The Memoirs of John Addington Symonds : A Critical Edition Hardback
Edited by Amber Regis
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in History series
This edition is the first to reproduce John Addington Symonds's Memoirs in its entirety.
It offers a panoramic view of middle-class Victorian life, shedding light upon sexual cultures and life histories too often hidden from history.
Symonds (1840-93) began writing his Memoirs in 1889.
It was, he confessed, 'a foolish thing to do.' Symonds was a respected man of letters, an historian, translator, essayist and poet; he was also married with children.
But rather than unfold a simple tale of public and private achievement, the Memoirs record his struggle to reconcile his homosexuality with these professional and familial identities.
His autobiography offers a confessional account of relationships beyond the accepted bounds of nineteenth-century social mores, presenting an alternative case study that contests the legal and medical authorities that would label his desires a crime or disease.
Yet being so eloquent on matters of heterodox sexuality, the Memoirs were suppressed.
The manuscript survives because Symonds recognised its import, however 'foolish': he instructed his literary executor to preserve the text, a duty ultimately discharged by placing the manuscript under embargo in the care of the London Library.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 587 pages, 12 Tables, color; 6 Illustrations, color; 6 Illustrations, black and white; XX, 587 p. 12
- Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
- Publication Date: 21/02/2017
- Category: Literary studies: c 1800 to c 1900
- ISBN: 9781137291233