Stopes, Marie C. | Wise Parenthood. A Sequel to “Married Love”

  • Second edition of Stopes’s first book dealing explicitly with contraception, the subject that had only been implied in her earlier work, Married Love (1918).

    This copy contains a newspaper clipping from the Daily News of March 18th, 1921, tipped-in on the rear pastedown, describing the opening of Britain’s first birth control clinic, Stopes’ Mother’s Clinic for Constructive Birth Control at 61 Marlborough Road, Holloway. It includes a verbatim statement from Stopes regarding her aim, “to give working-class mothers the latest scientific knowledge of motherhood, in order to reduce the death rate among young children and to increase the survival rate... owing to that ignorance thousands of mothers are reduced to a state of misery and poverty, and married life to them has become a mockery”.

    In this slim volume Stopes explains and recommends the use of cervical caps and spermicidal quinine pessaries. In an opinion that was ahead of its time, she rejects douching due to its destruction of the vaginal flora and potentially corrosive nature of the substances used. Condoms are considered, but deemed unacceptable except for special circumstances, due to the supposed positive health benefits of absorbing semen through the vaginal walls.

  • ...A Book for Married People. With Introduction by Arnold Bennett. London: A. C. Fifield, 1919.

    Octavo Original grey stiff paper wrappers, printed paper label to upper cover. Single leaf of publisher’s ads inserted in reverse order from the first edition, the final page 34 unnumbered. Spine cracked with some loss, wrappers rubbed and creased, spotting to edges of text block, endpapers, and half title, with a few isolated spots to the contents. Very good condition.