A renaissance of E. M. Forster is certainly under way. The success of the many films based upon his novels demonstrates Forster’s appeal to the modern audience and his aptitude for entertaining a mass ...
A renaissance of E. M. Forster is certainly under way. The success of the many films based upon his novels demonstrates Forster’s appeal to the modern audience and his aptitude for entertaining a mass quantity of readers over several decades. Four of his best novels are brought together here in one volume:
Where Angels Fear to Tread The Longest Journey A Room with a View Howards End
E. M. Forster’s characters are the most lifelike we have had since Jane Austen laid down the pen.”—Virgina Woolf
[Forster] does not hesitate to kill off a character right after introducing him with a careful description which leads us to anticipate a larger role.”—Louis Auchincloss
The shapeliness of his prose and his plotting still satisfies. The width remains piercing and seamlessly painless.”—the New York Times
There is no questioning or resisting the charm of Mr. Forster. The Longest Journey steadily attains beauty.”—Saturday Review
A graceful writer with a keen eye for the bittersweetness bound in differences of class and culture, E. M. Forster had an abbreviated but remarkably successful career as a novelist and established himself as one of England's most insightful 20th-century writers.
Edward Morgan Forster was born in London in 1879, attended Tonbridge School as a day boy, and went on to King's College, Cambridge, in 1897. With King's he had a lifelong connection and was elected to an Honorary Fellowship in 1946. He declared that his life as a whole had not been dramatic, and he was unfailingly modest about his achievements. Interviewed by the BBC on his eightieth birthday, he said: "I have not written as much as I'd like to... I write for two reasons: partly to make money and partly to win the respect of people whom I respect... I had better add that I am quite sure I am not a great novelist." Eminent critics and the general public have judged otherwise and in his obituary The Times called him "one of the most esteemed English novelists of his time."
He wrote six novels, four of which appeared before the First World War, Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905), The Longest Journey (1907), A Room with a View (1908), and Howard's End (1910). An interval of fourteen years elapsed before he published A Passage to India. It won both the Prix Femina Vie Heureuse and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Maurice, his novel on a homosexual theme, finished in 1914, was published posthumously in 1971. He also published two volumes of short stories; two collections of essays; a critical work, Aspects of the Novel; The Hill of Devi, a fascinating record of two visits Forster made to the Indian State of Dewas Senior; two biographies; two books about Alexandria (where he worked for the Red Cross in the First World War); and, with Eric Crozier, the libretto for Britten's opera Billy Budd. He died in June 1970.