Society for Constructive Birth Control alongside her second husband.  It was the first birth control clinic in Britain and Marie became a highly controversial, public figure.  She advocated the use of a cervical cap as the most practical form of contraception and faced calls for her imprisonment.

A remarkable and passionate activist, she fought for women to take control of their bodies.  Her dedication and legacy remains with us today.


Our poetry anthology is now open to submissions.  We are looking for captivating and insightful poetry that reflects all things maiden, mother and crone.  Journey to Crone aims to celebrate women, female wisdom, and all stages of womanhood.  Submissions will be taken throughout the year until either the anthology is full, or late autumn.  The book will launch on 8th March 2013.

Check out our submission and guideline pages for full details.

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