My Days and Dreams:
The Worlds of Edward Carpenter,
Early Gay Freedom Pioneer
January 1 - 31, 2009
One of the earliest advocates of freedom for the people he termed "Homogenic", Edward Carpenter (1844-1929) set the stage over one hundred years ago for what would become today's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Freedom Movement. At a time when same sex loving men were imprisoned for their desire, he lived openly for nearly 40 years with his dear "boy", George Merrill. Carpenter's writings and life inspired several generations of homosexual people, including the novelist EM Foster, who wrote his novel Maurice after visiting him. Carpenter's influence on Mattachine Society and Radical Fairies founder Harry Hay directly contributed to the birth of the modern LGBT movement. Even the poet Allen Ginsberg traces his gay poetic lineage back to Walt Whitman through Carpenter.
Yet Edward Carpenter in his own time was widely know as many things: a poet, socialist, critic of "Civilization", mystic, vegetarian, rational dress advocate, anarchist, simple life advocate, women's freedom supporter, pagan; in short, a harbinger of the many new worlds of the mind and body that were overthrowing the certainties of the Victorian era and giving birth to the Modern period.
This exhibit, drawn from the collection of Edward Carpenter Forum co-founder Joey Cain, uses rare books, pamphlets and photographs to explore some of those worlds.
Sheila Rowbotham's Appearances in California In Support of Her New Biography,
Edward Carpenter: A Life of Liberty and Love.
Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4