George Ives, Queer Lives and the Family

  • Matt Cook
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in History book series (GSX)


In 1917 George Ives (1867–1950), the well-heeled early campaigner for homosexual law reform, gave a roll call in his diary of his ‘family’ home, a large suburban villa in Adelaide Road, Swiss Cottage. Using pet names for his co-residents, he wrote: ‘Kit has been with me some 35 years. His wife over 20. Pug 9 or 10. […] and the 2 Kit girls all their lives’. ‘Kit’ (James Goddard) had been a servant at the Ives’ family seat in Hampshire and then moved with George to London. When he married he bought his wife Sylvie into the household too; ‘the 2 Kit girls’ were their daughters. ‘Pug’ (Harold Bloodworth) was a working-class former footballer who eventually outlived Ives and inherited the house jointly with a later addition — ‘Elephant’, an apparently lovable but nevertheless difficult alcoholic called Stanley Suanders. A few other working class men lived with this group for longer and shorter periods over the years. Together they formed what Ives called ‘my little circle in the world’.1


Family Home Roll Call Half Sibling Lame Duck Queer Life 
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Copyright information

© Matt Cook 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matt Cook
    • 1
  1. 1.Birkbeck CollegeUniversity of LondonUK

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