Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Edward Carpenter: A Man Before His Time

Edward Carpenter was a radical socialist activist throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In his writings, he tore into the decadent middle classes and capitalism with fervour. He supported feminism, vegetarianism and the environment, among other things. But he was an active, open, campaigning homosexual, with a live-in partner, George Merrill, and this is why the Establishment has tried to forget him, and his life and works have hitherto been discussed only among those “who know”.

So it is wonderful that, in advance of the 80th anniversary of his death in 2009, he should be celebrated in the first full biography of his life, Edward Carpenter: A Life of Liberty and Love, by Sheila Rowbotham.

The book is reviewed in The Guardian here.

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