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Cambridge University Library

Queer connections in literary Cambridge

*** This event has been cancelled due to strike action. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.***

The early decades of the twentieth century saw a flourishing of literature by LGBTQ writers, many of whom had connections to Cambridge, as students of the University or friends of those who worked here. 

Writers like Edward Carpenter, Siegfried Sassoon and Rupert Brooke had links with Charles Sayle and Theodore Bartholomew (both members of University Library staff), who in some cases helped them to publish and promote their work through their own networks. Sayle himself was a noted author of queer poetry and Bartholomew, through his connections in the publishing world, was invited to testify in the obscenity trial of Radclyffe Hall’s novel ‘The Well of Loneliness’. 

This display of books and archival material from the University Library highlights some of these links and explores the stories of those involved. It is curated by Liam Sims, one of the Library’s Rare Books Specialists, who has published on Bartholomew’s life and collecting.

Those attending the display may wish to also join us for our evening talk, ‘Bulgarian tendencies: The perils of publishing queer books’. Please click here for information and to register for the talk.

Location: This event is being hosted in-person at Cambridge University Library, in the Milstein Seminar Rooms. For information about how to find us, please click here

Accessibility: For accessibility information, please click here.

Registration: CANCELLED

Date: Thursday 23rd February 2023