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Wisdom, J.O. (1984). The Psychical Self of Havelock Ellis. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 11:413-415.

(1984). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 11:413-415

The Psychical Self of Havelock Ellis

J. O. Wisdom


An unparalleled biography of Havelock Ellis by Phyllis Grosskurth describes not only his opening up the subject of sex and pioneering contraception but goes in considerable detail into his warm intimate relations with a large number of women; these relations were never consummated; his wife was a lesbian.

Starting from my recent hypothesis of androgyny, the application is that while other men have had to come to terms with the femininity in their personality. Ellis could not accept his masculinity. Classical analysis might have thought him a latent homosexual; the present conjecture is that he was a 'lesbian'.

This hypothesis has to explain a very strange activity he went in for, to enquire what his women consorts wanted, and also to explain what became of the masculine strands in his nature.

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