Forster, E(dward) M.

1969 ALS of the popular English novelist who had 5 novels published in his lifetime, 3 became very successful films 50+ years later

Price: $250.00

Description:
(1879-1970) English novelist, short story writer, essayist and librettist, best for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class difference and hypocrisy in early 20th-century British society. Some of his most popular works were made into successful films: his 1908 novel, “A Room with a View”; his 1910 novel “Howards End”; and his 1924 novel, “A Passage to India.” Forster had 5 novels published in his lifetime. Although “Maurice” was published shortly after his death, it had been written nearly 60 years earlier. He never finished a 7th novel, “Arctic Summer”. He was born into an Anglo-Irish and Welsh middle-class family. A sizeable inheritance from a great-aunt enabled him to become a writer. He attended the notable public school, Tonbridge School in Kent, and the theatre there is named in his honor. At King's College, Cambridge, 1897-1901, he became a member of the Apostles, many of whose members went on to constitute the Bloomsbury Group, of which Forster was a peripheral member in the 1910s & 1920s. He spent a 2nd spell in India in the early 1920s as private secretary to the Maharajah of Dewas; “The Hill of Devi”is his non-fictional account of this period. After returning to London, he completed his last novel, “A Passage to India” (1924), for which he won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. In the 1930s and 1940s Forster became a successful broadcaster on BBC Radio and a public figure associated with the Union of Ethical Societies. He was awarded a Benson Medal in 1937. Forster was a homosexual, open to his close friends, but not to the public. He was elected an honorary fellow of King's College, Cambridge, in January 1946, and lived for the most part in the college, doing relatively little. He declined a knighthood in 1949 and was made a Companion of Honour in 1953. In 1969 he was made a member of the Order of Merit. Forster was President of the Cambridge Humanists from 1959 until his death and a member of the Advisory Council of the British Humanist Association from 1963 until his death. He wrote the libretto for Benjamin Britten’s 1951 opera, “Billy Budd”, based on Melville's novel, with Eric Crozier. He died of a stroke on 7 June 1970. There is a monument to Forster in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, near where he grew up. He based the setting for “Howards End” on this area, now informally known as Forster Country. His first novel, “Where Angels Fear to Tread” (1905), was adapted as a 1991 film directed by Charles Sturridge. Next, Forster published “The Longest Journey” (1907). His 3rd novel, “A Room with a View” (1908), was adapted as a film in 1985 by the Merchant-Ivory team. “Howards End” (1910), concerned with different groups within the Edwardian middle classes, was filmed by Merchant-Ivory in 1992. His greatest success was with “A Passage to India” (1924), on the relationship between East and West, seen through the lens of India in the later days of the British Raj. It was made into a David Lean film in 1984. “Maurice” (1971) was published posthumously and was controversial, given that Forster's homosexuality had not been previously known or widely acknowledged; it was filmed by Merchant-Ivory in 1987. ALS on 6 x 8 ¼ “King’s College Cambridge” letterhead, February 24 1969, in the somewhat shaky hand of the 90-year old novelist, to a Mr. Buchanan. Forster thanks Buchanan for his “kind letter”, adding: “I wish I often got as kind a letter as I receive from you”, sends best wishes.

Condition: Very good
Type:Letter






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