E. M. Forster

E. M. Forster : A New Life

4.13 (285 ratings by Goodreads)
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One of the great mysteries in the life of E. M. Forster (1879-1970) is why, after the publication of "A Passage to India" in 1924, he never published another novel although he lived to be 90. In Wendy Moffat's biography, based on a lifetime's dedication to her subject, we gain extraordinary insights into a man with a gift for writing fiction of great humanity, warmth and humour, who realised early that the society of his time would not allow him to publish the fiction he really wanted to write. At the end of "A Passage to India", his readers were left with the melancholy sight of Aziz and Fielding, friends of different races and cultures, riding out of the novel down separate paths. In real life, although frustrated at not being able to write out of his true self - it would not be until after his death that Maurice, his novel of a homosexual affair, would be published - E. M. Forster led a full and energetic life. He was a successful broadcaster, a brilliant essayist ("Abinger Harvest" and "Two Cheers for Democracy" are still must-reads) and a leading figure in Europe's intellectual life. Moffat argues that with his support for colleagues from Lowes Dickinson and Radclyffe Hall to Christopher Isherwood and Benjamin Britten, and his quiet championing of humanistic values, he helped create the more tolerant world we now enjoy. Moffat's achievement is not to show that Forster was homosexual (this is well known) but how deeply his ideas on individual freedom, tolerance, sexuality and love, permeated every act and aspect of his life.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 152 x 236 x 40mm | 698.53g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • B&W Inserts
  • 0747598436
  • 9780747598435
  • 540,100

About Wendy Moffat

Wendy Moffat studied English Literature at Yale, where she also took her PhD. She is currently a professor of English at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. This is her first book.show more

Review quote

'Wendy Moffat's re-examination of E. M. Forster identifies his homosexuality as being the essence of his creative life. Using unpublished writings, she charts his gradual awakening to the moral, intellectual and emotional significance of his homo-erotic imagination. Her book is an astute and original new portrait of this major novelist.' Michael Holroyd 'A bold new re-imagining of Forster's long career, which makes some striking connections between his life and work' D. J. Taylor 'Impressive ... an insightful, revelatory portrait of a man who deeply resented having to hide such an important side of himself' New York Timesshow more

Rating details

285 ratings
4.13 out of 5 stars
5 38% (109)
4 43% (122)
3 15% (42)
2 2% (7)
1 2% (5)
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