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Monday, 21 January 2013

Just out online

The Subject is Obscene: No Lady Would Dream of Alluding to It’: Marie Stopes and her courtroom dramas

This is a piece I'm rather fond of: I wrote the earliest version for a day conference about women and the courtroom at the University of Warwick around 2006 or so. I knew it needed further work and research but I got distracted by other things. I dug it up and gave it another outing at the Women's History Network Annual Conference in 2010, 'Performing the Self: Women's Lives in Historical Perspective' (also, by coincidence, at Warwick that year), and was invited to contribute an expanded version of the paper to the resulting themed issue of Women's History Review.

Doing the additional research for it, I was led to reflect that Reginald Ruggles Gates, the first husband against whom Stopes brought a suit of nullity, is not a figure who improves the more one learns about him. Whether he was actually impotent or not, he sounds like somebody any woman would be very glad to be quit of.

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