Dear Friends of the Edward Carpenter Forum Website,
Yes, it has been 10 years since we last updated our beloved website. A tramatic transfer from one web template to another eliminated certain sections (like the photos in the Imasge Gallery). This web mistress got behind on updates and, well, life got very busy and moved in other direction for the two of us who started the site. I am hoping that in the next year or two I'll be able to catch up on the latest bells and whistles for the platform and can begin to fix problems and add new content. Until then, please enjoy what is here.
Welcome to Issue 4 of the Edward Carpenter Forum Website! It's been a bit long in the making but we hope the superb material we have for you in this issue will reward your wait. We start off with our first Special Feature - Edward Carpenter's Cambridge. It's a collection of articles covering the Forums' visit to and exploration of Carpenter's life in that City.
We are excited to provide both a report on and the premier of the online version of My Days and Dreams: The Worlds of Edward Carpenter, Gay Freedom Pioneer, an exhibition on Carpenter mounted at the San Francisco Main Public Library.
EC Forum member Professor Michael Robertson has contributed a review essay on Sheila Rowbotham's Edward Carpenter: A Life of Liberty and Love.
We close out this issue with a report on the gathering at Carpenter's grave in Guildford to commemorate the 80th anniversary of his passing.
It was with sadness that we heard of the death of Noel Greig, on September 9th 2009. Playwright, actor, director, teacher and gay activist, Noel Greig did perhaps more than anyone to raise the profile of Edward Carpenter during the late 1970s and early 1980s and within the Gay Liberation Movement. His play on Carpenter's life, 'The Dear Love of Comrades', for the Gay Sweatshop in 1979, introduced Edward Carpenter to many, and the ground breaking 1979 BBC2 play 'Only Connect', written by Greig and Drew Griffiths, also took Carpenter for its theme. Greig's essay, in 1984, for the Gay Modern Classics' edition of Carpenter's Selected Writings remains an outstanding introduction. The following obituary links provide a fuller account of Greig's richly lived life:
As this issue goes up on the server we are preparing for Edward Carpenter's Leeds, an event to be held in Leeds, England the weekend of September 4, 2010. Organized by Paul Marshall and the EC Forum, it promises to be a fantastic look into the political and social activism and relationships of Carpenter and his friends. We look forward to seeing many of you there.
The Henry Salt Society expressed concern over the ECF Featured Essay 'The Last Years of Edward Carpenter', which appeared in our last issue (#3). The following link gives more information about their objections: http://www.henrysalt.co.uk/info/faq/ . We highly recommend the Society's excellent website and the information that it gives on this important humanitarian campaigner and man of letters.
We continue to be grateful to the Sheffield City Archives, Edward Carpenter Collection, for permission to reprint photos and other materials in their collection and to Carpenter copyright holder Jonathan Cutbill for permission to publish original Carpenter writings.
The Edward Carpenter Forum hosted a day long visit to Cambridge, England in September of 2009. The event was organized and led by EC Forum co-founder and website co-editor John Baker.
Forum members visited the sites closly associated with Carpenter's years in that City, years during which he attended University and served as a curate in the Church of England. It also marked the time of his increasing awarness of both himself and the larger spiritual and political issues that would preoccupy him for the remainder of his life.
Our thanks and gratitude go to Trinty Hall Master, Professor Martin Daunton and Mrs Daunton, Dr. John Pollard and Trinity Hall Fellow Alison Hennegan for the hospitality and warm welcome they gave to us on our visit. Thanks also to Canon Fraser Watts of St Edward's Church for his graciousness and assistance.
And many thanks to our own dear John Baker for organizing this wonderful event and collecting much of the Carpenter materials we now publish here.
In January of 2009 the San Francisco Public Library mounted a month long exhibition entitled My Days and Dreams: The Worlds of Edward Carpenter, Gay Freedom Pioneer curated by EC Forum co-founder and website co-editor Joey Cain. The exhibit coincided with Shiela Rowbotham's appearance in the San Francisco Bay Area to promote her book Edward Carpenter: A Life of Liberty and Love. We are pleased to present a web version of the exhibition.
Professor Michael Robertson reviews both Sheila's book and Carpenter's life in this excellent essay.
On June 28, 2009 EC Forum members and friends gathered for a commemoration of the 80th anniversary of Carpenter's death. The event took place at Carpenter's gravesite in Guilford and at his beloved home "Millthorpe, Guildford". A report by John Baker on the festivities!
Professor Chushichi Tsuzuki, who published the first full scale biography of EC entitled Edward Carpenter 1844-1929: Prophet of Human Fellowship, has graciously allowed us to reprint his essay on Carpenter's last years for our Featured Essay. His biography, first published in 1980, was reprinted by Cambridge University Press last year.Speaking of biographies, Sheila Rowbotham's Edward Carpenter: A Life of Liberty and Love recently won the USA's Lambda Literary Foundation Award for best biography. Congratulations Sheila! We plan on having more coverage on Sheila's book in our next issue.
Several other books released in the last year of interest to Carpenter enthusiasts have come to our attention. We have listed these in a Books of Note section in the left hand side bar.
The Forum will be sponsoring a day long exploration of "Carpenter's Cambridge" on September 19, 2009 in Cambridge, England. See the Events listing for more details.
We wish to extend a happy Gay Day to everyone. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the watershed event of the modern Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender movement, the Stonewall Riots in New York City on June 28, 1969. Occurring exactly 40 years to the day after Carpenter's death, it would perhaps not be overstating it to say that Carpenter's greatest legacy lay in the movement that his writings, organizing activities and vision helped to bring into existence.