By Marie Stopes
Contributions by: Deryn Rees-Jones
There is nothing that helps so much with the economic emancipation of woman as a knowledge of how to control her maternity. - Marie Stopes *** Marie Stopes' work in the area of sexual health and contraception has left a lasting legacy, and she is widely acknowledged as one of the most significant figures of the 20th century. Her Married Love: A New Contribution to the Solution of Sex Difficulties was first published in 1918, translated into 13 languages, and sold over a million copies. Stopes also ardently pursued her enthusiasm for literature throughout her life, writing novels, plays, and poetry. Her novel Love's Creation, published in 1928, the year women obtained the right to vote, is a working through of the debates which she addressed both in her personal and public life: sexual relations, the relationship between the arts and sciences, and the quest for female sexual fulfillment. Her campaigning on behalf of a more open attitude to women's sexuality, equality in marriage, and sexual health and contraception, and her opening of the first free birth control clinic in the British Empire in 1921, saw her at the center of political controversy, not least in her battle with the Roman Catholic church. Love's Creation, republished here for the first time since 1928, offers fascinating insights into early 20th-century women's writing, most notably: Virginia Woolf's theories of female creativity/fulfilled female sexuality, which is not under threat from motherhood; female economic and psychic freedom; and the social milieu of the time. It is an engaging and fast moving narrative with lively, well-drawn, and unconventional characters. The novel poses important questions about women's choices and aspirations before, during, and after marriage. Not surprisingly, it also engages in still contemporary and vital debates about the relationship between the sciences and the arts, and theories of evolution.
Publication Date: 8/1/2012