Edward Carpenter



Edward Carpenter | Unknown photographer | Public domain | 14404

A group in Sheffield is campaigning for a permanent public tribute to Edward Carpenter which recognises his historical and social importance as a writer and political campaigner.

Edward Carpenter, 29 August 1844 – 28 June 1929, was a significant cultural and political activist who is remembered now as a pioneer of gay rights campaigning, living openly with his lover George Merrill (1866 – 1928) and writing bravely about it as the same time that Oscar Wilde was imprisoned.


One of the many editions of “Towards Democracy” | 14405

He was a friend and possibly lover of Walt Whitman, and imitated him in his own long poetry cycle Towards Democracy (1883 – 1902), which became a foundation stone of socialism. He encouraged EM Forster to ‘come out’ and write.

Edward Carpenter and George Merrill | Unknown photographer | 14406



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