Forster, E.M. (1879–1970) By McKee, Adam R.
One of the leading British novelists of the early decades of the twentieth century, Edward Morgan Forster is best known for his novels Howards End (1910) and A Passage to India (1924). Forster attended Cambridge University from 1897 to 1901, where he became a member of the Cambridge Apostles secret society, which included philosophers Bertrand Russell, G.E. Moore, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Membership in this society brought him into contact with several members of the Bloomsbury Group, including economist James Maynard Keynes, Virginia Woolf’s husband Leonard Woolf, and biographer Lytton Strachey. His work is best remembered for its use of realism to denounce the repressiveness of Edwardian British culture and it is often infused with liberal humanism. Additionally, his use of third-person omniscient narrative and abundant dialogue gave Forster a unique narrative style that influenced a number of later authors. Throughout his career Forster associated with a host of writers and artists including Siegfried Sassoon, Rupert Brooke, and Christopher Isherwood. Forster was highly influenced by his travels throughout the European continent and India. His works often illustrate this interest by focusing on settings outside of England. All of the novels published in Forster’s lifetime were published before 1925, after which Forster spent his life working on nonfiction, including biographies, travel narratives, and essays.