Books

A Passage to India

E M Forster (and others)

Exploring issues of colonialism, faith and the limits of comprehension, E.M. Forster's A Passage to India is published as a Penguin Essential for the first time.

When Adela Quested and her elderly companion Mrs Moore arrive in the Indian town of Chandrapore, they quickly feel trapped by its insular and prejudiced 'Anglo-Indian' community. Determined to escape the parochial English enclave and explore the 'real India', they seek the guidance of the charming and mercurial Dr Aziz, a cultivated Indian Muslim. But a mysterious incident occurs while they are exploring the Marabar caves with Aziz, and the well-respected doctor soon finds himself at the centre of a scandal that rouses violent passions among both the British and their Indian subjects. A masterly portrait of a society in the grip of imperialism, A Passage to India compellingly depicts the fate of individuals caught between the great political and cultural conflicts of the modern world.

'His great book ... masterly in its presence and its lucidity'
Anita Desai

A Room with a View

E M Forster

The Penguin English Library Edition of A Room with a View by E. M. Forster

'"But you do," he went on, not waiting for contradiction. "You love the boy body and soul, plainly, directly, as he loves you, and no other word expresses it ..."

Lucy has her rigid, middle-class life mapped out for her until she visits Florence with her uptight cousin Charlotte, and finds her neatly ordered existence thrown off balance. Her eyes are opened by the unconventional characters she meets at the Pension Bertolini: flamboyant romantic novelist Eleanor Lavish, the Cockney Signora, curious Mr Emerson and, most of all, his passionate son George.

Lucy finds herself torn between the intensity of life in Italy and the repressed morals of Edwardian England, personified in her terminally dull fiancé Cecil Vyse. Will she ever learn to follow her own heart?

The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.

Howards End

E M Forster

The Penguin English Library Edition of Howards End by E. M. Forster

'The poor cannot always reach those whom they want to love, and they can hardly ever escape from those whom they love no longer. We rich can'

'Only connect.' is the idea at the heart of this book, a heartbreaking and provocative tale of three families at the beginning of the twentieth century: the rich Wilcoxes, the gentle, idealistic Schlegels and the lower-middle class Basts. As the Schlegel sisters try desperately to help the Basts and educate the close-minded Wilcoxes, the families are drawn together in love, lies and death.

Frequently cited as E. M. Forster's finest work, Howards End brilliantly explores class warfare, conflict and the English character.

The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.

Where Angels Fear to Tread

E M Forster

The Penguin English Library Edition of Where Angels Fear to Tread by E. M. Forster

'I had got an idea that everyone here spent their lives in making little sacrifices for objects they didn't care for, to please people they didn't love; that they never learned to be sincere - and, what's as bad, never learned how to enjoy themselves'

E. M. Forster's first novel is a witty comedy of manners that is tinged with tragedy. It tells the story of Lilia Herriton, who proves to be an embarrassment to her late husband's family as, in the small Tuscan town of Monteriano, she begins a relationship with a much younger Italian man - classless, uncouth and highly unsuitable. A subtle attack on decorous Edwardian values and a humanely sympathetic portrayal of the clash of two cultures, Where Angels Fear to Tread is also a profound exploration of character and virtue.

The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.

A Room with a View

E M Forster

E.M.Forster's delightfully satiric comedy of manners A Room with a View is beautifully repackaged as part of the Penguin Essentials range.

'You love the boy body and soul, plainly, directly, as he loves you . . .'

Lucy has her rigid, middle-class life mapped out for her until she visits Florence with her uptight cousin Charlotte, and finds her neatly ordered existence thrown off balance.

Her eyes are opened by the unconventional characters she meets at the Pension Pertolini: flamboyant romantic novelist Eleanor Lavish, the Cockney Signora, curious Mr Emerson and, most of all, his passionate son George.

Lucy finds herself torn between the intensity of life in Italy and the repressed morals of Victorian England, personified in her terminally dull fiancé Cecil Vyse. Will she ever learn to follow her own heart?

A Room with a View is a sunny, brilliantly witty comedy of manners.

'He says, and even more implies, things that no other novelist does, and we can go on reading Forster indefinitely' The Times

'I loved it. My first intimation of the possibilities of fiction' Zadie Smith

Edward Morgan Forster was born in London in 1879. He studied at King's College, Cambridge. He wrote six novels, four of which appeared before the First World War, Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905), The Longest Journey (1907), A Room with a View (1908) and Howard's End (1910). An interval of fourteen years elapsed before he published A Passage to India. It won both the Prix Femina Vie Heuruse and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. He last novel, Maurice, was published posthumously in 1971. He also published two volumes of short stories and a number of non-fiction books. E. M. Forster died in 1970.

The Machine Stops

E M Forster

'"You talk as if a god had made the Machine," cried the other. "I believe that you pray to it when you are unhappy. Men made it, do not forget that."'

E.M. Forster is best known for his exquisite novels, but these two affecting short stories brilliantly combine the fantastical with the allegorical. In 'The Machine Stops', humanity has isolated itself beneath the ground, enmeshed in automated comforts, and in 'The Celestial Omnibus' a young boy takes a trip his parents believe impossible.

This book contains The Machine Stops and A Celestial Omnibus.

Where Angels Fear to Tread

E M Forster (and others)

E.M. Forster's Where Angels Fear to Tread is amongst the greatest twentieth-century literary explorations of vice, virtue and the nature of prejudice, edited with notes by Oliver Stallybrass and an introduction by Ruth Padel in Penguin Classics.

On travelling to Italy with her friend Caroline Abbott, the impulsive English widow Lilia Herriton outrages her dead husband's family by meeting and quickly becoming engaged to Gino, a dashing but deeply unsuitable Italian man twelve years her junior. Infuriated, her ex-brother-in-law Philip sets off from England to her new home in the Tuscan town of Monteriano - but, finding himself unable to persuade Lilia to leave her handsome, uncouth new lover, returns to England without her. When Lilia's marriage leads to sudden tragedy, however, Philip and Caroline feel compelled to return once more to Italy, where they are forced to examine their own lives.

This edition reproduces the Abinger text, and also includes further reading, notes, a chronology, an introduction by Ruth Padel discussing division and culture clash in the novel and an appendix detailing an exchange about the novel between Forster and the poet R.C. Trevelyan.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970) was a noted English author and critic and a member of the Bloomsbury group. His first novel, Where Angels Fear To Tread appeared in 1905. The Longest Journey appeared in 1907, followed by A Room With A View (1908), based partly on the material from extended holidays in Italy with his mother. Howards End (1910) was a story that centered on an English country house and dealt with the clash between two families, one interested in art and literature, the other only in business. Maurice was revised several times during his life, and finally published posthumously in 1971.

If you enjoyed Where Angels Fear to Tread, you might enjoy Forster's A Room With a View, also available in Penguin Classics.

The Longest Journey

E M Forster (and others)

Rickie Elliot, a sensitive and intelligent young man with an intense imagination and a certain amount of literary talent, sets out from Cambridge full of hopes to become a writer. But when his stories are not successful he decides instead to marry the beautiful but shallow Agnes, agreeing to abandon his writing and become a schoolmaster at a second-rate public school. Giving up his hopes and values for those of the conventional world, he sinks into a world of petty conformity and bitter disappointments.

Aspects of the Novel

E M Forster (and others)

E.M. Forster's Aspects of the Novel is an innovative and effusive treatise on a literary form that, at the time of publication, had only recently begun to enjoy serious academic consideration. This Penguin Classics edition is edited with an introduction by Oliver Stallybrass, and features a new preface by Frank Kermode.

First given as a series of lectures at Cambridge University, Aspects of the Novel is Forster's analysis of this great literary form. Here he rejects the 'pseudoscholarship' of historical criticism - 'that great demon of chronology' - that considers writers in terms of the period in which they wrote and instead asks us to imagine the great novelists working together in a single room. He discusses aspects of people, plot, fantasy and rhythm, making illuminating comparisons between novelists such as Proust and James, Dickens and Thackeray, Eliot and Dostoyevsky - the features shared by their books and the ways in which they differ. Written in a wonderfully engaging and conversational manner, this penetrating work of criticism is full of Forster's habitual irreverence, wit and wisdom.

In his new introduction, Frank Kermode discusses the ways in which Forster's perspective as a novelist inspired his lectures. This edition also includes the original introduction by Oliver Stallybrass, a chronology, further reading and appendices.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970) was a noted English author and critic and a member of the Bloomsbury group. His first novel, Where Angels Fear To Tread appeared in 1905. The Longest Journey appeared in 1907, followed by A Room With A View (1908), based partly on the material from extended holidays in Italy with his mother. Howards End (1910) was a story that centered on an English country house and dealt with the clash between two families, one interested in art and literature, the other only in business. Maurice was revised several times during his life, and finally published posthumously in 1971.

If you enjoyed Aspects of the Novel, you might like Forster's A Room with a View, also available in Penguin Classics.

Maurice

E M Forster (and others)

An astonishingly frank and deeply autobiographical account of homosexual relationships in an era when love between men was not only stigmatised, but also illegal, E.M. Forster's Maurice is edited by P.N. Furbank with an introduction by David Leavitt in Penguin Classics.

Maurice Hall is a young man who grows up confident in his privileged status and well aware of his role in society. Modest and generally conformist, he nevertheless finds himself increasingly attracted to his own sex. Through Clive, whom he encounters at Cambridge, and through Alec, the gamekeeper on Clive's country estate, Maurice gradually experiences a profound emotional and sexual awakening. A tale of passion, bravery and defiance, this intensely personal novel was completed in 1914 but remained unpublished until after Forster's death in 1970. Compellingly honest and beautifully written, it offers a powerful condemnation of the repressive attitudes of British society, and is at once a moving love story and an intimate tale of one man's erotic and political self-discovery.

In his introduction, David Leavitt explores the significance of the novel in relation to Forster's own life and as a founding work of modern gay literature. This edition reproduces the Abinger text of the novel, and includes new notes, a chronology and further reading.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970) was a noted English author and critic and a member of the Bloomsbury group. His first novel, Where Angels Fear To Tread appeared in 1905. The Longest Journey appeared in 1907, followed by A Room With A View (1908), based partly on the material from extended holidays in Italy with his mother. Howards End (1910) was a story that centred on an English country house and dealt with the clash between two families, one interested in art and literature, the other only in business. Maurice was revised several times during his life, and finally published posthumously in 1971.

If you enjoyed Maurice, you might like Forster's A Room With a View, also available in Penguin Classics.

A Passage to India

E M Forster (and others)

Exploring issues of colonialism, faith and the limits of comprehension, E.M. Forster's A Passage to India is edited by Oliver Stallybrass, with an introduction by Pankaj Mishra.

When Adela Quested and her elderly companion Mrs Moore arrive in the Indian town of Chandrapore, they quickly feel trapped by its insular and prejudiced 'Anglo-Indian' community. Determined to escape the parochial English enclave and explore the 'real India', they seek the guidance of the charming and mercurial Dr Aziz, a cultivated Indian Muslim. But a mysterious incident occurs while they are exploring the Marabar caves with Aziz, and the well-respected doctor soon finds himself at the centre of a scandal that rouses violent passions among both the British and their Indian subjects. A masterly portrait of a society in the grip of imperialism, A Passage to India compellingly depicts the fate of individuals caught between the great political and cultural conflicts of the modern world.

In his introduction, Pankaj Mishra outlines Forster's complex engagement with Indian society and culture. This edition reproduces the Abinger text and notes, and also includes four of Forster's essays on India, a chronology and further reading.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970) was a noted English author and critic and a member of the Bloomsbury group. His first novel, Where Angels Fear To Tread appeared in 1905. The Longest Journey appeared in 1907, followed by A Room With A View (1908), based partly on the material from extended holidays in Italy with his mother. Howards End (1910) was a story that centred on an English country house and dealt with the clash between two families, one interested in art and literature, the other only in business. Maurice was revised several times during his life, and finally published posthumously in 1971.

If you enjoyed A Passage to India, you might like Rudyard Kipling's Kim, also available in Penguin Classics.

'His great book ... masterly in its presence and its lucidity'
Anita Desai

Selected Stories

E M Forster

Although he is best known for his exquisite novels, E.M. Forster also wrote remarkable short stories. He referred to his stories as ‘fantasies’ and his attraction to myth and magic is apparent in many of them. Like his novels, the stories – whether they are set in Italy, Greece, India, and other places Forster visited, or in England itself – contrast the freedom of paganism with the restraints of English civilization, the personal, sensual delights of the body with the impersonal, inhibiting rules imposed by society. Rich in irony and alive with sharp observations on the surprises life holds, the stories often feature violent events, discomforting coincidences, and other disruptive happenings that throw the characters’ perceptions and beliefs off balance. This volume includes all twelve stories published during Forster’s lifetime.

A Room with a View

E M Forster (and others)

E.M. Forster's vision of love struggling to assert itself in spite of the rigid class boundaries of Edwardian England, A Room with a View contains an introduction by Malcolm Bradbury in Penguin Classics.

Visiting Florence with her prim and proper cousin Charlotte as a chaperone, Lucy Honeychurch meets the unconventional, lower-class Mr Emerson and his son, George. Upon her return to England, Lucy becomes engaged to the supercilious Cecil Vyse, but she finds herself increasingly torn between the expectations of the world in which she moves and the passionate yearnings of her heart. More than a love story, A Room with a View (1908) is a penetrating social comedy and a brilliant study of contrasts - in values, social class, and cultural perspectives - and the ingenuity of fate.

In his sparkling introduction Malcolm Bradbury notes that A Room with a View 'was the work where Forster laid down most of his key themes, the place where he displayed both his warmth and sharpness, and developed his famous light style.' This edition also contains suggestions for further reading and explanatory notes.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970) was a noted English author and critic and a member of the Bloomsbury group. His first novel, Where Angels Fear To Tread appeared in 1905. The Longest Journey appeared in 1907, followed by A Room With A View (1908), based partly on the material from extended holidays in Italy with his mother. Howards End (1910) was a story that centred on an English country house and dealt with the clash between two families, one interested in art and literature, the other only in business. Maurice was revised several times during his life, and finally published posthumously in 1971.

If you enjoyed A Room with a View, you might enjoy D.H. Lawrence's Women in Love, also available in Penguin Classics.

Howards End

David Lodge (and others)

A meticulously-observed drama of class warfare, E.M. Forster's Howards End explores the conflict inherent within English society, unveiling the character of a nation as never before. This Penguin Classics edition includes an introduction and notes by David Lodge.

'Only connect...'

A chance acquaintance brings together the preposterous bourgeois Wilcox family and the clever, cultured and idealistic Schlegel sisters. As clear-eyed Margaret develops a friendship with Mrs Wilcox, the impetuous Helen brings into their midst a young bank clerk named Leonard Bast, who lives at the edge of poverty and ruin. When Mrs Wilcox dies, her family discovers that she wants to leave her country home, Howards End, to Margaret. Thus as Forster sets in motion a chain of events that will entangle three different families, he brilliantly portrays their aspirations to personal and social harmony.

David Lodge's introduction provides an absorbing and eloquent overture to the 1910 novel that established Forster's reputation as an important writer, and that he himself later referred to as 'my best novel'. This edition also contains a note on the text, suggestions for further reading, and explanatory notes.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970) was a noted English author and critic and a member of the Bloomsbury group. His first novel, Where Angels Fear To Tread appeared in 1905. The Longest Journey appeared in 1907, followed by A Room With A View (1908), based partly on the material from extended holidays in Italy with his mother. Howards End (1910) was a story that centered on an English country house and dealt with the clash between two families, one interested in art and literature, the other only in business. Maurice was revised several times during his life, and finally published posthumously in 1971.

If you enjoyed Howard's End, you might like Forster's A Room with a View, also available in Penguin Classics.

Howards End

E M Forster (and others)

The story of a house and two sisters, Howards End is also a subtle meditation on national, sexual and social identities. Half German by birth and middle-class English by upbringing, Helen and Margaret Schlegel struggle to come to terms with the problems of their inheritance in Edwardian England. If the contrasting temperaments of the heroines often recall Sense and Sensibility, the comparison with Jane Austen is fully justified by the power of Forster’s irony and the brilliance of his wit.

Biography

Edward Morgan Forster was born in London in 1879, attended Tonbridge School as a day boy, and went on to King's College, Cambridge, in 1897. With King's he had a lifelong connection and was elected to an Honorary Fellowship in 1946. He declared that his life as a whole had not been dramatic, and he was unfailingly modest about his achievements. Interviewed by the BBC on his eightieth birthday, he said: 'I have not written as much as I'd like to... I write for two reasons: partly to make money and partly to win the respect of people whom I respect... I had better add that I am quite sure I am not a great novelist.' Eminent critics and the general public have judged otherwise and in his obituary The Times called him 'one of the most esteemed English novelists of his time'.

He wrote six novels, four of which appeared before the First World War, Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905), The Longest Journey (1907), A Room with a View (1908), and Howard's End (1910). An interval of fourteen years elapsed before he published A Passage to India. It won both the Prix Femina Vie Heureuse and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Maurice, his novel on a homosexual theme, finished in 1914, was published posthumously in 1971. He also published two volumes of short stories; two collections of essays; a critical work, Aspects of the Novel; The Hill of Devi, a fascinating record of two visits Forster made to the Indian State of Dewas Senior; two biographies; two books about Alexandria (where he worked for the Red Cross in the First World War); and, with Eric Crozier, the libretto for Britten's opera Billy Budd. He died in June 1970.