30 October 2018

Havelock Ellis: ability arouses hostility

Havelock Ellis
(1859 – 1939)
Every original worker in intellectual fields, every man who makes some new thing, is certain to arouse hostility where he does not meet with indifference [...]

It is practically impossible to estimate the amount of persecution to which this group of pre-eminent British persons has been subjected, for it has shown itself in innumerable forms, and varies between a mere passive refusal to have anything whatever to do with them or their work and the active infliction of physical torture and death.

Havelock Ellis, A Study of British Genius

For more on the topic of hostility to exceptional ability, see my colleague Charles McCreery's book The Abolition of Genius.