Biography of E. M. Forster

Topics: E. M. Forster, Novel, King's College, Cambridge Pages: 4 (1581 words) Published: December 5, 2005
Novelist, Essayist, Biographer, Story Writer, Travel Writer, Letter Writer, Teacher, Critic, Librettist. Active 1905-1970 in England, Britain, Italy, Europe, India, South Asia Forster was principally an Edwardian novelist concerned with the restrictions placed on personal freedom by English sensibilities, but his later work, especially his last novel, A Passage to India (1924), can be called Modernist in its use of symbolism and its style of repetition-with-variation (which Forster called "rhythm" in his 1927 book on fiction Aspects of the Novel). Forster, who lived most of his later life at King's College, Cambridge, was one of the less prominent figures in the Bloomsbury Group, a lifelong member of the Labour Party, and an agnostic. He was also an avowed liberal humanist who believed strongly in personal relationships: he famously wrote in "What I Believe" in 1939 that he would sooner betray his country than his friend. His early novels and stories use Italy, and to a lesser extent Greece, as a vibrant, life-affirming antithesis to the stultifying repression of England. His homosexual novel, Maurice, written in 1913-14, was only published posthumously. Edward Morgan Forster was born in London on January 1st 1870, the year before his father's death, and educated at private schools in Eastbourne and Tonbridge Wells. In 1887 he inherited £8,000 from his great-aunt, Marianne Thornton, about whom he later wrote a "domestic biography". From 1897, he attended King's College Cambridge where he read classics and history, partly under the supervision of Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson, of whom he also wrote a biography. At Cambridge he came under the influence of the philosopher G. E. Moore and the aesthetic belief that the purpose of life is to contemplate beauty in art and to cultivate friendships in life. Forster was elected to the "Apostles" clique of Cambridge intellectuals and through them met members of the Bloomsbury Group After Cambridge, in 1901 he went on a one...
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