The Edward Carpenter Forumec4a.jpg

Welcome To The Edward Carpenter Forum Website Issue 4

Welcome to Issue 4 of the Edward Carpenter Forum Website! It's been a bit long in the making but we hope the superb material we have for you in this issue will reward your wait. We start off with our first Special Feature - Edward Carpenter's Cambridge. It's a collection of articles covering the Forums' visit to and exploration of Carpenter's life in that City.

We are excited to provide both a report on and the premier of the online version of My Days and Dreams:  The Worlds of Edward Carpenter, Gay Freedom Pioneer, an exhibition on Carpenter mounted at the San Francisco Main Public Library.

EC Forum member Professor Michael Robertson has contributed a review essay on Sheila Rowbotham's Edward Carpenter: A Life of Liberty and Love.

We close out this issue with a report on the gathering at Carpenter's grave in Guildford to commemorate the 80th anniversary of his passing.

Noel Greig as Edward Carpenter in his play "The Dear Love of Comrades".
It was with sadness that we heard of the death of Noel Greig, on September 9th 2009. Playwright, actor, director, teacher and gay activist, Noel Greig did perhaps more than anyone to raise the profile of Edward Carpenter during the late 1970s and early 1980s and within the Gay Liberation Movement. His play on Carpenter's life, 'The Dear Love of Comrades', for the Gay Sweatshop in 1979, introduced Edward Carpenter to many, and the ground breaking 1979 BBC2 play 'Only Connect', written by Greig and Drew Griffiths, also took Carpenter for its theme. Greig's essay, in 1984, for the Gay Modern Classics' edition of Carpenter's Selected Writings remains an outstanding introduction. The following obituary links provide a fuller account of Greig's richly lived life:

As this issue goes up on the server we are preparing for Edward Carpenter's Leeds, an event to be held in Leeds, England the weekend of September 4, 2010. Organized by Paul Marshall and the EC Forum, it promises to be a fantastic look into the political and social activism and relationships of Carpenter and his friends. We look forward to seeing many of you there.

The Henry Salt Society expressed concern over the ECF Featured Essay 'The Last Years of Edward Carpenter', which appeared in our last issue (#3). The following link gives more information about their objections: . We highly recommend the Society's excellent website and the information that it gives on this important humanitarian campaigner and man of letters.

We continue to be grateful to the Sheffield City Archives, Edward Carpenter Collection, for permission to reprint photos and other materials in their collection and to Carpenter copyright holder Jonathan Cutbill for permission to publish original Carpenter writings.

Edward Carpenter (1844-1929) was a proponent of a "larger" Socialism, one that embraced the liberation of the emotional and spiritual life along with the economic. A small-holding farmer and cultural and political activist, he advocated the Simplification of Life and put his beliefs into practice. A man of letters, he published over 20 books, including his collection of poems Towards Democracy, and numerous additional articles. He campaigned through out his life on many issues of social concern, ranging from women's suffrage to the protection of the environment, from sexual emancipation to the formation of trade unions. A unifying spiritual vision underlay all of his life and work. As a homosexual man, he lived openly and in quiet celebration while his writings and example laid the foundation for the homosexual freedom movement of the twentieth century. More on Edward Carpenter...
Through his many friendships, Edward Carpenter transversed again and again the divisions of class, gender, sexuality, race and creed. Men and women from across the world and from all walks of life came into connection with each other through him and his home at Millthorpe in Derbyshire, England. Appreciative of this, the Edward Carpenter Forum welcomes a diversity of men and women from around the world and from a wide range of interest groups; social, political or academic.