Maurice by E.M. Forster, 1st/1st, 1971
This is a near fine copy of E.M. Forster's 'Maurice' in first edition and first printing. London, 1971. The jacket is in very good coniditon, with slight lifting on the vinyl, and slight shelf wear. The boards are free from chips and marks. The texblocks are without foxing or discolouring. The jacket has not been price clipped and the book is without previous owners ink. Overall this is a near fine copy.
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. Forster was an admirer of the poet, philosopher, socialist and early gay activist Edward Carpenter, and following a visit to Carpenter’s home at Millthorpe, Derbyshire in 1913, was inspired to write Maurice. The cross-class relationship between Carpenter and his working-class partner, George Merrill, presented a real-life model for that of Maurice and Alec Scudder. Although Forster showed the novel to a select few of his trusted friends (among them Lytton Strachey, Edward Carpenter, Christopher Isherwood, and Xiao Qian), 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 determined that his novel should have a happy ending, but also feared that this would make the book liable to prosecution while male homosexuality remained illegal in the UK. There has been speculation that Forster's unpublished manuscript may have been seen by D.H. Lawrence and influenced his 1928 novel Lady Chatterley's Lover, which also involves a gamekeeper becoming the lover of member of the upper classes. However, this remains unsubstantiated. The novel has been adapted by James Ivory and Kit Hesketh-Harvey as the 1987 Merchant Ivory Productions film Maurice, for the stage, and as a 2007 BBC Radio 4 Classic Serial by Philip Osment.