British Ballads and Symonds’s Spiritual Terrors of Childhood

In his childhood, John Addington Symonds constantly suffered from “spiritual terrors” (Memoirs, 71). He identified several works that took hold of his imagination, including “a book of old ballads in two volumes” (ibid.). A copy of one likely candidate, The Book of British Ballads (edited by S. C. Hall and published between 1842 and 1844), … Continue reading British Ballads and Symonds’s Spiritual Terrors of Childhood

Nowhere to Stand: Symonds’ Response to Krafft-Ebing’s Classification of Sexual Inversion

In the opening sentence of chapter 2 of his Memoirs, John Addington Symonds explicitly presents his wish to produce an extended sexual case study of himself. The remainder of chapter 2 is devoted to describing his sexual development before the age of eleven. In addition to calmly reflecting on “what [he] know[s] to be absolutely … Continue reading Nowhere to Stand: Symonds’ Response to Krafft-Ebing’s Classification of Sexual Inversion