Shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize: The acclaimed biography of the pioneering advocate of free love, gay rights and women’s suffrage
The gay socialist writer Edward Carpenter had an extraordinary impact on the cultural and political landscape of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A mystic advocate of, among other causes, free love, recycling, nudism, women’s suffrage and prison reform, his work anticipated the sexual revolution of the 1960s. Sheila Rowbotham’s highly acclaimed biography 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 Goldman. Edward Carpenter is a compelling portrait of a man described by contemporaries as a ‘weather-vane’ for his times.