British Association members to hear a panel discussion, which included Charlottehersel, on the ‘Psychological and Physiological Aspects o Women’s Dress’.
Wellover a hundred newspapers reported the event, around the nation and abroad.
She went on to write a radical history o women as public leaders and citi-zens in Britain and appeared regularly or over two decades on the campaign platorms o women’s surage reorm. Charlotte also became a widely publishedShakespearian expert. Her rst book,
Te Bacon-Shakespeare Question
, came outin 1888, a reutation o the theory that Francis Bacon was the actual author o William Shakespeare’s plays.
She believed that perormances o Shakespeare’s plays should take account o their historical context and the language in whichthey were written, and not be abridged or distorted by an excess o Victoriantheatrical grandeur – a view shared by younger theatre directors o the time,such as William Poel. Charlotte was also a riend o Emma Cons, who helpedto popularize perormances o Shakespeare’s plays or working people at theRoyal Victoria Hall in London, better known as the ‘Old Vic’.
As a ‘amousShakespearean authority’,
Charlotte produced nine scholarly studies on Shake-spearian themes and numerous articles or journals such as the
She was awarded the Rose Mary Crawshay Prize by the British Academy in 1916. Yetit was her study o the role o women as citizens and leaders in British history
which proved the most popular and infuential aspect o her work.Largely regardless o her many achievements, Charlotte’s later-lie reputationas an eccentric dress reormer and elderly acerbic bluestocking has dened herlegacy. Shakespearian acionado Sir George Greenwood’s 1925 discussion o thecontroversy surrounding the Droeshout engraving patronizes her as an ‘ardentand orthodox worshipper at the Stratordian shrine…!’
Te American liter-ary scholar Samuel Schoenbaum reerred to her as a ‘Hampstead matron’.
wo years aer her death, in 1931, Frederick Boas assured his readers that despite herheroic public endeavours, ‘Mrs Stopes neglected none o the domestic duties’.
Decades later Charlotte had not shrugged o her usty Victorian lady’s mantle,even in the context o eminist historical recovery, being described as eccentric,sexually repressed and an embarrassment to her daughter.Any biographical study o Charlotte Carmichael Stopes must acknowledgethe reerences given in her amous daughter’s twentieth-century biographers.Aylmer Maude’s fattering
Authorized Biography of Marie Stopes
was the rsto these. A close riend o the subject, his account perhaps most closely refectsMarie’s subjective view o her mother as an exemplar o Victorian religious repres-sion.
was published in 1962, a by-product o his youthul firtation with Marie in 1938, at the time o his editorship o theliterary magazine
. A sympathetic account, Briant portrays Charlotte as thesurvivor o her husband’s preoccupations and obsessions.
, written more than a decade later, depicts Charlotte as a ‘born old maid’,