John Addington Symonds

1840 (Bristol, England) – 1893 (Rome)

Symonds had a long correspondence with and wrote about Whitman, the connection ending abruptly when he eulogised over the more homoerotic aspects of Whitman’s writings (Whitman countering with a story about fathering several illegitimate children). Symonds’ friend Wilde claimed Whitman had been more open with him about his sexuality than Symonds had in fact been. Stevenson met Symonds in Switzerland, both convalescing from tuberculosis. Symonds collaborated with Ellis on a pioneering investigation into homosexuality, but died before it was published (his executors pleaded for his name to be removed).

John Addington Symonds knew…