1st Edition

Havelock Ellis: Philosopher of Sex A Biography

By Vincent Brome Copyright 1979

    First published in 1979, Havelock Ellis is a biography of the philosopher of sex. Havelock Ellis trained first as a doctor but soon broke out of conventional medicine to shock Victorian England with his encyclopaedic seven-volume work, Studies in the Psychology of Sex. One of the last representatives of the days when man could attempt to embrace a universal view, he wrote more than fifty books covering such diverse subjects as medicine, eugenics, love, literature, criminal law, and above all, sex. These were strewn with findings on many major problems which still trouble us today and some of his solutions remain highly contemporary. His influence permeated many areas of social thinking, and his works played a considerable part in changing attitudes towards homosexuality, the relation between the sexes and sexual patterns of behaviour. The present biography re-assesses the main themes of Ellis’ work and throws new light on many aspects of his life from a wide variety of published and unpublished sources. It also provides a new account of his relationship with Freud from unpublished sources and an evaluation of their inter-related work. This book will be of interest to students of philosophy and psychology.

    Preface Acknowledgments Prologue 1. First beginnings 2. Australian interluded 3. Medical training and Olive Schreiner 4. His writing career begins 5. Meets his wife-to-be 6. Marriage to Edith 7. Studies in sex begin 8. His wife’s lesbian experience 9. Sex studies develop 10. A typical ‘perversion’ case 11. Marital troubles 12. Sex in relation to society 13. Edith goes to America 14. Edith’s attempted suicide and death 15. A new love life 16. The dance of life 17. Freud’s relations with Ellis 18. Jealousy breaks in 19. A serious illness 20. Last years and death Epilogue Notes Bibliography Index


    Vincent Brome