Published in the U.S. in 1918, and later banned for indecency, Stopes dedicates the book to “Young husbands, and all those who are betrothed in love.”
A British counterpart to Margaret Sanger, who had opened the first birth control clinic in the U.S. in 1916, Stopes was a lifelong advocate for women’s rights and opened the first birth control clinic in the U.K. in 1921.
Here’s more about the book from Curtin University Library, which has a Women’s Health Collection of over 500 important books and pamphlets documenting the history of women’s health:
“On its release, Married Love gave Stopes overnight fame. More than 2000 copies were sold in a fortnight and it was the first sex manual published in the UK. Many letters are available in archival collections that were written by women thanking Stopes for her work and asking for information on birth control. The book was labeled "immoral" and "obscene" by the church, the media and the medical community. In 1935, US academics named Married Love number 16 in a list of the 25 most influential books of the past 50 years.”
Stopes continued her good work until her death in 1958, and the organization Marie Stopes International, founded by the doctor who took over from her at that very first clinic founded in 1918, has more than 600 centers around the world, and has prevented thousands of maternal deaths, and millions of unsafe abortions and unwanted pregnancies. Their vision: “a world in which every birth is wanted.” Their mission: “children by choice, not chance.”
“Married Love” is in the public domain and available free online. Here is just a taste of the language:
“Any well-formed young man or woman is immeasurably more graceful when free from the clinging follies of modern dress, while a beautiful woman's body has a supernal loveliness at which no words short of poetic rapture can even hint. What wonder then that one of the ecstasies of love should be the unveiling of the beloved?”
Another book mentioned in last night’s episode is “The Cambridge Modern History,” which was published in fourteen volumes between 1902 and 1912. Mr. Molesly (yes, that’s how it’s spelled) offers to loan Daisy Volume 5, which he says has “a good chapter on the war and politics in Queen Anne's reign.” Daisy is studying the War of Spanish Succession, in which Queen Anne, who ascended to the throne in 1702, played an important part.
If, as he said, Mr. Molesely received the gift of the set from his father for his fortieth birthday, it would have been a very substantial gift, given that the family had never had a lot of money. Mrs. Patmore obviously understands this, when she tells Daisy not to be “churlish”, adding that “Mr Molesley's offering to lend you one of his prized possessions.”
Finally, there is a reference in this episode to the “Bierkeller Putsch in Munich.” Conservative Bavaria was the center of activity for the National Socialists, and the “Brown Shirts” have been mentioned in previous episodes as having been involved in the violence that may have led to the death of Edith’s lover, Mr. Gregson. In this episode, Lord Grantham says of the events in Munich, “It took days for the police to get the city back under control, and by then any trace of Gregson was buried.”
The “Bierkeller Putsch” literally, “Beer Cellar Revolt” occurred in November of 1923 and was an attempt by Hitler and the Nazis to seize power by force. It failed, resulting in Hitler’s arrest and imprisonment. It was during this imprisonment that he wrote his book, “Mein Kampf”, or “My Struggle.”