Partner William Haynes-Smith
Eton College, Windsor SL4 6DW, Regno Unito
University Of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2, Regno Unito
Overing Sturgis (January 30, 1855 – February 7, 1920) was an English-language novelist who wrote about same-sex love. Of American parentage, he lived and worked in Britain.
Howard Overing Sturgis was born in Britain on 30 January 1855, in London. He was born into an affluent New England American family: his father, Russell Sturgis (1805–1887), was a China trader and lawyer who later became head of Barings Bank. His mother was Russell's third wife, Julia Overing ''née'' Boit. Sturgis had a brother, Julian, who also became a novelist, and a half-brother, John Hubbard Sturgis, who was a noted Boston architect. His parents sent him to be educated at Eton College. He went on to study at the University of Cambridge.
He became a friend of the novelists Henry James and Edith Wharton.
After the death of his mother in 1888 Howard Sturgis moved with his lover, William Haynes-Smith, into a country house named Queen's Acre, near Windsor Great Park. Their home was a familiar retreat for many other bachelors in Henry James' circle, including Arthur Christopher Benson, Percy Lubbock, and Gaillard Lapsley.
Sturgis's first novel, ''Tim: A Story of School Life'' (1891), was published anonymously and was dedicated to the "love that surpasses the love of women." It describes the love of two youths at boarding-school. It was followed in 1895 by ''All that was possible,'' an epistolary novel about a retired actress. Sturgis's first two novels were successful as far as sales were concerned; but his third, ''Belchamber'' (1904), failed to gain the same plaudits. Although Edith Wharton praised it, Henry James found it unsatisfactory, and afterwards Sturgis went on to publish only one short story (1908), about a lesser writer driven suicidal by the criticism of a greater, and a memorial on his friend, Anne Thackeray.
In Howard Sturgis’s Belchamber (1904), the puny Lord Charmington, known as ‘Sainty’, is as homosexual as it is possible to be without actually being gay.
He died on 7 February 1920. After his death appreciations of him were published by A. C. Benson (1924), Edith Wharton (1934), E. M. Forster (1936) and George Santayana (1944), his cousin. His great-nephew is the journalist and novelist Henry Porter.
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