Maurice

Introduction

Maurice is a novel by E. M. Forster. A tale of homosexual love in early 20th-century England, it follows Maurice Hall from his schooldays through university and beyond. It was written in 1913–1914, and revised in 1932 and 1959–1960.[1][2] Forster was close friends with the poet Edward Carpenter, and upon visiting his home at Millthorpe, Derbyshire in 1913, was motivated to write Maurice. The relationship between Carpenter and his partner, George Merrill, was the inspiration for that of Maurice and Alec Scudder.[3][4]

Although Forster showed the novel to a select few of his friends (among them Christopher Isherwood), it was published only posthumously, in 1971. Forster did not seek to publish it during his lifetime, believing it to have been unpublishable during that period due to public and legal attitudes to same-sex love. A note found on the manuscript read: "Publishable, but worth it?". Forster was particularly keen that his novel should have a happy ending, but knew that this would make the book too controversial.[5]

The manuscript was shown to D.H. Lawrence and it influenced his 1928 novel Lady Chatterley's Lover, which also involves a gamekeeper becoming the lover of member of the upper classes.[6]

The novel has been adapted for the stage, and as the 1987 film Maurice.


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