What’s not to like?
Feminists and allied critical thinkers may be interested in Sheila Rowbotham’s biography, Edward Carpenter: A Life of Liberty and Love. Here’s a portion of Martin Pugh’s review in the Times Literary Supplement:
Edward Carpenter abandoned a comfortable social position to adopt a thoroughly sceptical view of society’s values and conventions. His life’s work was pursued through a series of overlapping circles and causes â€“ socialism, anarchism, sex reform, female emancipation, environmentalism, vegetarianism, nudism and animal rights â€“ but despite the prominence he achieved by the Edwardian period he never really became the leader of anything. He managed to get away with what, from the perspective of late-Victorian, bourgeois society, was a lifetime of subversion without seeking formal political influence â€“ and without being prosecuted for his views. Given the availability of papers at Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester it seems remarkable that there have been so few attempts to write Carpenter’s biography and Sheila Rowbotham is to be congratulated on giving us such a scholarly and sympathetic study of a Victorian who, in effect, helped to create the twenty-first century for us.
Pugh’s full review is here.