Via the LRB, Colm Tóibín reviews Edward Carpenter: A Life of Liberty and Love by Sheila Rowbotham:

In 1897 Edward Carpenter, among others, had joined a small group outside the Spanish Embassy in London to protest against the treatment of the anarchists in Barcelona. Carpenter wrote the preface for a leaflet called ‘Revival of the Inquisition’, which argued, perhaps incorrectly, that the bomb they were accused of throwing was in fact thrown by an agent provocateur...

Carpenter was born in 1844 and attended Cambridge, where he took orders and had sexual dreams about his fellow students. Having left Cambridge, unhappy with its stuffiness, he began to give lectures to working men and women in the North of England. Eventually he moved to Sheffield where, having inherited capital on the death of his father, he built a house, Millthorpe Cottage, near the village of Holmesfield, where he lived for most of the rest of his life (more...)

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