Set in the elegant Edwardian world of Cambridge undergraduate life, this story by a master novelist intorduces us to Maurice Hall when he is fourteen. We follow him through public school and Cambridge, and on into his father's firm, Hill and Hall, Stock Brokers. In a highly structured society, Maurice is a conventional young man in almost every way, "stepping into the niche that England had prepared fo him": except that he is homosexual.
Written durring 1913 and 1914, immediately after Howards End, and not published until 1971, Maurice was ahead of its time in it 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 like 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."
|Publisher:||W. W. Norton & Company Limited|
About the Author
Date of Birth:January 1, 1879
Date of Death:June 7, 1970
Place of Birth:London
Place of Death:Coventry, England
Education:B. A. in classics, King's College, Cambridge, 1900; B. A. in history, 1901; M.A., 1910
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
bookshelves: grabs-my-heart, top-all-time-books, 20th-century-classic, british-scot-irish, classics, have-not-recovered-yet, m-m, made-me-angry, made-me-cry, made-me-think, why-did-i-wait-so-long-to-read-this, historical-fiction Read from October 03 to 06, 2014 Loneliness. Stark loneliness. That is what surrounds this book and oozes from its pages. Maurice is lonely in a way it is hard for us in the 21st century to fully emotionally understand. He is not particularly smart, but as an adult is good at business. He is not a loveable character but he is honest. He is not "normal" by his society's standards so he tries to disappear into a nothingness in his surroundings. If he trusted the wrong person with his desires, he could be arrested and killed. What a bleak world to grow and live within. He wanted only one thing, to be loved for who he was and to have that love returned. Is that what all of us want. But to have to hide all that is you made Maurice a sympathetic character. To want love in the times he lived made him a tragic character. To think you have found that love and to have it tossed aside like it was nothing and have him carry on with his life made him a heroic character. I just want to send love though the pages to him. As a young lad Maurice dreamed private dreams that he could not share. First about a young gardener, then about a fellow footballer and last about an unknown friend, a friend he wanted but did not have. A faceless youth who would say to others "this is my friend." Dreaming again. Too late." --- would actually pull him back to them in broad daylight and drop a curtin. Then he would reimbibe(sic) the face and the four words, and would emerge yearning with tenderness and longing to be kind to everyone, because his friend wished it, and to be good that his friend might become more fond of him. Misery was somehow mixed up with all this happiness. It seemed as certain that he hadn't a friend as that he had one, and he would find a lonely place for tears, attributing them to the hundred lines. Maurice's secret life can be understood now; it was part brutal, part ideal, like his dreams. Then he was nineteen and off to college and he met Clive Durham. Clive who talked constantly about so many things that Maurice could not understand but he loved to listen to Clive. Clive who was like him. Clive who he thought would be in his life forever. Clive who owned his heart but did not realize the responsibility that went with that ownership. A beautifully written work that is not dated but alive with meaning and feeling. The terminology struck me. The words for same sex love also added to the feeling of disengagement and loneliness. I have gotten this also from the Lord Jim books/short stories by Diane Gabaldon. No matter how bad things may be in the western world of today, they were so much worse before our time. Does not make today right but does make me hopeful. Haunting. That is the word I am left with at the end of this near perfect book. Beautifully written and Haunting. Good luck to you in your life, Maurice. You are real to me.