Havelock Ellis

On this date in 1859, Henry Havelock Ellis was born in England. The sociologist, who also earned a medical doctor's degree, wrote notably on the psychology of sex and criminal reform. His writings include Man and Woman (1894), Sexual Inversion (1897), which advanced the idea that homosexuality is not a disease or a crime, Affirmations (1897), where his agnostic views are found, and My Life (posthumous, 1940). His landmark 6-volume Studies in the Psychology of Sex, was published between 1897-1910. The forward-thinking sexologist's views—considered so controversial a bookseller was arrested for selling one of his books—are largely accepted today. Ellis hobnobbed with such notables as Olive Schreiner, George Bernard Shaw, A.C. Swinburne and Margaret Sanger. D. 1939.

“Had there been a Lunatic Asylum in the suburbs of Jerusalem, Jesus Christ would infallibly have been shut up in it at the outset of his public career. That interview with Satan on a pinnacle of the Temple would alone have damned him, and everything that happened after could have confirmed the diagnosis. The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence from Jerusalem of a Lunatic Asylum.”

—Havelock Ellis, "Impression and Comments"

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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