Historical Who is Who
1859 - 1939
Medically trained and gifted writer, Ellis produced Studies in the Psychology of Sex (7 vols). These were based on his familiarity with human biology, observations of others especially through extensive reading and travel, and also drew on his personal experience which included impotence throughout much of his life. He was determinedly curious and indifferent to what others thought, as evident in his exposition on mescalin. However, public embarrassment felt by others at the unprecedented publication of his descriptions of sexual experience, which included positive treatment of masturbation and homosexuality (‘inversion’), led to censoring in the UK. However, the series served to demonstrate what has subsequently become commonplace – that human health and happiness, along with related ethical reflection, benefit greatly from dispassionate study.