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HIST1300 Reading List - Married Love

Primary Sources for the Historian: An Introduction to Documentary study, 2019/20, Semester 2
Professor Stephen Alford
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

Primary sources

Core text

Stopes, Marie C., Married Love: a New Contribution to the Solution of Sex Difficulties [1918], 6th edn. (London: A.C. Fifield, 1919)   

Some other works by Marie Stopes

Stopes, Marie C., Contraception (birth control) its theory, history and practice : a manual for the medical and legal professions (London: John Bale, Sons & Danielsson Ltd, 1921)

Stopes, Marie C., Wise parenthood : the treatise on birth control for married people : a practical sequel to Married love [1918], 12th edn. (London: Putnam, 1923)

Stopes, Marie C., Radiant motherhood : a book for those who are creating the future [1920], 3rd edn. (London: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Ltd, 1923)

Stopes, Marie C., (ed.)  Mother England : a contemporary history (London: John Bale, Sons & Danielsson Ltd, 1929)


Other primary sources

The following texts are all available either in the library or online via

Browne, Stella, “Sexual Variety and Variability among Women and their Bearing upon Social Reconstruction”, reproduced in Sheila Rowbotham, A new world for women : Stella Browne, socialist feminist (London: Pluto Press, 1977)

Ellis, Havelock, Little essays of love and virtue (London: Black, 1922)   

Ellis, Havelock, The Psychology of Sex (London: Heinemann Medical Books, 1933)

Hutton, Isabel E., The hygiene of marriage (London: William Heinemann, Medical Books, 1923)

Scharlieb, Mary, Womanhood and Race Regeneration (London: Cassell and Company, 1912) Available online:

Wright, Helena, The sex factor in marriage : a book for those who are or are about to be married (London: N. Douglas, 1930)



Bland, Lucy, and Laura Doan, (eds.) Sexology Uncensored: the Documents of Sexual Science (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1998)

Hall, Lesley A. (ed.), Outspoken women : an anthology of women's writing on sex, 1870-1969 (London: Routledge, 2005)

Hall, Ruth (ed.), Dear Dr Stopes : sex in the 1920s (London: Deutsch, 1978)

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Secondary Sources

The following list has been organised by themes in keeping with the structure of the course. It is highly recommended that you read all the relevant sections from those articles and books highlighted with two stars.


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Background readings

** Fisher, Kate, and Simon Szreter, Sex before the sexual revolution : intimate life in England 1918-1963 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010)

Foucault, Michel, The History of Sexuality, vol.1 , The will to knowledge (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1988)

Gittins, Diana, Fair sex : family size and structure in Britain, 1900-39 (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1982)

** Hall, Lesley A., and Roy Porter, The facts of life : the creation of sexual knowledge in Britain, 1650-1950 (London: Yale University Press, 1995)

** Hall, Lesley A., Sex, Gender and Social Change in Britain since 1880 (New York: Longman, 1981)

Hall, Ruth, Marie Stopes : a biography (London: Deutsch, 1977) Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva

Lewis, Jane, Labour and love : women's experience of home and family, 1850-1940 (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986)

Nelson, Claudia, and Ann Sumner Holmes (eds.), Maternal instincts : visions of motherhood and sexuality in Britain, 1875-1925 (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1997)

Porter, Roy, and Mikulas Teich (eds.), Sexual knowledge, sexual science : the history of attitudes to sexuality (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994)

Rose, June, Marie Stopes and the sexual revolution (London: Faber & Faber, 1992)

** Weeks, Jeffrey, Sex, Politics and Society: the Regulation of Sexuality since 1800 (London: Longman, 1981)


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Week 2: Marriage, gender, and sex education

Battan, Jesse F., “The ‘Rights’ of Husbands and the ‘Duties’ of Wives: Power and Desire in the American Bedroom, 1850-1910”, Journal of Family History. , 24 (2) (1999), pp.165-186

** Cook, Hera, “Emotion, Bodies, Sexuality, and Sex Education in Edwardian England”,  The historical journal. , 55 (2) (2012), pp. 475-95

Carter, Julian B., “Birds, Bees, and Venereal Disease: Toward an Intellectual History of Sex Education”, Journal of the history of sexuality. , 10 (2) (2001), pp.213-249

Chow, Karen, “Popular Sexual Knowledges and Women's Agency in 1920s England: Marie Stopes's Married Love and E. M. Hull's The Sheik ”, Feminist review. , 63 (1999), pp.64-87

** Faulkner, Evelyn, “’Powerless to Prevent Him’: Attitudes of Married Working-Class Women in the 1920s and the Rise of Sexual Power”, Local Population Studies , 49 (1992), pp.51-61 available online

** Hall, Lesley A., “Eyes Tightly Shut, Lying Rigidly Still, and Thinking of England? British Women and Sex from Marie Stopes to Hite 2000”, in Sexual pedagogies : sex education in Britain, Australia, and America, 1879-2000 , eds. Claudia Nelson, and Michelle H. Martin (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), pp.53-71

Holtzmann, Ellen M., “The Pursuit of Married Love: Women’s Attitudes toward Sexuality and Marriage in Great Britain, 1918-1939”, Journal of Social History. , 16 (2) (1982), pp.39-51

** McCray Beier, Lucinda, “‘We Were Green as Grass’: Learning about Sex and Reproduction in Three Working-class Lancashire Communities, 1900-1970”, Social history of medicine. , 16 (3) (2003), pp.461-480

Savage, Gail, "Erotic Stories and Public Decency: Newspaper Reporting of Divorce Proceedings in England", The historical journal. , 41 (2) (1998), pp.511-528


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Weeks 3 & 4: Sexology and medicine

Bland, Lucy, and Laura Doan, (eds.) Sexology in Culture: Labelling Bodies and Desires (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1998)

Bullough, Vern L., Science in the bedroom [electronic resource] : a history of sex research (New York: BasicBooks, 1994)

Crozier, Ivan, “Becoming a Sexologist: Norman Haire, the 1929 London World League for Sexual Reform Congress, and Organising Medical Knowledge about Sex in Interwar England,”  History of science. , 39 (2001), pp. 299-329

** Hall, Lesley A., “Heroes or Villains? Reconsidering British fin de siècle Sexology and its Impact”, in Lynne Segal (ed.), New sexual agendas (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1997), pp.3-17

Laqueur, Thomas, Making sex : body and gender from the Greeks to Freud (London: Harvard University Press, 1990)

Mort, Frank, Dangerous Sexualities: Medico-Moral Politics in England since 1830 (London: Routledge, 1987)

** Moscucci, Ornella, The science of woman : gynaecology and gender in England, 1800-1929 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993)

Rapp, Dean, “The Early Discovery of Freud by the British General Educated Public, 1912-1919”, Social history of medicine. , 3 (1990), pp.217-43

Robinson, Paul A., The Modernization of Sex: Havelock Ellis, Alfred Kinsey, William Masters and Virginia Johnson (London: Harper and Row, 1976)


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Week 5: Race, class, and eugenics

** Bashford, Alison, and Philippa Levine (eds), The Oxford handbook of the history of eugenics (Oxford: Oxford University Pres, 2010) Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva

Bourke, Joanna, Working class cultures in Britain, 1890-1960 : gender, class, and ethnicity (London: Routledge, 1994)

McKibbin, Ross, Classes and cultures : England 1918-1951 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998)

Peel, Robert (ed), Essays in the history of eugenics : proceedings of a conference organised by the Galton Institute, London, 1997 (London: The Galton Institute, 1998)

Robb, George, “Eugenics, Spirituality, and Sex Differentiation in Edwardian England: the Case of Frances Swiney”, Journal of women's history. , 10 (3) (1998), pp.97-117

Roberts, Elizabeth, A woman's place : an oral history of working-class women 1890-1940 (Oxford: Blackwell, 1984)

Rose, Jonathan, The intellectual life of the British working classes (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001), pp.206-220

** Soloway, Richard, Demography and degeneration : eugenics and the declining birthrate in twentieth-century Britain (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1990)

** Stone, Dan, Breeding superman : Nietzsche, race and eugenics in Edwardian and interwar Britain (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2002), pp.94-115


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Week 7: Birth control

** Cohen, Deborah A., “Private Lives in Public Spaces: Marie Stopes, the Mothers’ Clinics and the Practice of Contraception”, History workshop journal. , 35 (1) (1993), pp.95-116

** Cook, Hera, The Long Sexual Revolution: English Women, Sex, and Contraception, 1800-1975 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004)

Davey, Claire, "Birth Control in Britain during the Interwar Years: Evidence from the Stopes Correspondence", Journal of Family History., 13 (3) (1988), pp.329-345

** Fisher, Kate, Birth control, sex, and marriage in Britain, 1918-1960 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006)

Fisher, Kate, and Simon Szreter, "'They Prefer Withdrawal': the Choice of Birth Control in Britain, 1918-1950", The journal of interdisciplinary history. , 34 (2) (2003), pp.263-291

Knight, Patricia, “Women and Abortion in Victorian and Edwardian England”, History workshop. , 4 (1977), pp.57-69

Neushul, Peter, "Marie C. Stopes and the Popularization of Birth Control Technology", Technology and culture., 39 (2) (1998), pp.245-272

Soloway, Richard, "The 'Perfect Contraceptive': Eugenics and Birth Control Research in Britain and America in the Interwar Years", Journal of contemporary history., 30 (4) (1995), pp.637-664

Szreter, Simon, Fertility, class and gender in Britain, 1860-1940 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996)


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Week 8: Feminism and female sex radicals

Bland, Lucy, Banishing the beast : English feminism and sexual morality 1885-1914 (London: Penguin, 1995)

Caine, Barbara, English feminism, 1780-1980 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997)

** Hall, Lesley A., “Feminist Reconfigurations of Heterosexuality in the 1920s”, in Sexology in Culture: Labelling Bodies and Desires , eds. Lucy Bland, and Laura Doan (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1998), pp.135-149

** Jackson, Margaret, The real facts of life : feminism and the politics of sexuality, c1850-1940 (London: Taylor and Francis, 1994)

Jeffreys, Sheila, The Spinster and Her Enemies: Feminism and Sexuality, 1880-1930 (London: Pandora, 1985)

Kent, Susan Kingsley, Sex and Suffrage in Britain, 1860-1914 (Oxford: Princeton University Press, 1987)

Mizuta, Tamae, and Marie Mulvey Roberts (eds.), Perspectives on the history of British feminism (London: Routledge/Thoemmes, 1994)

Smith, Harold L., British feminism in the twentieth century (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1990)


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Week 10: Marriage manuals and the history of sexuality

Brissett, Denis, and Lionel S. Lewis, “Guidelines for Marital Sex: an Analysis of Fifteen Popular Marriage Manuals”, Family coordinator. , 19 (1) (1970), pp. 41-48

** Cocks, H.G., and Matt Houlbrook (eds.), Palgrave advances in the modern history of sexuality (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006)

Cocks, H.G., "Saucy Stories: Pornography, Sexology and the Marketing of Sexual Knowledge in Britain, c.1918-70", Social history., 29 (4) (2004), pp.465-484

Freedman, Estelle B., and John D’Emilio, “Problems Encountered in Writing the History of Sexuality: Sources, Theory, and Interpretation”, The Journal of sex research. , 27 (4) (1990), pp.481-495

** Geppert, Alexander, “Divine Sex, Happy Marriage, Regenerated Nation: Marie Stopes's Marital Manual Married Love and the Making of a Best-Seller, 1918-1955”, Journal of the history of sexuality. , 8 (3) (1998), pp. 389-433

** Neuhaus, Jessamyn, “The Importance of Being Orgasmic: Sexuality, Gender, and Marital Sex Manuals in the United States, 1920-1963”, Journal of the history of sexuality. , 9 (4) (2000), pp. 447-473

Toulalan, Sarah, and Kate Fisher, The Routledge history of sex and the body in the West [electronic resource] : 1500 to the present (London: Routledge, 2013)

This list was last updated on 03/12/2016