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E. M. Forster

Biography

Edward Morgan Forster was born on 1 January 1879 in London, the only child of an architect (who died the following year). His childhood was influenced by women – not just his mother but by various aunts and a benefactress, Marianne Thornton about whom he would later write a book. He spent much of his childhood at Rooksnest, Stevenage, which later become the model for Howards End. In 1893, he and his mother moved to Tonbridge, where he attended Tonbridge School. He was very unhappy there. He found greater freedom at King’s College, Cambridge, where he met some of the people associated with the Bloomsbury Movement and was a member of the Apostles.

After Cambridge he travelled abroad and used his experiences as the basis for his early novels, where he satirized British tourists abroad. Back home, he published his first short story in the Independent Review, a magazine founded by a group of his friends from Cambridge, including G M Trevelyan. After publication of his first novel, Where Angels Fear to Tread, he worked as a tutor and taught an Indian Muslim patriot, Syed Ross Masood, whom he would later meet and travel with in India. By now he had published The Longest Journey, A Room with a View and Howards End and had made a name for himself. In 1913, he stayed at the home of Edward Carpenter and subsequently wrote the novel Maurice. Because of its homosexual theme, it was not published till 1971.

His career took something of a downturn. In 1915 he went to Alexandria where he met Cavafy, whose work he promoted in England. In 1921 he again visited India, which led to the writing of A Passage to India which was very well received. Despite the fact that he lived another 45 years, it was to be his last novel. He published a variety of literary and other works, including Aspects of the Novel which had considerable success. He spent his final years in King’s College, Cambridge, and died in 1970.

Books about E. M. Forster

Nicola Beauman: Morgan: A Biography of E.M. Forster
P. N. Furbank: E. M. Forster: A Life
Francis King: E. M. Forster

Other Links

E M Forster
E M Forster
Only Connect The Unofficial E M Forster site
Aspects of E. M. Forster
E M Forster (1879-1970)
E M Forster (1879-1970)
E.M. Forster, Middle Manager (by Zadie Smith)
E. M. Forster (about his time in Egypt)
E. M. Forster: A tranquil Hertfordshire Life
Leaving Home: E .M. Forster and the Pursuit of Higher Values
Interview
The Machine Stops (story by Forster)
My Wood (article by Forster on materialism)

Bibliography

1905 Where Angels Fear to Tread
1907 The Longest Journey
1908 A Room with a View
1910 Howards End
1911 The Celestial Omnibus (and other stories)
1922 Alexandria: A History and Guide
1923 Pharos and Pharillon (A Novelist’s Sketchbook of Alexandria Through the Ages)
1924 A Passage to India
1925 Anonymity, an Enquiry
1927 Aspects of the Novel
1928 The Eternal Moment and Other Stories
1934 Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson
1939 What I Believe
1940 England’s Pleasant Land
1940 Abinger Harvest
1940 Nordic Twilight
1942 Virginia Woolf
1944 The Development of English Prose between 1918 and 1939
1947 The Collected Tales of E. M. Forster
1951 Two Cheers for Democracy
1953 The Hill of Devi
1956 Marianne Thornton
1971 Maurice
1971 Albergo Empedocle and Other Writings
1972 The Life to Come and Other Stories
1977 The Lucy Novels: Early Sketches for A Room with a View
1980 Arctic Summer and Other Fiction
1984 Indian Journals and Essays
1987 Commonplace Book
1988 The Uncollected Egyptian Essays
1997 The Machine Stops and Other Stories
1998 The Prince’s Tale and Other Uncollected Writings
2001 The Feminine Note in Literature
2003 Arctic Summer