Edward Morgan Forster (1879-1970)
Novelist and literary critic, he followed the traditional rules and techniques of the Victorians. He was particularly interested in the study of cultures and traditions of people of different countries, in the vain search of a mutual comprehension and solidarity, reaching the sad conclusion that his dream of a conciliation of deeply different worlds is impossible. Edward Morgan Forster was born in London in January 1879. He lost his father when he was ten months old and was brought up by his mother and his great aunt, a wealthy woman who enabled them to live comfortably and never worry about financial problems. At the age of eleven he was sent to Eastbourne, a preparatory school, and at fourteen to Tonbridge, a public school in Kent. He suffered deeply at these schools, as he could not stand the strict discipline and the philistinism of Victorian conventions. He felt differently about basic questions, particularly about sex, as he had homosexual tendencies. In 1897 he entered king's College, Cambridge, where he later became a member of the "Apostles", a group of teachers and senior students which later developed into the Bloomsbury Group.
He settled in London. He liked traveling: he thus visited Italy, noting the differences between English conventions and the more relaxed Italian behaviour; he went to India three times, trying yo penetrate the soul of Indian culture and customs. For three years he lectured at the universities of Cambridge and Harvard.
Beside novels, he also wrote biographies and essays. Most of his novels deal with the gap between different social classes, the cultures traditions of different countries, always advocating friendship and tolerance.
He died in June 1970.
Among his main works we have
Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905)
A Room with a View (1908)
Howard's End (1910)
A passage to India (1924)
Aspects of the Novel (1927)