Edward Charles (E. C. E. Hemsted) Correspondence

E. C. E. Hemsted (1979.010)

E. C. E. Hemsted was born in Anacapri, Isola de Capri in 1898. Hemsted attended St. John’s College, Oxford and graduated with a “double first,” a British undergraduate degree classification indicating that the individual received the highest possible scores on examinations in two separate subjects. Hemsted taught English in Japan, tutoring the sons of the current Emperor of Japan before becoming a professor at the University of Peking. Later, Hemsted relocated to India and served as the principal of an Islamic and Hindu school from 1927 to 1928. Hemsted also taught at prep schools in England. One of his students was the writer Louis MacNeice; MacNeice included memories of the teaching style of “Mr. Charles” in his memoir, The Strings are False (1965). Hemsted himself was a writer, publishing works in the genres of fiction, drama, and autobiography under the nom de plume “Edward Charles.” Given that MacNeice refers to Hemsted as “Mr. Charles” in his memoirs, it appears that “Edward Charles” was a sobriquet Hemsted assumed in his daily life as well as in his writing. Hemsted’s most famous work was The Sexual Impulse (1935), which triggered an obscenity trial in which his publishers were prosecuted for publishing the work.

E. C. E. Hemsted (1979.010)

Special Collections acquired the Edward Charles Collection (1979.010) in 1979. The collection includes correspondence between Hemsted and publishers, fellow authors, colleagues, and scientists; typescript drafts of reader’s reports, book reviews, essays, translations, short stories, and novels; as well as press notices for Hemsted’s first three novels and a syllabus for a course of four lectures on the theory and practice of socialism. Also featured in this collection are newspaper clippings detailing the obscenity trial of The Sexual Impulse, which provide a fascinating study of the changing mores surrounding sexuality in the early twentieth century.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Edward Charles (E. C. E. Hemsted) Correspondence

  1. Reinaldo Figueredo says:

    Professor Hemsted was an extraordinary tutor who introduced me into the “Fabian society” philosophy in 1960 and provided me with a copy of his book on his “contraceptive” patent which “Courtold” opposed depriving a country like India to take advantage of an incredible cheap and harmless use of limiting unwanted child birth. Many years later I became Foreign Minister of my country and pursued firmly most of what he taught me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *