978-0-00-216719-2 / 9780002167192

Selected Letters of E.M. Forster, Vol. 2: 1921-1970


Publisher:HarperCollins Distribution Services



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About the book:

This second volume of the selected letters of E. M. Forster shows the extraordinary range and enduring quality of his friendships, as well as the breadth of his interests and activities. Despite a long period of sterility as a novelist, time spent in India, in 1912-13 and again in 1921, proved a source of creativity, fulfilled in his masterpiece A Passage to India (1924). Forster's literary energies after this went into biographies and memoirs and into occasional essays. His emergence in the 1930s as an active journalist and broadcaster on social and political issues underlined his status as a man of letters: he was the first President of the National Council for Civil Liberties, and successfully led a campaign against the BBC's blacklisting of pacifist performers. His correspondents during these years included T. S. Eliot, Siegfried Sassoon, J. R. Ackerley, D. H. Lawrence, Christopher Isherwood, Stephen Spender, T. E. Lawrence, Leonard and Virginia Woolf. Forster was over seventy when, rather against his own expectations, he began a long, happy and productive new period of his life when he wrote, with Eric Crozier, the libretto for Benjamin Britten's opera Billy Budd. He was also, in i960, a leading defence witness in the Ladj Chatterlej trial. By then he was a revered figure among literati and enjoyed talking to and advising aspiring writers. Dividing his time between his rooms at King's, Cambridge and the home of the Buckingham family in Coventry, he maintained a formidable output of correspondence.

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