My Love Is Like All Lovely Things (book)

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My Love Is Like All Lovely Things is a 2023 anthology by C. Caunter of the work of one of history's major boy-love poets, Edwin Emmanuel Bradford, which includes exhaustive analysis of his life and work.

Bradford’s poetry is exhilaratingly fresh, original, joyful and touching. It is a self-assured, unapologetic affirmation of what is good and beautiful, making it very relevant to readers today. This anthology draws on the entirety of his poetic output and includes the first in-depth look at his life and work, addressing questions such as how his boylove poetry could have been received so favourably in early-20th-century Britain.[1]


Edwin Emmanuel Bradford (1860–1944) was one of the Uranians, that group of late-Victorian and early-20th-century poets and prose writers who, often taking inspiration from classical Greece, sang the praises of the love between boys and men and advocated its rehabilitation in society. Virtually his entire poetic body of work – twelve volumes that appeared between 1908 and 1930 – is dedicated openly to this theme. Rather than looking back to classical antiquity, it is rooted largely in his own time and experience.[1]

"Bradford, freshly turned 21, entered Exeter College, Oxford University in October 1881 to study theology,[2] his two elder brothers having gone to the same college before him. In June of that year, 17-year-old Samuel Elsworth Cottam from Manchester had enrolled there; he and Bradford became lifelong friends, and Cottam’s 1930 collection Cameos of Boyhood and Other Poems was to earn him his own star in the Uranian pantheon. The English universities at this time had a thriving homosexual subculture fed by the public schools, with close social contact between dons and undergraduates.[3], [4] Philhellenist-inspired homosociality was prevalent particularly at Oxford at the time Bradford was there. What’s more, the Oxford Movement, a circle of men who sought to associate the Anglican Church more closely with Roman Catholicism, was devoted to classical culture and was suspected of harbouring homosexual sympathies.[5] Bradford, too, started out an Anglo-Catholic.[6] The study of the classical world made it clear that there had been sophisticated civilisations with an entirely different take on same-sex relations, and their intersection with pedagogy, from contemporary Britain’s."[7]


When I Went A-Walking

When I went a-walking
In the morning fair,
I met three boys a-running,
And one had golden hair:
Curly locks were they,
Like little rings of light.
I thought of him all day,
And I dreamed of him all night.

When I went a-walking
In the noonday glare,
I met three boys a-bathing
And the form of one was fair:
Snowy white, like may,
Yet rosy 'neath the white.
I thought of him all day,
And I dreamed of him all night.

When I went a-walking
In the evening air,
I saw three boys a-coming:
Two went I know not where.
But one went not away
For that I held him tight;
I'll work with him all day,
And dream of him all night.


  1. 1.0 1.1 My Love Is Like All Lovely Things: Selected Poems of E. E. Bradford Paperback – March 5, 2023
  2. Oxford University Gazette, Vol. 12, 1882, p. 62.
  3. Wayne R. Dynes (ed.) (1990), The Encyclopedia of Homosexuality, New York: Garland, pp. 187-8.
  4. In the summer term of 1884, some Oxford undergraduates and graduates were expelled for intimate involvement with boys of the college choirs. One of the implicated undergraduates, 21-year-old Robert Shelton Bate, had matriculated at Exeter in the same year as Bradford and Cottam. The incident shows both that Greek ideals were being put into practice and that this did not meet with limitless tolerance. From a contemporary handwritten note in a copy of Boy-Worship, a 14-page tract published in Oxford in 1880. On these expulsions, see
  5. Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon, eds. (2001), Who’s Who in Gay and Lesbian History: From Antiquity to World War II, Oxon: Routledge, pp. 325, 486.
  6. Michael Yelton (2009), Outposts of the Faith: Anglo-Catholicism in Some Rural Parishes, Norwich: Canterbury Press, p. 202. Anglo-Catholicism emphasises the Catholic heritage of the Anglican Communion.
  7. EYES LIT WITH THE LIGHT OF OTHER SKIES, The joyful life of Edwin Emmanuel Bradford, By C. Caunter, December 2022 at Greek Love Through the Ages

See also

External links