Aug 18, 2022 - Sale 2613

Sale 2613 - Lot 8

Price Realized: $ 520
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 600 - $ 900


Prisons Police and Punishment: An Inquiry into the Causes and Treatment of Crime and Criminals.
London: Arthur C. Fifield, 1905. 153, [7] pages; publisher's advertisements to last 7 pages. 8vo, original rose cloth, front board with title and border stamped in black, gilt-stamped spine.

Inscribed by Carpenter: "To George Ives / in friendship from / E.C." dated March 1905 and penciled note beneath: "Whose is the work of which this is only the fore-runner?"

First and only English Edition. Inscribed by the "Gay Godfather of the British Left" to a fellow activist.
Carpenter was an English writer, reformer and lifelong advocate of gay liberation. Disenchanted with what he perceived as the hypocrisy of Victorian society, he abandoned his life in Cambridge as a scholar and cleric and moved to northern England. Referred to by many in recent years as "the gay godfather of the British left," Carpenter's radical politics and open relationship with his partner George Merrill influenced many activists and writers, including E.M. Forster, whose visit to the couple in 1913 inspired his novel "Maurice."

Additional Details

This work on prison reform, prefaced by an excerpt from The Ballad of Reading Gaol" is inscribed to a close friend and activist, George Ives. Together with several others, they founded the progressive British Society for the Study of Six Psychology, which promoted both sexual liberation and education through a rational approach to sexual conduct. Ives also independently established the Order of Chaeronea, a secret society meant to provide refuge from the prejudices of Victorian society and further the cause of gay liberation (among others, Wilde was rumored to be a member). The text itself is marked and, in a few places, annotated or corrected in ink, most likely by Ives based on the initials "G.I." after one note, but possibly by Carpenter as well. Among the work's influences is Clarence Darrow, the American lawyer who also wrote extensively on penology and prisons. A French edition was published by Schleicher in 1907.