Troubador Edward Carpenter

Released: 28/09/2021

ISBN: 9781800463912

eISBN: 9781800466234

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Edward Carpenter

A Victorian Rebel Fighting for Gay Rights


In his new book, Edward Carpenter: A Victorian Rebel Fighting for Gay Rights, Brian Anderson explores the life of the neglected Victorian gay icon Edward Carpenter. Using a large number of previously unpublished letters to his lovers, and friends, his tortuous journey from conforming youth to outspoken critic of Victorian society is traced.

His adolescent hurts and sexual confusion, his fumbling first love affairs, the remarkable expansion of his mind at Cambridge and his timely release from a priestly and donnish life, are recounted.

His entry into the world of socialist politics as a polemical writer and his turning from socialist rhetoric to sexual politics forms a central part of the narrative, together with an account of the obstacles that he faced in finding publishers daring enough to take his work at the height of the Oscar Wilde scandal.

The intimate details of his gay life are, for the first time, combined with the most extensive analysis to date of his pioneering writing on homosexuality.

Omg wow I had no idea this man even existed. I'm so happy someone finally told his story. I'm not using to biographies but this one hit it's mark.

Original review:

by NetGalley review

Brian Anderson

Dr Brian Anderson received his DPhil from The University of Oxford for a thesis on John Stuart Mill, the nineteenth century philosopher; father of modern liberalism. He has held research and teaching posts at universities in the UK and overseas.

His first book " The Fraternity of the Estranged" (published by Troubador) explores the lives and work of three nineteenth century men: Edward Carpenter; John Addington Symonds and Havelock Ellis and the fight against Victorian attitudes to gay men, at a time when Oscar Wilde and many other men were prosecuted and imprisoned for being gay.

His second book, "Edward Carpenter : a Victorian Rebel Fighting for Gay Rights" focuses on Carpenter, who chose to relinquish his privileged life to live as a gay man among the working classes in the north of England. Dr Anderson charts Carpenter's tortuous journey from conforming youth to trail-blazing pioneer of gay rights. The book analyses the central theme of Carpenter's life-long work - the assertion of the right of gay men in Victorian society to social acceptance and equality before the law; predating the demands of the contemporary LGBTQ+ movement.

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