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Havelock Ellis papers

Call Number: MS 195

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of correspondence and manuscripts of Havelock Ellis. Ellis, 1859-1939 began his career in the medical profession but soon gave up general practice for literary and scientific work. The more popular researches of the Freudian school have to a considerable extent overshadowed the methods of Ellis, in which more emphasis is laid on biology and less on clinical experience.

There is very little of Ellis' own correspondence in. the collection: the greatest part of the correspondence consists of letters to Ellis. The more interesting correspondents include Thomas Hardy, William James, Leo Tolstoy, Amy Lowell, Rockwell Kent, Bertrand Russell . Herbert Spencer, Upton Sinclair, Rebecca West and Sigmund Freud. Much of the correspondence consists of editorial matters and complimentary notes. Of greatest interest are the Freud letters. The collection will be of interest to the scholar interested in Ellis and in his relationship to Freud.

The bulk of the collection is composed of manuscripts by Ellis. Among them is a work entitled My Confessional made up of seventy short pieces. Each is based upon a problem posed to Ellis by one of his correspondents so that the author's opinion on a great number of topics is presented. Other manuscripts include: Sex in Contemporary Life, Marcel Jouhandeau, Intro. to James Hinton's Life In Nature (NY 1934), concerning Jude the Obscure, The Problem of Sexual Potency, William Morris.

There is also a manuscript, by Sir T. Percy Nunn entitled "Edudation as a Biological Experiment."


  • 1871-1939


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Havelock Ellis Papers were purchased from the Charles Tuttle Company of Rutland, Vermont, in 1941.


1 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Correspondence and manuscripts on literary and psychological subjects, particularly on the question of sex. Important correspondents are Thomas Hardy, William James, Leo Tolstoy, Amy Lowell Rockwell Kent, Bertrand Russell, Herbert Spencer, Upton Sinclair, Rebecca West and Sigmund Freud. There are only a few outgoing letters from Havelock Ellis. The bulk of the papers consists of manuscripts by Ellis, of which the longest is "My Confessions". This work is made up of seventy short pieces, each based upon a problem posed to Ellis by a correspondent. The literary essays are on Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure, Marcel Jouhandeau and William Morris.

Biographical / Historical

British essayist, editor physician and psychologist. He studied human sexual behavior and his research for Man and Women (1894) led to his major work, the seven volume, Studies in the Psychology of Sex (1897-1928). His last writings were the essays on literature and art reprinted in Views and Reviews (1932).

Other Finding Aids

For a listing of the outgoing correspondence of Havelock Ellis, please consult the Correspondence Index.

Guide to the Havelock Ellis papers
Under Revision
July 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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