Henry Havelock Ellis (1859-1939) was an influential British physician, psychologist, and author. A prolific writer, Ellis quickly rose to the forefront, along with George Bernard Shaw and Margaret Sanger, as a modern thinker who challenged the Victorian taboo against discussing sex frankly.
In 1896 Ellis published “Das konträre Geschlechtsgefühl” (The Contrary Sexual Sense), the first contribution to what eventually became a seven-volume series: Studies in the Psychology of Sex. The book had begun as a collaborative work with John Addington Symonds, who died in 1893. Hence the book, though largely by Ellis, was issued as the joint work of Ellis and Symonds. Always seeking to place a positive valorization on the matter, Ellis depicted homosexual behavior as common and natural.
When the monograph was published in England in 1897, under the title "Sexual Inversion," it elicited official condemnation: a bookseller was prosecuted for stocking it. Shortly afterwards it was withdrawn, though it was soon published in the United States. Such was the climate of prudery in his own country that Ellis’ sexological works could not be sold openly there until 1936.
A heterosexual, Ellis married the lesbian writer Edith Lees in November 1891. It was an open marriage for both partners.
Pages in category "Ellis, Havelock"
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