19 Facts About Edward Carpenter


Edward Carpenter was an English utopian socialist, poet, philosopher, anthologist, an early activist for gay rights and prison reform whilst advocating vegetarianism and taking a stance against vivisection.

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At Trinity Hall, Carpenter came under the influence of Christian Socialist theologian F D Maurice.

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In 1871 Edward Carpenter was invited to become tutor to the royal princes George Frederick and his elder brother, Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence, but declined the position.

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Edward Carpenter found great solace in reading poetry, later remarking that his discovery of the work of Walt Whitman caused "a profound change" in him.

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Edward Carpenter was voluntarily released from the Anglican ministry and left the church in 1874 and moved to Leeds, becoming a lecturer as part of University Extension Movement, which was formed by academics who wished to widen access to education in deprived communities.

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Edward Carpenter lectured in astronomy, the lives of ancient Greek women and music and had hoped to lecture to the working classes, but found his lectures were mostly attended by middle class people, many of whom showed little active interest in the subjects he taught.

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Edward Carpenter popularised the phrase the "Simple Life" in his essay Simplification of Life in his England's Ideal .

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Edward Carpenter'sffield architect Raymond Unwin was a frequent visitor to Millthorpe and the simple revival of vernacular English architecture at Millthorpe and Carpenter's 'simple life' there were powerful influences on Unwin's later Garden City architecture and ideals, suggesting as they did a coherent but radical new lifestyle.

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Edward Carpenter lived with Cecil Reddie from 1888 to 1889 and in 1889 helped Reddie found Abbotsholme School in Derbyshire as a notably progressive alternative to the traditional public school, with the financial support of Robert Muirhead and William Cassels.

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In May 1889, Edward Carpenter wrote a piece in the Sheffield Independent calling Sheffield the laughing-stock of the civilized world and said that the giant thick cloud of smog rising out of Sheffield was like the smoke arising from Judgment Day, and that it was the altar on which the lives of many thousands would be sacrificed.

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Edward Carpenter later recounted that it was a visit to Millthorpe in 1913 that inspired him to write his gay-themed novel, Maurice.

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Edward Carpenter made a profound impression on me and touched a creative spring.

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Relationship between Edward Carpenter and Merrill was an inspiration for the relationship between Maurice Hall and Alec Scudder, the gamekeeper in Maurice.

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Edward Carpenter was devastated and he sold their house and lodged for a short time, with his companion and carer Ted Inigan, at 17 Wodeland Avenue, just a short walk from Mountside.

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Edward Carpenter lived another 13 months before he died on 28 June 1929, aged 84.

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Edward Carpenter was interred in the same grave as Merrill at the Mount Cemetery in Guildford under a lengthy invocation written by Carpenter.

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Edward Carpenter was a friend of Rabindranath Tagore, and of Walt Whitman.

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Fenner Brockway, in a 1929 obituary of Edward Carpenter, acknowledged him as an influence on Brockway and his associates when young.

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Edward Carpenter was sometimes called "the English Tolstoy" and Tolstoy himself considered him "a worthy heir of Carlyle and Ruskin".

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