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Havelock Ellis - Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volumes 1,2,3,4,5. This famous series was originally published in 7 volumes by F. A. Davis Company, medical publishers, and its sale restricted to doctors and lawyers. The origin of these "Studies in the Psychology of Sex" dates from many years back. As a youth I was faced, as others are, by the problem of sex. Living partly in an Australian city where the ways of life were plainly seen, partly in the solitude of the bush, I was free both to contemplate and to meditate many ... More >>>
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Havelock Ellis - Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volumes 1,2,3,4,5. This famous series was originally published in 7 volumes by F. A. Davis Company, medical publishers, and its sale restricted to doctors and lawyers. The origin of these "Studies in the Psychology of Sex" dates from many years back. As a youth I was faced, as others are, by the problem of sex. Living partly in an Australian city where the ways of life were plainly seen, partly in the solitude of the bush, I was free both to contemplate and to meditate many things. A resolve slowly grew up within me: one main part of my life-work should be to make clear the problems of sex. That was more than twenty years ago. Since then I can honestly say that in all that I have done that resolve has never been very far from my thoughts. I have always been slowly working up to this central problem and in a book published some three years ago - Man and Woman: a "Study of Human Secondary Sexual Characters" - I put forward what was, in my own eyes, an introduction to the study of the primary questions of sexual psychology.

The first edition of this book was published in 1899, following "Sexual Inversion," which now forms Volume II. The second edition, issued by the present publishers and substantially identical with the first edition, appeared in the following year. Ten years have elapsed since then and this new edition will be found to reflect the course of that long interval. Not only is the volume greatly enlarged, but nearly every page has been partly rewritten.

Now that I have at length reached the time for beginning to publish my results, these results scarcely seem to me large. As a youth, I had hoped to settle problems for those who came after now I am quietly content if I do little more than state them. For even that, I now think, is much it is at least the half of knowledge. In this particular field the evil of ignorance is magnified by our efforts to suppress that which never can be suppressed, though in the effort of suppression it may become perverted. I have at least tried to find out what are the facts, among normal people as well as among abnormal people for, while it seems to me that the physician's training is necessary in order to ascertain the facts, the physician for the most part only obtains the abnormal facts, which alone bring little light. I have tried to get at the facts, and, having got at the facts, to look them simply and squarely in the face. If I cannot perhaps turn the lock myself, I bring the key which can alone in the end rightly open the door: the key of sincerity. That is my one panacea: sincerity. - HAVELOCK ELLIS.

About Author:

Havelock Ellis (1859-1939)

English essayist, psychologist, a pioneer in establishing a modern, scientific approach to the study of sex. Ellis's magnum opus was Studies in the Psychology of Sex (7 vols., 1897-1928). Until 1935 his work was legally available only to the medical profession. Ellis became known as a champion of women's rights and of sex education, but his autobiography My Life (1939) reveals his marital problems and unhappiness in his own sexual life.

"All advance in social reform, even when it involves surgery, is, and always has been, effected by heroic pioneers who are ready to act, and even, if need be, to become martyrs. They slowly win the world to their side. The law limps behind." (from Questions of Our Day, 1934)

Henry Havelock Ellis was born in Croydon, Surrey, as the son of Edward Peppen Ellis, a sea captain, and Susannah Mary (Wheatley) Ellis. He was educated at private schools in London. At the age of sixteen he made a voyage to Australia in a ship under his father's command. He worked there as a teacher in New South Wales, where he underwent an inner transformation. Later Ellis returned to this experience in the novel Kanga Creek (1922) and his autobiography: "Yet there has never been a moment when the foundation and background of my life have not been marked by the impress they received at Sparke's Creek." After four years, he returned to England. Ellis entered St. Thomas' Hospital, London, where he studied medicine from 1881 to 1889. However, after qualifying he practiced only for a short time. In 1891, Ellis married the English writer Edith Lees; he was still a virgin. From the beginning, their marriage was unconventional - the wedding breakfast consisted of porridge and at the end of the honeymoon, Ellis went back to his barchelor rooms in Paddington. Edith lived at Fellowship house. Their stormy relationship was the central subject in Ellis's autobiography, My Life. None of Ellis's four sisters ever married. "If men and women are to understand each other," Ellis once said, "to enter into each other's nature with mutual sympathy, and to become capable of genuine comradeship, the foundation must be laid in youth."

In 1883 Ellis met the South African writer Olive Schreiner. He did not aswer to her expectations, but they remained close friends until her death in 1920. "We were not what can be technically, or even ordinarily, called lover," Ellis said later. In On Life and Sex: Essays of Love and Virtue (1921) Ellis referred to Schreiner's Woman and Labour (1911) and her theory that modern society produces a tendency to parasitism in women: "...they no longer exercise the arts and industries which were theirs in former ages, and so they become economically dependent on men, losing their energies and aptitudes, and becoming like those dull parasitic animals which live as blood-suckers of their host." The letters of Schreiner and Ellis were published in 1992. It has been speculated that their relationship was unconsummated. Ellis suffered from impotence until he was about 60. With the help of a devoted lover, he finally cured the problem, and remained sexually active until he was 72. "I am regarded as an authority on sex, a fact which sometimes amused one or two (though not all) of my intimate women friends," Ellis wrote in his autobiography.

During his time as a medical student, Ellis began writing for magazines, and become a staff member of the Westminster Review. At the meetings the Fellowship of the New Life Ellis met G.B. Shaw (1856-1950) and other progressive thinkers, but when Shaw was attracted by Socialism and collective action, Ellis focused on the problems of individuals. However, Edward Carpenter's poem Towards Democracy (1883-1902), about the march of humanity toward socialism, inspired Ellis so much, that he sent Carpenter a letter, which started their long friendship. In 1887 he became editor of the Mermaid Series of unexpurgated reprints of Elizabethan and Jacobean drama. He worked on this project with such writers as Arthur Symons (1865-1945), A.C. Swinburne (1837-1909). His first work of nonfiction, The Criminal (1890), appeared in the Contemporary Science Series, which he edited until 1914. In 1894 he published Man and Woman, which was translated into many languages. Around the turn of the century he experimented with the hallucinogen mescal, preceding Aldous Huxley who also studied hallucinogenic substances.

Ellis's increasing concern with sexual matters let to Studies in the Psychology of Sex. It appeared in six volumes from 1897 to 1910. A seventh volume was published in 1928. The work explored sexual relations largely from a biological and multicultural perspective. Especially Ellis was interested in the typical sexual behavior of humans, paving way to the surveys of Alfred Kinsey and other modern writers on sexual topics. He objected Freud's application of adult sexual terms to infants, and tried to demystify human sexuality - most of his English readers were raised in the asexual, ignorant, and prejudiced Victorian climate. Masturbation, he assured his readers, did not inevitably lead to serious illness. Ellis himself liked to watch women urinating. Once he persuaded his lover Francoise Cyon to do so in Oxford Circus. "I think almost all civilized people are in some way what would be thought abnormal," said Bertrand Russel in his Autobiography after reading Ellis's work, "and they suffer because they don't know that really ever so many people are just like them."

Sexual Inversion was published in Germany in 1896 under the title Das kontrare Geschechtsfuhl. When the book appeared in Britain, George Bedborough, the bookseller, who had stocked it, was prosecuted, and a British judge declare the Studies obscene. Just a few years earlier Oscar Wilde had been condemned for the crime of sodomy. In his work Ellis had presented some 80 cases of homosexual males, concluding that homosexual behavior was not a disease or a crime. The subsequent volumes of the Studies were published in the United States by F.A. Davis Company in Philadelphia. The seventh volume, Eonism and Other Supplementary Studies, appeared in 1928. After the ban was lifted, Random House produced to general readers a four-volume series of the work. The last years of his life Ellis spent in retirement near Ipswich, is Suffolk. Ellis died on July 8, 1939 in Hintlesham, Suffolk. Havelock Ellis's library was purchased by Yale University in 1941. The FBI also has files on Ellis.

With The Task of Social Hygiene (1912) Ellis participated in the discussion about eugenics - he supported it strongly 'the science and art of Good Breeding in the human race': "Eventually, it seems evident, a general system, whether private or public, whereby all personal facts, biological and mental, normal and morbid, are duly and systematically registered, must become inevitable if we are to have a real guide as to those persons who are most fit, or most unfit to carry on the race. Unless they are full and frank such records are useless." Thus Ellis did not condemn Nazi sterilization programmes, because they had scientific premises and "need not become mixed up in the Nordic and anti-semitic aspects of Nazi aspiration." (in Studies in the Psychology of Sex, vol. 6, 1937) Ellis also wrote on such authors as Casanova, Nietzsche, Henrik Ibsen, Walt Whitman, and Leo Tolstoy. His essays on French writers were collected under the title From Rousseau to Proust (1935). A new edition of The Soul of Spain (1908), with an introductory essay on the Spanish Civil War, appeared in 1937. His essays from 1884 to 1932 on literature and art were reprinted in Views and Reviews (1932). Thousands of people wrote Ellis asking him for advice on sexual matters. His correspondence he utilized in My Confessional (1934), a collection of essays.

For further reading: Havelock Ellis, Philosopher of Love by H. Peterson (1928); Friendship's Odyssey by F.R. Delisle (1946); Sage of Sex: A Life of Havelock Ellis by A. Calder-Marshall (1959); Havelock Ellis, Artist of Life by John Stewart Collis (1959); The Modernization of Sex: Havelock Ellis, Alfred Kinsey, William Masters and Virginia Johnson by Paul Robinson (1976); Havelock Ellis, Philosopher of Sex by V. Brome (1979); Havelock Ellis: a Biography by P. Grosskurth (1980); 'Ellis, (Henry) Havelock', in World Authors 1900-1950, vol. 2, ed. by Martin Seymour-Smith and Andrew C. Kimmens (1996); The Pursuit of Serenity: Havelock Ellis and the New Politics by Chris Nottingham (1999) - For further information: Henry Havelock Ellis 1859-1939

Selected works:

* ed.: Christopher Marlowe... With a General Introduction on the English Drama During the Reigns of Elizabeth and James I by J.A. Symonds, 1887
* ed.: The Prose Writings of Heinrich Heine, 1887
* ed.: T[homas] Middleton, 1887-1890 (2 vols)
* ed.: John Ford, 1888
* ed.: Nero and Other Plays, 1888 (with others)
* ed: The Pillars of Society, and Other Plays (by H. Ibsen), 1888
* The Criminal, 1890
* The New Spirit, 1890
* The Nationalisation of Health, 1892
* Man and Woman: A Study of Secondary and Tertiary Sexual Characteristics, 1894 (rev. ed. in 1929)
* Sexual Inversion, 1897 (with J.A. Symonds)
* Affirmations, 1898
* The Evolution of Modesty, The Phenomena of Sexual Periodicity, Auto-Erotism, 1900
* The Nineteenth Century, 1900
* Analysis of the Sexual Impulse, Love and Pain, The Sexual Impulse in Women, 1903
* A Study of British Genius, 1904
* Sexual Selection in Man, 1905
* Erotic Symbolism, The Mechanism of Detumescence, The Psychic State in Pregnancy, 1906
* The Soul of Spain, 1908
* Sex in Relation to Society, 1910
* The Problem of Race-Regeneration, 1911
* The World of Dreams, 1911
* The Task of Social Hygiene, 1912
* Impressions and Comments, 1914-1924 (3 vols.)
* Essays in War-Time, 1916
* The Philosophy of Conflict, 1919
* On Life and Sex: Essays of Love and Virtue, 1921
* Kanga Creek, 1922
* Little Essays of Love and Virtue, 1922
* The Dance of Life, 1923
* translator: Germinal (by Zola), 1924
* Sonnets, with Folk Songs from the Spanish, 1925
* Eonism and Other Supplementary Studies, 1928
* The Art of Life, 1929 (selected and arranged by Mrs. S. Herbert)
* More Essays of Love and Virtue, 1931
* ed.: James Hinton: Life in Nature, 1931
* Views and Reviews, 1932
* Psychology of Sex, 1933
* ed.: Imaginary Conversations and Poems: A Selection, by Walter Savage Landor, 1933
* Chapman, 1934
* My Confessional, 1934
* Questions of Our Day, 1934
* From Rousseau to Proust, 1935
* Selected Essays, 1936
* Poems, 1937 (selected by John Gawsworth; pseudonym of T. Fytton Armstrong)
* Love and Marriage, 1938 (with others)
* My Life, 1939
* Sex Compatibility in Marriage, 1939
* From Marlowe to Shaw, 1950 (ed. by J. Gawsworth)
* The Genius of Europe, 1950
* Sex and Marriage, 1951 (ed. by J. Gawsworth)
* The Unpublished Letters of Havelock Ellis to Joseph Ishill, 1954
* The Letters of Olive Schreiner and Havelock Ellis, 1992 (ed. by Yaffa Claire Draznin)