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Ellis in 1923
2 February 1859|
|Died||8 July 1939
Henry Havelock Ellis, known as Havelock Ellis (2 February 1859 – 8 July 1939), was a British physician, writer, and social reformer who studied human sexuality. He was co-author of the first medical textbook in English on homosexuality in 1897, and also published works on a variety of sexual practices and inclinations, including transgender psychology. He is credited with introducing the notions of narcissism and autoeroticism, later adopted by psychoanalysis. He served as president of the Galton Institute and, like many intellectuals of his era, supported eugenics 
Early life and teaching career 
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Ellis, son of Edward Peppen Ellis and Susannah Mary Wheatley, was born in Croydon, then a small town south of London. He had four sisters, none of whom married. His father was a sea captain, his mother the daughter of a sea captain, and many other relatives lived on or near the sea. At seven years of age, his father took him on one of his voyages, during which they called at Sydney, Callao and Antwerp. After his return, Ellis attended the French and German College near Wimbledon, and afterward attended a school in Mitcham.
In April 1875, Ellis sailed on his father's ship for Australia; soon after his arrival in Sydney, he obtained a position as a master at a private school. After the discovery of his lack of training, he became a tutor for a family living a few miles from Carcoar. He spent a year there, doing a lot of reading, and then obtained a position as a master at a grammar school in Grafton. The headmaster had died and Ellis carried on the school for that year, but was too young and inexperienced to do so successfully.
At the end of the year, he returned to Sydney and, after three months' training, was given charge of two government part-time elementary schools, one at Sparkes Creek, near Scone, New South Wales and the other at Junction Creek. He lived at the school house on Sparkes Creek for a year, which turned out to be the most eventful year of his life until then. He wrote in his autobiography, "In Australia, I gained health of body, I attained peace of soul, my life task was revealed to me, I was able to decide on a professional vocation, I became an artist in literature . . . these five points covered the whole activity of my life in the world. Some of them I should doubtless have reached without the aid of the Australian environment, scarcely all, and most of them I could never have achieved so completely if chance had not cast me into the solitude of the Liverpool Range." 
Medicine and psychology 
Ellis returned to England in April 1879. He had decided to take up the study of sex, and felt his first step must be to qualify as a physician. He studied at St Thomas's Hospital Medical School, but never had a regular medical practice. His training was aided by a small legacy and also income earned from editing works in the Mermaid Series of lesser known Elizabethan and Jacobean drama. He joined The Fellowship of the New Life in 1883, meeting other social reformers Eleanor Marx, Edward Carpenter and George Bernard Shaw.
The 1897 English translation of Ellis' book Sexual Inversion, co-authored with John Addington Symonds and originally published in German in 1896, was the first English medical textbook on homosexuality. (German was then considered the language of science.) It describes the sexual relations of homosexual males, including men with boys. Ellis wrote the first objective study of homosexuality, as he did not characterise it as a disease, immoral, or a crime. The work assumes that same-sex love transcended age taboos as well as gender taboos. Seven of his twenty-one case studies are of inter-generational relationships.
In 1897 a bookseller was prosecuted for stocking Ellis' book. Although the term homosexual is attributed to Ellis, he wrote in 1897, "'Homosexual' is a barbarously hybrid word, and I claim no responsibility for it." The word provoking this comment is made up of Greek (homo-) and Latin (-sexual) roots.
Ellis developed other important psychological concepts, such as autoerotism and narcissism, both of which were later developed further by Sigmund Freud. Ellis' influence may have reached Radclyffe Hall, who would have been about 17 years old at the time Sexual Inversion was published. She later referred to herself as a sexual invert and wrote of female "sexual inverts" in Miss Ogilvy Finds Herself and The Well of Loneliness. When Ellis bowed out as the star witness in the trial of The Well of Loneliness on 14 May 1928, Norman Haire was set to replace him but no witnesses were called.
Ellis studied what today are called transgender phenomena. Together with Magnus Hirschfeld, Havelock Ellis is considered a major figure in the history of sexology to establish a new category that was separate and distinct from homosexuality. Aware of Hirschfeld's studies of transvestism, but disagreeing with his terminology, in 1913 Ellis proposed the term sexo-aesthetic inversion to describe the phenomenon. In 1920 he coined the term eonism, which he derived from the name of a historical figure, Chevalier d'Eon. Ellis explained:
|“||On the psychic side, as I view it, the Eonist is embodying, in an extreme degree, the aesthetic attitude of imitation of, and identification with, the admired object. It is normal for a man to identify himself with the woman he loves. The Eonist carries that identification too far, stimulated by a sensitive and feminine element in himself which is associated with a rather defective virile sexuality on what may be a neurotic basis.||”|
Ellis found eonism to be "a remarkably common anomaly", and "next in frequency to homosexuality among sexual deviations", and categorized it as "among the transitional or intermediate forms of sexuality." As in the Freudian tradition, Ellis postulated that a "too close attachment to the mother" may encourage eonism, but also considered that it "probably invokes some defective endocrine balance". Today, his notion of eonism has been abandoned in favor of autogynephilia, a term with a simpler definition coined by Ray Blanchard.
In November 1891, at the age of 32, and still a virgin, Ellis married the English writer and proponent of women's rights, Edith Lees. From the beginning, their marriage was unconventional, as Edith Lees was openly lesbian. At the end of the honeymoon, Ellis went back to his bachelor rooms in Paddington. She lived at Fellowship House. Their "open marriage" was the central subject in Ellis's autobiography, My Life.
According to Ellis in My Life, his friends were much amused at his being considered an expert on sex. Some knew that he suffered from impotence until the age of 60. He then discovered that he could become aroused by the sight of a woman urinating. Ellis named this "undinism". It is now more commonly called urolagnia. After his wife, Edith Lees, died, Ellis formed a relationship with Francoise Lafitte who was French. She found his desire for "undinism" charming and indulged it with him.
Ellis was a supporter of eugenics, in line with the progressive thinking of the era. He served as vice-president to the Eugenics Education Society and wrote on the subject, among others, in The Task of Social Hygiene:
"Eventually, it seems evident, a general system, whether private or public, whereby all personal facts, biological and mental, normal and morbid, are duly and systematically registered, must become inevitable if we are to have a real guide as to those persons who are most fit, or most unfit to carry on the race."
- The Criminal (1890)
- The New Spirit (1890)
- The Nationalisation of Health (1892)
- Man and Woman: A Study of Secondary and Tertiary Sexual Characteristics (1894) (revised 1929)
- translator: Germinal (by Zola) (1895) (reissued 1933)
- Sexual Inversion (1897) (with J.A. Symonds)
- Affirmations (1898)
- The Evolution of Modesty, The Phenomena of Sexual Periodicity, Auto-Erotism (1900)
- The Nineteenth Century (1900)
- Analysis of the Sexual Impulse, Love and Pain, The Sexual Impulse in Women (1903)
- A Study of British Genius (1904)
- Sexual Selection in Man (1905)
- Erotic Symbolism, The Mechanism of Detumescence, The Psychic State in Pregnancy (1906)
- The Soul of Spain (1908)
- Sex in Relation to Society (1910)
- The Problem of Race-Regeneration (1911)
- The World of Dreams (1911)
- The Task of Social Hygiene (1912)
- Impressions and Comments (1914–1924) (3 vols.)
- Essays in War-Time (1916)
- The Philosophy of Conflict (1919)
- On Life and Sex: Essays of Love and Virtue (1921)
- Kanga Creek: An Australian Idyll (1922)
- Little Essays of Love and Virtue (1922)
- The Dance of Life (1923)
- Sonnets, with Folk Songs from the Spanish (1925)
- Eonism and Other Supplementary Studies (1928)
- The Art of Life (1929) (selected and arranged by Mrs. S. Herbert)
- More Essays of Love and Virtue (1931)
- ed.: James Hinton: Life in Nature (1931)
- Views and Reviews (1932)
- Psychology of Sex (1933)
- ed.: Imaginary Conversations and Poems: A Selection, by Walter Savage Landor (1933)
- Chapman (1934)
- My Confessional (1934)
- Questions of Our Day (1934)
- From Rousseau to Proust (1935)
- Selected Essays (1936)
- Poems (1937) (selected by John Gawsworth; pseudonym of T. Fytton Armstrong)
- Love and Marriage (1938) (with others)
- My Life (1939)
- Sex Compatibility in Marriage (1939)
- From Marlowe to Shaw (1950) (ed. by J. Gawsworth)
- The Genius of Europe (1950)
- Sex and Marriage (1951) (ed. by J. Gawsworth)
- The Unpublished Letters of Havelock Ellis to Joseph Ishill (1954)
- Grosskurth, Phyllis (1980), Havelock Ellis : a biography, A. Lane, ISBN 978-0-7139-1071-1, p. 412
- Ellis, Havelock (1967), My life ([New ed.] ed.), Spearman, retrieved 14 April 2013, p. 139
- Thomson, Robert (1968). The Pelican History of Psychology (First ed.). Pelican. p. 463. ISBN 0-14-020904-2.
- Das Konträre Geschlechtsgefühle. Leipzig, 1896. See White, Chris (1999). Nineteenth-Century Writings on Homosexuality. CRC Press. p. 66.
- Online Etymology Dictionary at www.etymonline.com
- Souhami, Diana (1998), The trials of Radclyffe Hall, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, ISBN 978-0-297-81825-0 p. 197
- Richard Ekins, Dave King, The transgender phenomenon, SAGE, 2006, ISBN 0-7619-7163-7, pp. 61-64
- Ellis, Albert. Psychology of Sex.
- Joel S. Milner; Cynthia Dopkie (1997). In Richard Laws and William Donahue. Sexual Deviance: Theory, Assessment, and Treatment. New York: Guilford Press. p. 408-414. ISBN 1572302410.
- Andrew Brink (1980), "Havelock Ellis: eros and explanation (review of Phyllis Grosskurth, Havelock Ellis: a Biography)", Russell: the Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies 100 (1)
- Wyndham, Diana; Kirby, M. D. (Michael Donald), 1939- (2012), Norman Haire and the study of sex, Sydney University Press, ISBN 978-1-74332-006-8, p. 242.
- Views and Reviews at www.gutenberg.net.au
Further reading 
- Serle, Percival (1949). "Ellis, Henry Havelock". Dictionary of Australian Biography. Sydney: Angus and Robertson.
- Grosskurth, Phyllis (1980). Havelock Ellis: A Biography. New York: Random House.
- Nathan Hale: Freud and the Americans: The Beginnings of Psychoanalysis in the United States, 1876-1917. Freud in America, Volume 1, Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; First Edition 1971, ISBN 0-19-501427-8
- Calder-Marshall, Arthur Havelock Ellis: A Biography. London: Rupert Hart-Davis. (1959). U.S. title The Sage of Sex: A Life of Havelock Ellis. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons. (1960).
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- Works by Havelock Ellis at Project Gutenberg
- Mescal: A New Artificial Paradise
- Archival material relating to Havelock Ellis listed at the UK National Archives
- Works by or about Havelock Ellis in libraries (WorldCat catalog)