"The English physician, writer, and social reformer Havelock Ellis (February 2, 1859–July 8, 1939) possessed a mind remarkably ahead of its time. A pioneering scholar of creativity and a lifelong influence for Oliver Sacks, he was a maverick psychologist before psychology as such existed. Ellis introduced the notion of narcissism, which was later expanded upon by Freud, and spent a considerable portion of his career studying human sexuality. In 1897, he wrote the first medically objective textbook on homosexuality, treating same-sex love as worthy of sympathetic scientific inquiry rather than as immoral and illegal, as the era’s cultural and legal institutions considered it.
In the 1930s, Ellis wrote a series of trailblazing essays exploring the social implications of sex and the deeper philosophical dimensions surrounding the physical aspect of human intimacy. They were eventually collected, two years before Ellis’s death, in On Life and Sex: Essays of Love and Virtue."