Edward Truelove

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Edward Truelove

Edward Truelove (1809–1899) was an English radical publisher and freethinker.[1]

Life[edit]

A long-term Owenite, Truelove spent time in 1844–5 at the Queenwood community in Hampshire. He went to New Harmony, Indiana for a year, returning to London in 1846. He then acted as secretary of the John Street Institution, a Chartist base in London, for nine years. In 1871 he was secretary of the last London festival of Owenites.[2][3][4] John Stuart Mill noted in On Liberty that both Truelove and George Jacob Holyoake were rejected as jurymen at the Old Bailey in 1857, for their statements of lack of religious belief.[5]

Truelove edited the Reformer's Library series of cheap works. He acted also as publisher for the International Workingmen's Association.[6] In July 1877 he was one of the founders of the Malthusian League.[7] As were others involved in setting it up, he was also a member of the National Secular Society. He became one of the core members of the League who attended regularly, until it stopped meeting formally around 1899, with Thomas Owen Bonser, J. K. Page and William Hammond Reynolds.[8]

In 1847 Truelove was selling Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation and other works from John Street, London.[9] From 1852 to 1867 he published from 240 Strand, London;[10] in 1874 he was at 256 High Holborn.[11] The High Holborn address was that of the First International office, from about 1870.[12]

The Book-Hunter in London (1895) described Truelove as "agnostic", and as having retired from the High Holborn shop, to which he moved from the Strand, a few years earlier.[13] His personal library was sold after his death, with a catalogue published.[14]

Prosecutions[edit]

Truelove encountered legal trouble with both political and birth control publications.

Tyrannicide pamphlet[edit]

In 1858 he was prosecuted in the wake of the Orsini affair, for publishing Tyrannicide: Is it justifiable? by William Edwin Adams.[15] The prosecution was on grounds of seditious libel; a charge of blasphemy was dropped. After six months Truelove was cautioned by the judge, Lord Chief Justice Campbell, and the matter was closed.[16][17]

Obscenity charge[edit]

In 1878 Truelove was tried for publishing an edition of Robert Dale Owen's work Moral Physiology, and spent four months in Coldbath Fields Prison.[18][19][20] Prosecuted in 1877, at the instigation of the Society for the Suppression of Vice, Truelove had his trial postponed to allow the higher-profile contraception case involving Charles Bradlaugh and Annie Besant, and the publication of Charles Knowlton's The Fruits of Philosophy,[21] to come to court first. A first trial of Truelove in February 1878 led to the jury not being able to come to a verdict. He was convicted after a second trial.[22][23][24]

In legal terms, prosecutions brought during the 1870s, and prompted by the Society for the Suppression of Vice, turned on the application of the Obscene Publications Act 1857. A series of cases had been sought by Charles Hastings Collette, Secretary of the Society. It became a one-man campaign, ending in 1880 when the Society closed down.[25] Truelove had displayed Moral Physiology in his shop window, in High Holborn.[26] Witnesses for Truelove's defence were John Morrison Davidson and W. A. Hunger of the English Dialectical Society. The judge for the first trial was Lord Chief Justice Cockburn; for the second, Baron Pollock.[27]

Publications on contraception[edit]

The background in birth control was that Truelove had first published George Drysdale's The Elements of Social Science; or Physical, Sexual and Natural Religion, an influential pseudonymous text on contraception, in 1855, after Drysdale had had trouble finding a publisher; he also sold contraceptive devices.[28][29] The book, cheaply produced, had reached a 14th edition by 1876;[30] in all there were 35 editions, to 1905.[1]

Bradlaugh was accused of writing Drysdale's work; he did not know the true author, and Truelove successfully maintained Drysdale's secret.[31] Drysdale's authorship only came out in 1904, after his death.[32]

Owen's Moral Physiology was an earlier birth control book from 1830, first published in the United States.[33] Under the title Individual, Family, and National Poverty, a pamphlet version of Drysdale's work was part of the case against Truelove.[34]

Family[edit]

Truelove was married, with a wife and daughter who were suffragists.[35] The daughter was named Harriet; there was also a son, Maurice H.[36] In 1849 it was reported that he had named a young son "Mazzini", after Giuseppe Mazzini; this took place at a secular baptism on 11 November, blessing by George Jacob Holyoake, at the John Street Institution.[3][37][38]

Mrs Truelove was on good terms with Florence Nightingale, and corresponded with her.[39] Nightingale sometimes visited the bookshop in the later 1840s, when it was next to the John Street Institution.[4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b S. Chandrasekhar (1 January 2002). Reproductive Physiology and Birth Control: The Writings of Charles Knowlton and Annie Besant. Transaction Publishers. p. 77. ISBN 978-1-4128-3310-3. 
  2. ^ John Harrison (10 September 2009). Robert Owen and the Owenites in Britain and America (Routledge Revivals): The Quest for the New Moral World. Routledge. pp. 215 and note 3. ISBN 978-1-135-19140-5. 
  3. ^ a b John Harrison (10 September 2009). Robert Owen and the Owenites in Britain and America (Routledge Revivals): The Quest for the New Moral World. Routledge. p. 215 note 3. ISBN 978-1-135-19140-5. 
  4. ^ a b Mark Bostridge (26 February 2015). Florence Nightingale: The Woman and Her Legend. Penguin Books Limited. pp. clvi. ISBN 978-0-14-193080-0. 
  5. ^ s:Page:On Liberty (4th Edition).djvu/55
  6. ^ Margot C. Finn (2003). After Chartism: Class and Nation in English Radical Politics 1848-1874. Cambridge University Press. p. 116. ISBN 978-0-521-52598-5. 
  7. ^ F. D'Arcy, The Malthusian League and the Resistance to Birth Control Propaganda in Late Victorian Britain, Population StudiesVol. 31, No. 3 (Nov., 1977), pp. 429–448, at p. 429. Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. on behalf of the Population Investigation Committee DOI: 10.2307/2173367 Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/2173367
  8. ^ Rosanna Ledbetter (1976). A history of the Malthusian League, 1877-1927. Ohio State University. p. 65. ISBN 978-0-8142-0257-9. 
  9. ^ James A. Secord (20 September 2003). Victorian Sensation: The Extraordinary Publication, Reception, and Secret Authorship of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation. University of Chicago Press. p. 306. ISBN 978-0-226-15825-9. 
  10. ^ Edward Royle (15 July 1998). Robert Owen and the Commencement of the Millennium: The Harmony Community at Queenwood Farm, Hampshire, 1839-1845. Manchester University Press. p. 231 note 47. ISBN 978-0-7190-5426-6. 
  11. ^ Annie Wood Besant (10 March 2011). Annie Besant: An Autobiography. Cambridge University Press. p. 134. ISBN 978-1-108-02731-1. 
  12. ^ Henryk Katz (1992). The Emancipation of Labor: A History of the First International. Greenwood Press. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-313-27447-3. 
  13. ^ Roberts, William (1895). "The Book-Hunter in London: Historical and other studies of collectors and collecting". Internet Archive. London: E. Stock. p. 200. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  14. ^ Catalogue of Books, Pamphlets, Tracts, Etc., Chiefly Political and Controversial: From the Library of the Late Edward Truelove. To be Sold by His Executors. 1900. 
  15. ^ Christine Lattek (2006). Revolutionary Refugees: German Socialism in Britain, 1840-1860. Psychology Press. p. 183. ISBN 978-0-7146-5100-2. 
  16. ^ John Stuart Mill (19 June 2015). On Liberty, Utilitarianism and Other Essays. Oxford University Press. p. 509 note 30. ISBN 978-0-19-967080-2. 
  17. ^ Hypatia Bradlaugh Bonner; John M. Robertson (29 March 2014). Charles Bradlaugh: A Record of His Life and Work, Volume I (Illustrated). Lulu.com. p. 89. ISBN 978-1-304-99178-2. 
  18. ^ Edward Royle (15 July 1998). Robert Owen and the Commencement of the Millennium: The Harmony Community at Queenwood Farm, Hampshire, 1839-1845. Manchester University Press. p. 153 note 77. ISBN 978-0-7190-5426-6. 
  19. ^ Donald E. Pitzer (January 1997). America's Communal Utopias. Univ of North Carolina Press. p. 132 note 95. ISBN 978-0-8078-4609-4. 
  20. ^ F. H. Amphlett Micklewright. “The Rise and Decline of English Neo-malthusianism”. Population Studies 15.1 (1961): 32–51, at p. 41. Stable URL https://www.jstor.org/stable/217296
  21. ^ Knowlton, Charles (October 1891) [1840]. Besant, Annie; Bradlaugh, Charles, eds. Fruits of philosophy: a treatise on the population question. San Francisco: Reader's Library. OCLC 626706770.  View original copy.
  22. ^ Hypatia Bradlaugh Bonner; John M. Robertson (29 March 2014). Charles Bradlaugh: A Record of His Life and Work, Volume I I (Illustrated). Lulu.com. p. 29. ISBN 978-1-304-99179-9. 
  23. ^ Norman St. John-Stevas (1 January 2002). Life, Death and the Law: Law and Christian Morals in England and the United States. Beard Books. p. 53 note 1. ISBN 978-1-58798-113-5. 
  24. ^ Margaret Sanger; Michael W. Perry; H. G. Wells (September 2003). The Pivot of Civilization in Historical Perspective: The Birth Control Classic. Inkling Books. pp. 293 note 14. ISBN 978-1-58742-008-5. 
  25. ^ David Bradshaw; Rachel Potter (26 September 2013). Prudes on the Prowl: Fiction and Obscenity in England, 1850 to the Present Day. OUP Oxford. pp. 26–28. ISBN 978-0-19-969756-4. 
  26. ^ Robert Jütte (12 May 2008). Contraception: A History. Polity. p. 128. ISBN 978-0-7456-3271-1. 
  27. ^ Rosanna Ledbetter (1976). A History of the Malthusian League, 1877-1927. Ohio State University. p. 38. ISBN 978-0-8142-0257-9. 
  28. ^ Vern L. Bullough (1 January 2001). Encyclopedia of Birth Control. ABC-CLIO. pp. 100–1. ISBN 978-1-57607-181-6. 
  29. ^ Martha Vicinus (8 October 2013). A Widening Sphere (Routledge Revivals): Changing Roles of Victorian Women. Routledge. p. 212. ISBN 978-1-135-04389-6. 
  30. ^ Sally Mitchell (1 January 1981). The Fallen Angel: Chastity, Class, and Women's Reading, 1835-1880. Popular Press. p. 177. ISBN 978-0-87972-155-8. 
  31. ^ Benn, J. Miriam. "Drysdale, George". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/39447.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  32. ^ Rosanna Ledbetter (1976). A History of the Malthusian League, 1877-1927. Ohio State University. p. 38. ISBN 978-0-8142-0257-9. 
  33. ^ V. C. Medvei (15 January 1993). The History of Clinical Endocrinology: A Comprehensive Account of Endocrinology from Earliest Times to the Present Day. CRC Press. p. 196. ISBN 978-1-85070-427-0. 
  34. ^ Annie Besant (13 July 2009). Autobiographical Sketches. Broadview Press. p. 211 note. ISBN 978-1-77048-041-4. 
  35. ^ Elizabeth Crawford (15 April 2013). The Women's Suffrage Movement in Britain and Ireland: A Regional Survey. Routledge. p. 172. ISBN 978-1-136-01062-0. 
  36. ^ George Howell; David John Rowe (1972). A History of the Working Men's Association from 1836 to 1850. Graham. p. 14. 
  37. ^ Margot C. Finn (2003). After Chartism: Class and Nation in English Radical Politics 1848-1874. Cambridge University Press. p. 129. ISBN 978-0-521-52598-5. 
  38. ^ George Jacob Holyoake (1850). The Reasoner. Holyoake. p. 305. 
  39. ^ Lynn McDonald (11 December 2008). Florence Nightingale’s Suggestions for Thought: Collected Works of Florence Nightingale. Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press. p. 11. ISBN 978-1-55458-252-5. 

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