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George Cecil Ives – Boogieman in Lavender

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George Cecil Ives was gay before it was cool and openly gay before that was accepted.

He was British and founded a secret society for “Homosexuals” called “The Order of Chaeronea” named after a battle where male lovers of the Theban Band had been slaughtered nearly 1500 years before.

Ives co-founded what became the British Sexological Society, one of the first groups to take the study of human sexuality seriously.

He knew Oscar Wilde personally and knew Lord Alfred Douglas intimately.

And he was a writer. He wrote poetry, one novel and plenty of non-fiction.

We know all this, because Ives left his papers behind and they were published after he died.

And he inspired the creation of a character who has lasted for well over a century whose own sexuality has been a matter of speculation in all that time.

Among other things Ives did was play cricket. He was probably the first “Out” Cricket player. One of the people he played cricket with was the very heterosexual author E. W. Hornung, who would use Ives as a model for his most famous character, the very slick and resourceful A. J. Raffles. Raffles’ name is as well-known as Sherlock Holmes and like Holmes, other authors have written stories about the well-traveled cricketer who is welcomed into the homes of the wealthy and powerful. But Raffles doesn’t solve crimes, he commits them. He relieves his hosts of their jewelry and silver leaving them unsuspecting of who was behind the thefts.

Ives didn’t rob from the rich but he helped people whoever they were. His organizations were responsible for reforming laws around issues related to sex, and not just Gay issues.

Born in 1860 he outlasted a lot of his contemporaries, passing away in 1950.

Raffles, however, is immortal.

NOTE: Some of the above information was gleaned from a fine site I’ve used before: “Gay Influence” to whom I am immensely indebted.

Jeff Baker’s fiction and non-fiction have appeared in the online ‘zine “RoMMantic Reads” and the Amazing Stories site. He blogs about reading and writing sci-fi, fantasy and horror around the thirteenth of each month in this same space. He lives happily with his husband Darryl, who both love Raffles. Jeff regularly posts fiction on his blog and wastes time on Facebook at

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