Maurice

( 16 )

Overview

"The work of an exceptional artist working close to the peak of his powers." Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York TimesSet in the elegant Edwardian world of Cambridge undergraduate life, this story by a master novelist introduces us to Maurice Hall when he is fourteen. We follow him through public school and Cambridge, and into his father's firm. In a highly structured society, Maurice is a conventional young man in almost every way—except that his is homosexual.Written during 1913 and 1914, immediately after Howards End, and not published
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Overview

"The work of an exceptional artist working close to the peak of his powers." Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York TimesSet in the elegant Edwardian world of Cambridge undergraduate life, this story by a master novelist introduces us to Maurice Hall when he is fourteen. We follow him through public school and Cambridge, and into his father's firm. In a highly structured society, Maurice is a conventional young man in almost every way—except that his is homosexual.Written during 1913 and 1914, immediately after Howards End, and not published until 1971, Maurice was ahead of its time in its theme and in its affirmation that love between men can be happy. "Happiness," Forster wrote, "is its keynote.... In Maurice I tried to create a character who was completely unlike myself or what I supposed myself to be: someone handsome, healthy, bodily attractive, mentally torpid, not a bad businessman and rather a snob. Into this mixture I dropped an ingredient that puzzles him, wakes him up, torments him and finally saves him."
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Editorial Reviews

Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
A wonderful novel to read -- rich in its subtle intelligence, beautifully controlled in its development, deeply moving -- in short, the work of an exceptional artist working close to the peak of his creative powers.
The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393310320
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/19/2005
  • Edition description: (A Reissue)
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 164,776
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

E. M. Forster was one of the major novelists of the first half of the twentieth century. He was born in 1879 and educated at Cambridge. His other novels include A Room with a View, Howards End, and A Passage to India. He died in 1970.

Biography

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.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

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    1. Also Known As:
      Edward Morgan Forster
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 1, 1879
    2. Place of Birth:
      London
    1. Date of Death:
      June 7, 1970
    2. Place of Death:
      Coventry, England

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 16 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Book that Requires some Level of Thought

    This book was very thought provoking. It can be looked at in two ways, which makes this a versitile book to readers. The first way you can read this book is purely for entertainment. You might need to have some inside research to understand the intellectual conversations that occur, but other than that this book makes sense without having to dig further into the words. On the other hand, the book holds a lot to be discovered and can easily by critically analyzed. This book makes you think about your own idea of 'normal' and 'natural'. It can even change your perspective on the boundaries of relationships. If homosexuality is something you are opposed to I would recommend you not to read this, unless you are willing to look at it with an open mind.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2006

    good read

    This is a good read, whether or not you are a homosexual. Forster's descriptions of the torment and soul-searching that come with finding affection and love speak to the experience of adults in general. Although his writing style can be a bit antiquated, this was not difficult to overcome and at many points you find yourself saying 'yeah...I know exactly what that feels like'. Now, as a young gay man in my early 20s who is just recently dealing with some of the special issues portrayed in the story, I found it particularly touching. I realize many heterosexuals probably wouldn't appreciate some of the subtle points Forster is getting at along these lines, but these aspects made the book especially relevant to my experiences. I became absorbed in the story, and I would caution that it should be read in a slow, meticulous way, digesting the scenes and relating with the characters. Plowing through in a few hours would not provide as good a reading experience. Perhaps then, my current life situation made this book seem particularly good to me, where another avid reader might disagree. As a relatively normal, masculine, average guy who (unfortunately?) is also a homosexsual I connected with the main character particularly well. I would definately urge any college aged guys who are dealing with their sexuality to check this out. I would also suggest it to anyone curious about what young guys in this situation must through...on those points it has definately not lost it's relevance.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Maurice by E. M. Forster Although the book was written in 1913-

    Maurice by E. M. Forster

    Although the book was written in 1913-14, it was not published until 1971. Maurice is the tale of three men in Victorian England, all of which belonged to different social classes yet shared one common trait: they were all homosexuals.

    Maurice Hall - the main character - is the son of a middle class stock broker. His father had died when Maurice was a child and he was raised by his mother and two sisters. He went to a preparatory school, then to a public school and later to Cambridge. He was average, handsome, athletic, stubborn, and snobbish. He was admitted to Cambridge where he was expected to finish school and join the Stock Broker firm that was established by his father, Hill and Hall.

    While at Cambridge, Maurice met Clive Durham. Born to an aristocratic family, Clive was supposed to finish Cambridge, get married and inherit his family's estate. However, Clive liked men. Soon, Clive and Maurice are in a platonic relationship. For the next three years, as they returned back to fulfill their expected roles, they maintained an intense love relationship until one day, out of the blue, when Clive decided to end it.

    Clive married Lady Ann Claire Wilbraham Woods. Maurice was reduced to accept charity from his prior lover as Clive ran for public office to fill his father's shoes. Clive maintained himself busy to avoid his old lover and encouraged him to marry. "He would live straight. not because it matter to anyone now, but for the sake of the game." (p. 62)

    Maurice was unable to do that and sought professional help, first from his family doctor - Dr. Barry - and later from a hypnotherapist - Mr. Laskes Jones. "When loves flies it is remembered not as love but as something else." (p. 120)

    On a visit to Penge - the Durham's estate - Maurice met Alec Scudder, Clive's gamekeeper. Their physical attraction was physical, strong, an immediate. They made love, they fell in love. But Alec was a gamekeeper, a member of the lower class. Alec was supposed to emigrate to Argentina, but it did not matter because Maurice was unable to bring himself to have a relationship with a member of the lower classes.

    After his return back to London, Alec wrote letters to Maurice. At first Maurice was very concerned - fearing blackmail - but it soon became clear that Alec was desperately trying to win Maurice back. After they met in London, Maurice realized that Alec was willing to give up his future to be together with him. Maurice decides to give up his position in society to be able to live with his boyfriend.

    The books ended with a final confrontation between Maurice and Clive, where Maurice told Clive: "You care for me a little bit, I do think,....but I can't hang all my life on a little bit....You don't worry whether your relationship with her (Anne) is platonic or not, you only know it's big enough to hang a life on. I can't hang mine on to the five minutes you spare me from her and politics....I was yours once till death if you'd cared to keep me, but I'm someone else's now...and he's mine in a way that shocks you....You belong to the past." ( p. 245).

    Told from the third person point of view, this is a tale of love and betrayal. A tale of Victorian England where homosexuality was illegal and scorned equally by all society. Although it was finished in 1914, it was not published until 1971. A great read....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

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  • Posted May 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A beautifully-written book that more or less is good for a long

    A beautifully-written book that more or less is good for a long think. The author doesn't favor one character over another, and the plot moves at a nice enough pace that the pages turn easily for the reader. Delving into a homosexual relationship can either be done horribly or excellently, and E.M. Forster has produced a touching novel with realistic characters that, honestly, made my heart ache for them on more than one occasion.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2006

    Slang Can Be A Big Problem

    Set and written in the early 1900's, this novel follows mostly upper-class English folk. Unfortunately, the language and writing style used from the time period is exactly what I found stopping me from enjoying this book. Although I love British slang (I could watch Ab Fab & Extras all day long), my adoration seemed to stop here. The language barrier also stopped me from fully connecting with the main character. While the story becomes interesting in a few places (especially from a historical perspective), if you're not into old upper-class English you will probably find this annoying to finish.

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