January 30, 1855|
London, England, Britain
|Died||February 7, 1920
Windsor, Berkshire, England, Britain
Howard Overing Sturgis (January 30, 1855 – February 7, 1920) was an English-language novelist who wrote about same-sex love. Of American parentage, he lived and worked in Britain.
Howard Overing Sturgis was born in Britain on 30 January 1855, in London. He was born into an affluent New England American family - his father, Russell Sturgis, being the head of Baring's Bank. He had a brother, Julian, who also became a novelist. His parents sent him to be educated at Eton College. He went on to study at the University of Cambridge.
After the death of his mother in 1888 he moved with his lover, William Haynes-Smith, into a country house named Queen's Acre, near Windsor Great Park.
Sturgis's first novel, Tim: A Story of School Life (1891), was published anonymously and was dedicated to the "love that surpasses the love of women." It describes the love of two youths at boarding-school. It was followed in 1895 by All that was possible, an epistolary novel about a retired actress. Sturgis's first two novels were successful as far as sales were concerned; but his third, Belchamber (1904), failed to gain the same plaudits. Although Edith Wharton praised it, Henry James found it unsatisfactory, and afterwards Sturgis went on to publish only one short story (1908), about a lesser writer driven suicidal by the criticism of a greater, and a memorial on his friend, Anne Thackeray.
- [Anonymously published], Tim: A Story of School Life (1891)
- All That Was Possible (1895)
- Belchamber (1904)
- 'On the Pottlecombe Cornice', in Fortnightly Review (1908) [short story]
- Alan Hollinghurst, 'Don't ask Henry' [review of 2008 reissue of Belchamber], in London Review of Books; 30:19 (2008 October 9)
- M. Seymour, A Ring of Conspirators: Henry James and his literary circle (1986)
- E. Borklund, 'Howard Sturgis, Henry James and Belchamber ', in Modern Philology; 58 (1961), p. 255-269
- George Santayana, Persons and Places (1944; repr. 1986)
- E. M. Forster, 'Howard Overing Sturgis', in Abinger Harvest (1936), p. 121-129
- Edith Wharton, A Backward Glance (1934; repr. 1985)
- A. C. Benson, Memories and friends (1924)