E.M. Forster is a British author of fiction. He was a novelist, short story writer, and essayist. Born in 1879 in London, his full name is Edward Morgan Foster. He is famous for his ironic novels, many of which confronted the difference in the classes in British society in the twentieth century as well as its hypocrisy. Forster is also known for his humanistic tendencies, preferring sympathy and understanding.
Forster saw the release of five of his novels in his lifetime, and perhaps his greatest success was the novel A Passage to India, which was released in 1924. The book confronts the subjects of the West and the East’s relationship with one another as seen through the point of view of India and then subsequently the British Raj.
His humanist views have often come through in his work, particularly the novel Howards End. The 1910 novel featured an epigraph that told the readers, “Only Connect”. The heart of most of Forster’s novels beat to the heartbeat of his own secular humanist views, which often promoted and celebrated the pursuit of making personal connections even despite society’s restricting factors on doing so.
E.M. Forster first became a published author with the release of his first novel in 1905. It was titled Where Angels Fear to Tread. He followed that up two years later with the release of his fictional novel, titled The Longest Journey. Although perhaps not his most-read novel, Journey is considered by many reviewers and critics to be Forster’s most brilliant, passionate, and dramatic work.
Forster has written several novels, including the famed novel A Room with a View, which focuses on the heart of English society set in Florence. It was made into a movie in 1985 starring Maggie Smith and Helena Bonham Carter. He is also well known for the novel Howards End, which was made into a major motion picture starring Anthony Hopkins (and Carter was also in this movie once more). The 2009 movie The Machine Stops was also based on one of his collections of stories published in 1947.
Forster is known for his use of symbolism in his writing and has also frequently been criticized for having such an apparent attachment to mysticism. In addition to writing novels, he has written a number of short stories and those have been collected into a variety of collections and anthologies, starting with The Eternal Moment in 1928.
His novel Maurice was published after Forster’s death. It was released to readers in 1970. While the novel had been completed by Forster during the period of World War I, it was unpublished for many years. Perhaps this is due to the adult theme of the novel, focusing on homosexual love although not limited alone to that one thing.
His novel Arctic Summer was also published much later after Forster’s life ended, in 1980. This book is the exploration of what happens when two worlds come together in a clash. This story of the traditional hero and bravery meets the personality of the modern man as the very basics of the gentleman’s code are called into question. When someone comes to the rescue of a man who falls in the path of a train, he becomes acquaintances with the young man as a result of wishing to thank him. They have different opinions but in the end, forge a relationship that lasts a lifetime.
Where Angels Fear to Tread is Forster’s debut novel. This story starts out with the plight of a young lady. She is English and she has been married once before and is now widowed. She leaves on a grand tour and along the way, she decides to get married again.
Her new husband is Italian and has not a penny to his name. Needless to say, the parents of her dead former husband are less than thrilled about this latest development. They expect only that the union will come to fail and Lilia will die tragically along the way; something that anyone could see coming.
However, they are surprised when Lilia becomes pregnant and the baby and she turn out fine. Then they figure out that the baby is going to be raised Italian, and they are very surprised. The in-laws will attempt everything that they can to stop this and get everyone involved that they can from his sister Harriet to their friend Miss Abbott to Philip Herriton.
The Longest Journey is the second fictional full-length novel from acclaimed author E.M. Forster. This is the book that the author himself stated that he was the most ‘glad’ to have written. This introspective work takes a look at manners that are tragic and comic. The reader is introduced to a young man who is not only intelligent and sensitive, but employs a very active imagination.
This young man also has a bit of literary talent, something to go along with his very active creative mind. He would very much like to be a writer and sets out with that bit of hope to go out and do it. However, he finds that the idea of being a writer is not the same as going out and actually doing it and it is pretty tough.
Challenged by the circumstances before him, he gives up his dream of being a writer and starts to settle for the options offered to him by the regular world. As the young man gradually steps away from what he wanted to live a normal life in the conventional sense of things, he may find that there isn’t more comfort living in a world where you’ve walked away from your dreams. It’s actually quite the opposite.
As the young man declines through a life where he has conformed and yet accomplished nothing and experienced disappointment after disappointment, it seems that sometimes you have to realize that you have to sacrifice in order to get what you want– and you might end up losing more if you don’t than you anticipated, including your sense of hope.
This interesting novel is certainly one of Forster’s best works. If you want to read one of the great early works from this author, then check out The Longest Journey for yourself by going to a local bookstore or library in your area and see what it is all about.
Books in order of publication:
|Where Angels Fear to Tread||(1905)|
|The Longest Journey||(1907)|
|A Room with a View||(1908)|
|The Story of the Siren||(1920)|
|A Passage to India||(1924)|
|The Celestial Omnibus||(1911)|
|The Eternal Moment||(1928)|
|Collected Short Stories||(1947)|
|The Machine Stops||(1947)|
|Albergo Empedocle and Other Writings||(1971)|
|The Life to Come||(1972)|
|The Collected Tales of E. M. Forster||(1986)|
|The New Collected Short Stories||(1989)|
|Pharos and Pharillon||(1923)|
|Aspects of the Novel||(1927)|
|What I Believe||(1939)|
|The Development of English Prose Between 1918 and 1939||(1945)|
|Two Cheers for Democracy||(1951)|
|The Hill of Devi||(1953)|
|Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson||(1962)|
|Selected Letters of E.M. Forster||(1983)|
|Selected Letters: 1921-70||(1985)|