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Sheila Rowbotham: Edward Carpenter

Sheila Rowbotham: Edward Carpenter

A Life of Liberty and Love. UK/USA 2008, 565 pp., brochure, € 49.95
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The gay socialist humanitarian writer Edward Carpenter had an extraordinary impact on the cultural and political landscape of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A mystic, progressive advocate of, among other causes, free love, recycling, nudism, women's suffrage and prison reform, his work anticipated the sexual revolution of the 1960s. The biographer situates Carpenter's life and thought in relation to the social, aesthetic and intellectual movements of his day, and explores his friendships with figures such as Walt Whitman, E.M. Forster, Isadora Duncan and Emma Goldmann. There was a wide range of left-wing ideas about progress in Victorian society and its aftermath which is the context in which Carpenter lived. Carpenter was sometimes influential and original, often brave and far-seeing, sometimes funny and strange.
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