Keith Hale, editor of Friends & Apostles: The Correspondence of Rupert Brooke and James Strachey, 1905-1914, here examines the bowdlerization of Brooke in existing biographies and looks into the poet's self-proclaimed bisexual identity. Hale examines the same-sex relationships Brooke enjoyed with Michael Sadleir, Charles Lascelles, and Denham Russell-Smith as well as the poems Brooke may have written about these early loves. As with many boys of his generation, Brooke’s public school days affected him more profoundly than any period of his life. During his years at Rugby, Rupert was involved in romantic relationships with three boys. In order, Denham Russell-Smith entered Rugby in May 1902, age thirteen. Michael Sadleir followed in May 1903, age fourteen, making him and Denham the same age. Charles Lascelles entered in May 1904 at age fourteen. Thus, two of Brooke’s Rugby loves were two years his junior, and the boy he appears to have loved most, Lascelles, was three years younger.
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Keith Hale is editor of Friends & Apostles: The Correspondence of Rupert Brooke and James Strachey, 1905-1914, published by Yale University Press, and author of the novels Cody and Letters to a Shooting Star, both available from Watersgreen House. He is also editor of a Brooke biography simply titled Rupert Brooke, a two-volume gay anthology titled Ode to Boy, a volume titled Edleston: Lord Byron's Boy Poems, and other works. He lives in Arkansas.
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