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E.M. Forster 'stopped writing because of sexuality'

7th June 2010

A scholar claims to have found evidence why E.M. Forster stopped writing novels 46 years before his death.

While researching E.M. Forster: A New Life, Dickinson College associate professor of English Wendy Moffat gained access to the author's private papers, which showed he stopped writing because of his sexuality.

In classic novels such as A Room With A View and Howards End, Forster dealt with heterosexual themes and characters. However, Moffat's research showed that once he lost his virginity to a man at the age of 38, the author felt unable to truthfully write about these subjects.

The author wrote just one 'gay' novel - Maurice - before he gave up writing in 1924 but it was not published until 18 months after his death in 1970.

Moffat told The Sunday Times: 'The marriage plot fiction had become a masquerade to him - yet he could not bring himself to publish Maurice, which would have outed him.'

A review of Moffat's biography in the Daily Telegraph claims the author examines with 'great tact and generosity' how men like Forster helped to reform the UK's laws on homosexuality.

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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