Photograph of English essayist, poet, and biographer John Addington Symonds.

John Addington Symonds

(1840 - 1893)

Suffering from ill health for much of his life, John Addington Symonds had a house built in Davos, Switzerland, in 1881, privately printing in 1883 ten copies of his A Problem in Greek Ethics, one of the first histories of homosexuality. He began the book, “For the student of sexual inversion, ancient Greece offers a wide field for observation and reflection…Here alone in history have we the example of a great and highly developed race not only tolerating homosexual passions but deeming them of spiritual value, and attempting to utilize them for the benefit of society.” An essayist, a poet, and a biographer, Symonds also published a well-received seven-volume cultural history of the Italian Renaissance.

All Writing

Issues Contributed