For a long time I’ve been thinking that I should have a ‘filler’ post, something that keeps me in touch especially when I’m having a dry patch with reviews. I’m inspired by so many brilliant regular posts that I see, but I can’t decide what mine should be about, I have decided though that it’s time to stop thinking and time to get on with it. So no themes to start with just a miscellany of indulgent randomness that hopefully will build into something of a scrapbook and maybe a pattern will start to emerge.
In my recent review This Side Of Paradise I mentioned that Amory Blaine included Edward Carpenter in his list of forward thinkers and that he was one of my hero’s too, so my first random post is going to be:
Edward Carpenter 1844-1929
Social reformer, poet and writer Edward Carpenter was a pioneering supporter of womens rights and an early campaigner for gay rights. Strongly influenced by Walt Whitman, his home which he shared with his life long partner George Merrill became an informal refuge and is where E.M. Forster was inspired to write Maurice.
A market gardener he railed against pollution and helped to coin the phrase ‘the simple life’. After visiting India he became a passionate advocate for sandals, he made his own and in this photograph taken in 1905 by Alfred Mattinson, I think rocks the socks and sandals look!
I discovered Edward Carpenter through reading about his friend and fellow Fabian Olive Schreiner and not long afterwards saw this painting by Roger Fry at the National Portrait Gallery in London.
Painted in oils in 1894 Fry has painted his close friend in his ‘anarchist overcoat’.