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Sponsored by Trinity College of the University of Cambridge, The Clark Lectures have a long and distinguished history and have featured remarks by some of England's most important literary minds: Leslie Stephen, T. S. Eliot, F. R. Leavis, William Epsom, and I. A. Richards. All have given celebrated and widely influential talks as featured keynote speakers. An important milestone came in 1927 when, for the first time, a novelist was invited to speak: E.M. Forster had recently published his masterpiece, A Passage to India, and rose to the occasion, delivering eight spirited and penetrating lectures on the novel. The decision to accept the lectureship was a difficult one for Forster. He had deeply ambivalent feelings about the use of criticism. Although suspecting that criticism was somewhat antithetical to creation, and upset by the thought that time spent on the lectures took away from his own work, Forster accepted. His talks were witty and informal, and consisted of sharp penetrating bursts of insight rather than overly-methodical analysis. In short, they were a great success. Gathered and published later as Aspects of the Novel, the ideas articulated in his lectures would gain widespread recognition and currency in twentieth century criticism. Of all of the insights contained within Aspects of the Novel, none has been more influential or widely discussed than Forster's discussion of "flat" and "round" characters. So familiar by now as to seem commonplace, Forster's distinction is meant to categorize the different qualities of characters in literature and examine the purposes to which they are put. Still, it would be wrong to reduce this book to its most famous line of argument and enquiry. Aspects of the Novel also discusses the difference between story and plot, the characteristics of prophetic fiction, and narrative chronology. Throughout, Forster draws on his extensive readings in English, French, and Russian literature, and discusses his ideas in reference to such figures as Joyce, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, James, Sterne, Defoe, and Proust.
"Only Connect," Forster's key aphorism, informs this novel about an English country house, Howards End, and its influence on the lives of the wealthy and materialistic Wilcoxes; the cultured, idealistic Schlegel sisters; and the poor bank clerk Leonard Bast. Bringing together people from different classes and nations by way of sympathetic insight and understanding, Howards End eloquently addresses the question "Who shall inherit England?" (Lionel Trilling).From the Trade Paperback edition.
In this searching tragicomedy of manners, personalities, and world views, E. M. Forster explores the "idea of England" he would later develop in Howard's End. Bookish, sensitive, and given to wild enthusiasms, Rickie Elliot is virtually made for a life at Cambridge, where he can subsist on a regimen of biscuits and philosophical debate. But the love-smitten Rickie leaves his natural habitat to marry the devastatingly practical Agnes Pembroke, who brings with her -- as a sort of dowry -- a teaching position at the abominable Sawston School.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Novel written in 1913 that describes the long and difficult process by which a typical product of middle-class suburbia realizes that he is a homosexual.
E. M. Forster's exquisitely observed novel about the clash of cultures and the consequences of perception, set in colonial India. Among the greatest novels of the twentieth century and the basis for director David Lean's Academy Award-winning film,A Passage to India unravels the growing racial tension between Indians, uneasy at best with colonial power, and the British, largely ignorant and dismissive of the society they're infiltrating. A sudden moment of confusion results in a devastating series of events that threatens to ruin a man's life, revealing just how deeply--and swiftly--prejudice has taken root.
A charming young Englishwoman, Lucy Honeychurch, faints into the arms of a fellow Britisher when she witnesses a murder in a Florentine piazza. Attracted to this man, George Emerson--who is entirely unsuitable and whose father just may be a Socialist--Lucy is soon at war with the snobbery of her class and her own conflicting desires. Back in England, she is courted by a more acceptable, if stifling, suitor and soon realizes she must make a startling decision that will determine the course of her future: she is forced to choose between convention and passion.The enduring delight of this tale of romantic intrigue is rooted in Forster's colorful characters, including outrageous spinsters, pompous clergymen, and outspoken patriots. Written in 1908, A Room with a View is one of E. M. Forster's earliest and most celebrated works.
'To me,' D. H. Lawerence once wrote to E. M. forster, 'you are the last Englishman.' Indeed, Forster's novels offer contemporary readers clear, vibrant portraits of life in Edwardian England. Published in 1908 to both critical and popular acclaim, A Room with a View is a whimsical comedy of manners that owes more to Jane Austen that perhaps any other of his works. The central character is a muddled young girl named Lucy Honeychurch, who runs away from the man who stirs her emotions, remaining engaged to a rich snob. Forster considered it his 'nicest' novel, and today it remains probably his most well liked. Its moral is utterly simple. Throw away your etiquette book and listen to your heart. But it was Forster's next book, Howards End, a story about who would inhabit a charming old country house (and who, in a larger sense, would inherit England), that earned him recognition as a major writer. Centered around the conflict between the wealthy, materialistic Wilcox family and the cultured, idealistic Schlegel sisters-and informed by Forester's famous dictum 'Only connect'-it is full of tenderness towards favorite characters. 'Howards End is a classic English novel . . . superb and wholly cherishable . . . one that admirers have no trouble reading over and over again,' said Alfred Kazin.
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