Edward Carpenter





Edward Carpenter's Last Letter

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Edward Carpenter's Last Letter¹


Mountside, Guildford, Surrey

11 Aug 1927²

My dear George Pearson³

    It was good to hear from you some time ago and that you and Mrs. P. are quite well in health. May you long continue so! I am a rare old Croc now, being over 82 - but what can you expect?

   It is good to hear the boys have got a motor car, and when I come over (to) Sheffield I shall come & see you, but I doubt that will not be very soon. I was born in 1844, so you are quite a chicken compared with me!!

   Love and blessings to you any how

      Your affectionate

                     Edward Carpenter

Remember to Richard Jarvis when you write.

George Merrill sends his love.







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  1. We are grateful to Sheffield City Archives for their kind permission to display this letter. Ownership of the letter remains with the Sheffield Archives. It may not be copied without permission. Ref. Carpenter Collection MSS.333 - catalogued as ‘Edward Carpenter's Last Letter.
  2. The letter is written a few weeks before Carpenter's 83rd birthday on August 29th 1927.
  3. George Pearson was part of the Sheffield Socialists of the early 1880s. Carpenter wrote in ‘My Days and Dreams' of John Furniss and George Pearson striding across the 5 or 6 miles of Moor into Sheffield to speak at the Pump or the Monolith, then striding out again in the middle of the night (My Days and Dreams, Edward Carpenter, George Allen and Unwin Ltd, 1916, p133). When by 1880 the co-operative venture by the Ruskinite St. George's Guild at St. George's Farm at Totley had begun to fall apart, it was George Pearson, through Carpenter's suggestion , who took on the tenancy of the farm. In this Pearson was again aided by his friend John Furniss, who had himself set up a small utopian community at Moorhay Farm. The Pearson family continued over the years to farm at Moorhay and Totley. Visiting in September 1929, Henry Nevinson found that Pearson had finally managed to buy Moorhay Farm, and, though he himself was now crippled by rheumatism, the Pearsons, growing fruit and vegetables at both Moorhay and at Totley had finally begun to prosper (Edward Carpenter A Life of Liberty and Love, Sheila Rowbotham, Verso, 2008: p440)