Belchamber
Howard Overing Sturgis (Author) Buy@Createspace    Buy@Amazon 
In this highly readable and underrated novel, Howard Sturgis, with gifted penmanship, portrays a rich and vibrant account of self-indulgent aristocratic life in England at the beginning of the 20th century. The main arch of the story traces the career of a young man-"Sainty"-Edwin William Augustus Chambers, Marquis and Earl of Belchamber-who is brought up in the midst of great luxury and privilege. Sainty is both "lame" in the leg due to a youthful riding accident and decidedly "scholarly" in his pursuits. Sainty is Sturgis's portrait of a sexually ambivalent (implicitly homosexual) young aristocrat who is pressured (for the sake of the family line and doing what is expected) into a loveless marriage with a woman who, like his mother, is also domineering and dismissive of his real interests and sensibilities. 

Originally published in 1904, Sturgis's novel has been enjoying a positive contemporary reappraisal by such authors as Edmund White and Alan Hollinghurst, both siding with E. M. Forster in his decades earlier phrase for the literary quality of the novel.

"Belchamber deserves to take its places as a true,  if minor, classic, for it is a work of imagination, deeply felt, truly observed, and achieved with a  sense of style and architecture."-Gerard Hopkins. 

Howard Overing Sturgis (1855-1920) was born in England to wealthy American expatriates. He attended Eton before going up to Cambridge. He became friends with Henry James, E. M. Forster, A. C. Benson, and Edith Wharton. After the death of his parents, inheriting a sizeable fortune, he bought a house in the country which he named Queen's Acre or Qu'acre. "Howdie" (as Sturgis was known) and his much-younger lover William Haynes-Smith (who he called "the Babe") entertained a wide circle of friends, including bohemian young Etonians, aristocrats and notable literary figures. Sturgis was a popular society host known for his biting wit and talent for mimicry. He was the author of two other novels published before Belchamber-Tim: A Story of School Life (1891), and All That Was Possible (1895).

LCCN: 2012938540 -- ISBN/EAN13: 1475215290 / 978-1475215298  -- Page Count: 240 -- Binding Type: US Trade Paper -- Trim Size: 6" x 9" -- Language: English -- Color: Black and White -- Related Categories: Gay / Fiction -- Edwardian Fiction -- Early 20th Century.