E M Forster

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Edward Morgan Forster (January 1, 1879 - June 7, 1970) was an English novelist, short story writer, and essayist.

E.M. Forster should not be confused with C. S. Forester, author of the Horatio Hornblower novels.


Born in London, the son of an architect, he was to have been named Henry but was baptised Edward by accident. He attended Tonbridge School in Kent. At King's College, Cambridge in 1901, he became involved with a group known as the Apostles (formally named the Cambridge Conversazione Society). Many of its members went on to constitute what came to be known as the Bloomsbury group. Forster also associated with Siegfried Sassoon, J. R. Ackerley, and Forrest Reid. He travelled in Egypt, Germany and India with classicist G.L. Dickinson in 1914. He died in Coventry. Forster's two most noted works, A Passage to India and Howards End, explore the irreconcilability of class differences. His Maurice, unpublished during his lifetime, explores the possibility of reconciling class differences as part of a homosexual relationship.

Key themes

Forster's views as a secular humanist are at the heart of his work, which often features characters attempting to understand each other in the words of Forster's famous epigraph to across social barriers. His humanist views are expressed in the non-fictional essay What I believe. Sexuality is another key theme in Forster's works and it has been argued that Forster's writing can be characterized as progressing from heterosexual love to homosexual love.


Five of his six novels have been made into films, three of them by Ismail Merchant and James Ivory.

Short Stories

  • The Celestial Omnibus (and other stories) 1911
  • The Eternal Moment (and other stories) 1928
  • Collected Short Stories (1947) - a combination of the above two titles, containing:
    • The Story of A Panic
    • The Other Side Of The Hedge
    • The Celestial Omnibus
    • Other Kingdom
    • The Curate's Friend
    • The Road From Colonus
    • The Machine Stops
    • The Point Of It
    • Mr Andrews
    • Co-ordination
    • The Story Of The Siren
    • The Eternal Moment
    • The Life to Come (and other stories) 1972 (posthumous)
    • Ansell
    • Albergo Empedocle
    • The Purple Envelope
    • The Helping Hand
    • The Rock
    • The Life to Come
    • Dr Woolacott
    • Arthur Snatchfold
    • The Obelisk
    • What Does It Matter? A Morality
    • The Classical Annex
    • The Torque
    • The Other Boat
    • Three Courses and a Dessert: Being a New and Gastronomic Version of the Old Game of Consequences


  • England's Pleasant Land 1940

Film Scripts



  • Alexandria: A History and Guide 1922
  • Pharos and Pharillon (A Novelist's Sketchbook of Alexandria Through the Ages) 1923
  • Aspects of the Novel 1927
  • Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson 1934
  • Abinger Harvest 1940
  • The Hill of Devi 1953
  • Marianne Thornton, A Domestic Biography 1956

Non-fiction Books

  • Two Cheers for Democracy
  • What I believe and other Essays
  • Commonplace Book 1987 (posthumous)

Books about E.M. Forster

  • Brander, Lauwrence, E.M. Forster. A critical study (London, 1968)
  • Cavaliero, Glen, A Reading of E.M. Forster (London, 1979).
  • Colmer, John, E.M. Forster - The personal voice (London, 1975).
  • E.M. Forster, ed. by Norman Page, Macmillan Modern Novelists (Houndmills, 1987).
  • E.M. Forster: The critical heritage, ed. by Philip Gardner (London, 1973).
  • Forster: A collection of Critical Essays, ed. by Malcolm Bradbury (New Jersey, 1966).
  • Martin, John Sayre, E.M. Forster. The endless journey (London, 1976).
  • Scott, P.J.M., E.M. Forster: Our Permanent Contemporary, Critical Studies Series (London, 1984).
  • Wilde, Alan, Art and Order. A Study of E.M. Forster (New York, 1967).

External links


da:Edward Morgan Forster de:Edward Morgan Forster eo:E. M. FORSTER fr:E. M. Forster it:Edward Morgan Forster ja:E・M・フォースター pt:Edward Morgan Forster zh:爱德华·摩根·福斯特