'Sage of Holmesfield' newspaper correspondence

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 Eng 1331/2/5
  • Former Reference
      GB 133 R101317.
  • Dates of Creation
      31 Mar-26 Apr 1909, 4 Jun n.y.
  • Physical Description
      11 pieces.

Scope and Content

This class contains cuttings taken from the Sheffield Daily Telegraph; these are principally letters to the editor printed under the title 'The Sage of Holmesfield'. The correspondence was initiated by a letter from Carpenter himself, protesting against the publication of a pamphlet by M.D. O'Brien entitled Socialism and Infamy: the Homogenic or Comrade Love Exposed, an Open Letter in Plain Words for a Socialist Prophet, to Edward Carpenter, M.A. (see Eng 2/4/12 for a copy of this pamphlet). O'Brien came from Dronfield, near Carpenter's home at Millthorpe, and in this pamphlet he voiced his vicious anti-socialist feelings and expressed his suspicions of Carpenter's advocation of 'comradeship', with its implications of homosexuality. He attacked in particular Carpenter's essay, Homogenic Love, first published in pamphlet form for private circulation in 1894, and subsequently incorporated into the volume, The Intermediate Sex (1908).

The correspondence includes letters from both Carpenter and O'Brien, including a challenge from O'Brien for a public reading of Homogenic Love in Holmesfield, with Carpenter present to offer explanations for the contents of the work. In addition there are letters from other individuals attacking or defending Carpenter and his work.

Eng 2/5/10 is a later cutting reporting that O'Brien has been committed for trial in a libel case, accused of publishing defamatory libels against his daughter and others.


The material in this class was bundled together in an envelope by Sixsmith, and has therefore been treated as a discrete grouping.