Interview with Edmund Marlowe about his most recent projects
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by Staff Writer - July 11, 2022
Recently, BoyWiki staff had the opportunity to to speak with the novelist and historian Edmund Marlowe. Marlowe is the author of the acclaimed novel set at Eton College in 1983-4, "Alexander's Choice". He is currently working on preserving the legacy of the pederastic literary works of the late British journalist, memoirist, and an open pederast, Michael Davidson (1897–1975). Davidson is best known for his 1962 autobiography, "The World, the Flesh and Myself". Two other autobiographies have also been updated and released, "Some Boys", 1969 which is a series of short stories and in 2021, " "Sicilian Vespers and other writings", which includes a brief biography by Mr. Marlowe.
BoyWiki - How did you become involved in this project and what was your goal? Any background information people should have?
Edmund Marlowe - A close friend of mine called Stephen introduced himself as a fan of Michael Davidson to the latter's greatest friend in his old age, the artist Colin Spencer, and visited him in his home. Colin showed him Davidson's battered old suitcase including the manuscript of a book he explained had never been published because Davidson had died before quite finishing it. Colin had intended to edit it himself, but had never found the time. Stephen mentioned he had a friend (me) who had recently put some of Davidson's writings on his website (Greek-love.com), to which Colin protested slightly that he was Davidson's literary executor and his books were still under copyright. After hearing about this, I had the idea of offering my services as editor and publisher, and Stephen went for another visit to put my case. This resulted in his inviting my wife and I to a splendid lunch, after which he kindly assigned me the suitcase and the copyright on the writings in exchange for my solemn undertaking to publish the unfinished book and some of Davidson's correspondence (which Colin had once intended to turn into another book), and also republish the two old books which had been out of print for the last twenty years. All this I have just finished doing.
Davidson was a very fine writer, and his two memoirs are the only ones ever to have won trade publication in Great Britain in which the author stated plainly that he had, as a man, had sex with boys under sixteen, and made his love of boys the main theme. When they came out, society was still just decent enough that they found plenty of appreciative readers who had no interest in boys themselves, and they went through several editions. Since the 1990s, the general stifling of freedom of thought and expression and the severe repression of pederasty in particular have ensured that trying to sell writing of this sort cannot be financially exciting, so Sicilian Vespers never got published and the two old books have long been out of print. My goal has been to make these excellent and important books easily available to anyone interested despite all that.
BoyWiki - What has been your contribution?
Edmund Marlowe - It was only substantial with the previously unpublished book, Sicilian Vespers and other writings, which ended up being a rich mixture of writings, all of which survived only in hand-written or machine-typed form and had to be transcribed. Some of the old correspondence was very hard to read, and there were multiple versions of some manuscripts, so a lot of editing was involved. Besides that I wrote a short biography of Davidson as the book’s first section.
With The World, the Flesh and Myself, my only contribution was to research and compile biographical notes on the main characters mentioned. For Some Boys, I had to amalgamate the British and American editions, which had been separately edited, the main (but not only) point here being to restore from the very rare American edition some explicit passages that had been cut from the British editions. I also provided background notes.
BoyWiki - Did you know Michael Davidson?
Edmund Marlowe - No. How I wish I had! I didn’t read his books until I was nineteen, and he had been dead many years by then.
BoyWiki - What's next for Edmund Marlowe? Any new books forthcoming?
Edmund Marlowe - Having established Arcadian Dreams as an imprint for Davidson’s books, I very much intend to carry on in the same vein. I’ll soon be producing a new edition of my novel, Alexander’s Choice, which remains my effort closest to my heart. After that I’ll be publishing the frank memoir of my badly-missed friend Stephen, mentioned above, which I persuaded him to write for publication before he died of cancer two years ago. He was a brilliant raconteur and had some adventures which I feel sure will warm the hearts of BoyWiki readers. But it is my website, https://www.greek-love.com, to which I now give most of my time as a limitless quest to understand what pederasty has really been about.