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Sex-Love, And Its Place In A Free Society

Manchester: The Labour Press Society, 1894

12mo, pp. 24. Original paper wrappers in raw sienna, hand-sewn, lettered in gilt on front panel. A little inevitable wear and creasing to the oversized wrappers, slight loss at head of spine, contents a touch browned. A near fine copy of a very fragile book.

First edition.
In 1894 and 1895, Carpenter used a small Socialist publishing house in Manchester, The Labour Press Society, to publish four pamphlets on gender and sexuality. In this, the first of them, Carpenter argues for a more mature public approach to the subject of sexuality: sex education, open discussion of the subject between parents and children, and a recognition that sex is a fundamental part of life and love, and should be celebrated as such. Radical as these sentiments were in the Britain of the 1890s, Carpenter, a homosexual and one of Britiain's first gay activists, was actually softening up his audience for more incendiary ideas to come: in his later pamphlets, notably An Unknown People, he would argue that such acceptance should also be extended to same-sex couples.
Very scarce: there are a handful of institutional copies, but this fragile item is rarely offered for sale.

Keywords: Edward Carpenter


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