Marie Stopes (3.2)

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Marie Stopes was born on 15 October 1880 in Edinburgh to an archaeologist father and scholarly mother who was also a suffragist. Her studies as a paleobotanist took her to universities in London and Munich, then to Manchester where she became the first female member of the science faculty at the university. In 1911, she married Reginald Ruggles Gates. The relationship quickly broke down, and Marie realised that her husband was impotent and the marriage was unconsummated. It was annulled in 1914.

Stopes' reading on the subject prompted her first book 'Married Love', which was published in 1918. The book was condemned by churches, the medical establishment and the press but was very popular, selling 2,000 copies within a fortnight…

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