John Addington Symonds
London: privately printed for the Areopagitica Society, 1908
Symonds’ work, published privately, was an expression of his own sexuality which he was unable to make in his own lifetime, and was arguably the very first published use of the word ‘homosexual’. However, it again championed the feasibility of a mutual sexual relationship between men and boys. It is shown here alongside The Spirit Lamp, an undergraduate Oxford magazine featuring Symonds and other ‘Uranian’ works, including the poetry of its editor, Lord Alfred Douglas. Douglas also received original work from Wilde to publish here, long before his trial. However, the magazine also featured many canonical authors who could not be defined in any way as queer, and it underlines the central place in literary culture of the day occupied by a short-lived ‘Uranian’ clique.