The Library owns an inscribed copy of writer and homosexual rights campaigner Edward Carpenter’s 1894 publication Homogenic Love. This is one of the works in which Carpenter argued for the acceptance of same-sex love as an intrinsic feature of human existence and not deviance of some kind.
Selected Acquisitions and Discoveries
A 1907 postcard praising the acquittal of journalist Maximilian Harden (1861–1927) in the first libel trial emerging from the scandalous Eulenburg Affair. Kuno von Moltke (1847–1923) sued Harden for what amounted to outings of allegedly homosexual members of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s entourage, including Prince Philipp zu Eulenburg-Hertefeld (1847–1921), a close friend of the Kaiser.
The Journal for Sexual Science (Zeitschrift für Sexualwissenschaft) was published by Magnus Hirschfeld, starting in 1908.
Published in 1864, Vindex is Karl Heinrich Ulrichs’ first text on male homosexual affection. Writing with the pseudonym Numa Numantius, Ulrichs presents his theory of the Urnings, a prototype of modern homosexual identity that Ulrichs argues is set at birth.
Teleny (1893) was produced and circulated in a clandestine manner in fin-de-siècle London. It is reputed to be the first homoerotic novel in English, and its authorship remains disputed. It is extremely rare, and of an initial print run of 200 there are only seven remaining copies. Des Grieux (1899) is a prologue or prequel to Teleny, although it was published later. There are only three known copies of this novel, including the UBC copy. It has never been reprinted, and so very little is known about this text because it has, until recently, been inaccessible to researchers. What makes the scarcity of these books even more intriguing is the legend that Oscar Wilde may have been somehow involved in writing Teleny. Notwithstanding this attribution, however, Teleny is more likely the result of collaborative authorship among a tightly-knit coterie of queer men (some of whom may have known Wilde) in Late-Victorian London.
UBC’s acquisition of Teleny and Des Grieux has been profiled in numerous media stories. See the “Teleny and Des Grieux Media Roundup” on the RBSC website.
Adolf Wilbrandt (1837-1911) wrote the novel Fridolins heimliche Ehe in 1875. Clara Bell (1835-1927), a prolific translator, translated it into English as Fridolin’s Mystical Marriage for this edition published by William S. Gottberger in New York.
One of Sigmund Freud’s most influential publications, Die Traumdeutung (The Interpretation of Dreams), was published in late 1899 (imprint of 1900) by Franz Deuticke’s small publishing house. This first edition of Freud’s book, in which the psychoanalyst laid out his theory of the unconscious and its role in dreams, is a part of the William C. Gibson History of Medicine and Science collection.
Kurt Hiller’s §175: Die Schmach des Jahrhunderts (§175: The Disgrace of the Century) was published by the Paul Steegemann Verlag in Hanover in 1922. Hiller (1885-1972) was a lawyer, pacifist, leftist political activist, and a gay Jewish man. He was a prominent agitator for homosexual rights in the 1920s and was a member of Magnus Hirschfeld’s Scientific-Humanitarian Committee (Wissenschaftlich-humanitäres Komitee), although he did not fully subscribe to Hirschfeld’s theories of sexuality. In this publication, Hiller called for the abolishment of §175, the German law that criminalized male homosexual activity.
The dedication reads “TO YOU, and all humane people in Germany” (DIR und allen menschlichen Menschen in Deutschland).
Der Eigene: Ein Blatt für männliche Kultur was a periodical published between 1896 and 1932 presented poetry, photography, and political texts mostly related homophile interests. UBC has the 1906 volume, which was the only hardcover production of the journal.
The Camp Followers’ Guide (1965) by Niles Chignon
By offering how-to tips about the camp sensibility and “how to do it,” this light-hearted 1965 pulp title witnesses the more open-minded attitudes of the 1960s and the mainstreaming of gay subcultural styles.