The new paperback edition of Sheila Rowbotham’s Edward Carpenter: A Life of Liberty and Love receives more praise, this time from the Guardian:
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Guardian reviews Rowbotham’s Edward Carpenter: A Life of Liberty and Love
October 27, 2009 by versouk
The pioneering polymath and activist Edward Carpenter finally receives the attention he deserves from the pioneering polymath and activist Sheila Rowbotham. Carpenter continually peeled back the hypocrisies and constraints of the rigid 19th-century British culture he was born into by developing multiple philosophies and politics that “put the emphasis on changing everyday living and behaviour”. A gay man living with his partner at the time of the Oscar Wilde trial, his campaigns against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation led him to become a fierce campaigner for women’s rights. A socialist highlighting the chronic poverty of industrial workers, he worked with trade unionists and profoundly influenced the first generation of Labour politicians. A mystic vegetarian propounding intimacy with nature, he junked his lecturing job to become a market gardener. All this, plus he found time to dabble in a spot of nudism and to introduce the sandal to Britain. Carpenter’s story is placed brilliantly and vividly in its many contexts by Rowbotham.