11-27-1883

Edmund John

EDMUND JOHN, English poet, born (d: 1917); Poet John came of age in the decade after the trial of Oscar Wilde and illustrates the fact that far from disappearing off the face of the globe, homosexuality simply retreated a bit further underground. A letter to one of John’s young friends provides us with a very good idea of the “tone” of Gay life among the pederasts of Edwardian England: “I have received your adorable illustrated letter this morning and loved it so much I immediately made an altar before it, lit by amber candles in copper candlesticks, burnt incense before it and kissed its extreme beautifulness.” Much of his work was condemned by critics for being overly decadent and unfashionable. He fought in WWI, but was invalided out in 1916 and died at Taormina, in Sicily, a year later.