Marie_Stopes (2)

The Remarkable Dr Marie Stopes – Lecture 2.30pm Tuesday 08 January 2019

David Carter, Trustee of Portland Museum, brings an illustrated talk about the eventful life and times of the founder, benefactor and first curator of Portland Museum, Dr Marie Stopes (1880-1958), to the January meeting of The Shaftesbury & District Historical Society. In 1923, in the wake of a protracted and ultimately unsuccessful libel case, Marie Stopes bought the Old Higher Lighthouse on Portland. In 1930 she was instrumental in the opening of Portland Museum and remained a Trustee until shortly before her death. Her ashes were to be scattered off Portland Bill. The young Marie Stopes achieved distinction in the predominantly male world of academia: she was the youngest recipient of a DSc degree from University College London, earned a PhD in botany from the University of Munich, and from 1904 to 1910 was the University of Manchester’s first female academic as a Lecturer in Palaeobotany. In 1913 she could not find a publisher for her book Married Love which offered advice on family planning. When it was eventually published in 1918 with the financial backing of her second husband it was reprinted five times in a year. Henceforward Marie Stopes’s name was to be associated with advocacy of methods of birth control, leading to controversy and conflict with establishment figures.

Click here for Keri Jones’s interview with David Carter about ‘The Dorset Woman Who Changed Opinion on Parenting and Relationships’ at

This talk is free to S&DHS members while non-members may pay £3 at the door.