Mrs. Havelock Ellis
Berkeley Heights, N.J.: privately printed by the Free Spirit Press, [c1924]
[S.L.] II [Ellis – 1924] Vol. II
A novelist, biographer and campaigner for women’s rights, Edith Lees’s identity is subsumed into that of her husband here. Recent commentary has suggested that her openly lesbian identity was similarly forced upon her by her husband, who misinterpreted less easily categorised feelings. Reminiscent of Havelock, Edith here accounts for Wilde’s queerness by suggesting that ‘his mother had longed for a girl,’ leaving him cursed with ‘misguided femininity’ and somehow ‘a woman as well as a man’. Such thoughts remind us that even those who campaigned for understanding of LGBTQ+ lives, and lived them, are still prone to reductive stereotypes.