Comfort Correspondence

Scope and Content

Correspondence between Alexander Comfort and A C Boyd, concerning a compilation of a bibliography of Comfort's works for the 'Cambridge Bibliograph of English Literature: 20th Century Supplement'

Administrative / Biographical History

Born in London, 1920; educated at Highgate School, Trinity College Cambridge (Robert Styring Scholar, Classics, and Senior Scholar, Natural Sciences), and the London Hospital (Scholar); visited Buenos Aires and West Africa, 1936; refused military service in World War Two, 1939-1945; 1st Class Natural Science Tripos, Part I, 1940; 2nd Class Natural Science Tripos, 1st Division (Pathology), 1941; BA, 1943; married Ruth Muriel Harris, 1943; Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Cambridge, 1944; Member of the Royal College of Surgeons and Licentiate, Royal College of Physicians, London, 1944; MA, Cambridge, 1945; Diploma in Child Health, London, 1945; one son, Nicholas, born, 1946; Lecturer in Physiology, London Hospital Medical College, 1948-1951; PhD in Biochemistry, London, 1949; Honorary Research Associate, Department of Zoology, University College London, 1951-1973; DSc in Gerontology, London, 1963; Director of Research in Gerontology, Zoology Department, University College London, 1966-1973; President, British Society for Research on Ageing, 1967; first marriage dissolved and married Jane Tristram Henderson (d 1991), 1973; Clinical Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, Stanford University, 1974-1983; Professor, Department of Pathology, University of California School of Medicine, Irvine, 1976-1978; Consultant psychiatrist, Brentwood VA Hospital, Los Angeles, 1978-1981; Adjunct Professor, Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of California at Los Angeles, from 1980; Consultant, Ventura County Hospital (Medical Education), from 1981; member of the Royal Society of Medicine; member of the American Psychiatric Association; a prolific author, best known for books on sexual behaviour - in which he advocated greater sexual freedom, including the bestselling and widely translated 'The Joy of Sex' and its sequels - but wrote on a diverse range of subjects; an anarchist, and published works on anarchy; a pacifist, and active in the movement for nuclear disarmament; died in Banbury, Oxfordshire, 2000.

Access Information


The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.

Acquisition Information

Acquired by UCL Library in 1970 from Alan Hancox.

Other Finding Aids

Collection level description

Related Material

University College London Special Collections also holds the Alex Comfort Papers; letters to Alex Comfort from Os and Margaret Marron, 1945-1946 (Ref: MS ADD 111); a letter from Hugh Harris, 1953, one from Robert Greacen, 1965, and one from Philip O'Connor, 1968 (Ref: MS ADD 160); a letter to Comfort from Herbert Read, 1943 (Ref: MS MISC 4R); galley proof of Robert Greacen's 'Even Without Irene', 1968, including a description of Comfort (Ref: MS MISC 5G); various fiction and non-fiction publications by Alex Comfort.

State University of New York College at Buffalo holds correspondence and literary papers.