Edited by Jennifer Reiling, Editorial Assistant.
Dr. HAVELOCK ELLIS of London is a lawyer as well as a trained medical scientific man. He is the author
and compiler of many valuable works on medicolegal topics. His papers
on criminality and his studies of sociologic questions have given him a
wide reputation in both this country and in Europe, and he published in
1894 a remarkable work "On Man and Woman," which was a pioneer
study on the psychologic and anthropologic differences of the sexes.
This was followed in 1897 by the first volume of a series of works on
the general study of the psychology of sex. This work was called
"Sexual Inversion," and was confined to the physiology and
psychology of the normal sex impulse. It was translated into German and
published at Leipsic, and was read with great interest by jurists and
criminal anthropologists. Soon afterward it appeared in London and was
very highly praised for its conservative, scientific tone. Finally, in
May last, one GEORGE BEDBOROUGH, a bookseller,
was arrested for having sold a copy of this book to a detective, and
was charged with publishing and circulating an indecent, obscene book.
He was speedily committed for trial and had some difficulty getting
liberated on bail, which was fixed at the enormous sum of $2500. The
injustice of this procedure, in holding the poor dealer accountable
when the author and publisher were well-known prominent men, indicated
a confused idea of the prosecution. The author and publisher prepared
to make a sharp defense, and had accumulated the testimony of most of
the leading medical scientists and foremost men in Great Britain to
show that the work was no more obscene than the ordinary text-books on
obstetrics. . . .
THE BEDBOROUGH TRIAL. JAMA. 1999;281(3):214. doi:10.1001/jama.281.3.214
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