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Maurice [PDF / EPUB] Maurice Maurice is heartbroken over unreuited love which opened his heart and mind to his own sexual identity In order to be true to himself he goes against the grain of society’s often unspoken rules of cl Maurice is heartbroken over unreuited love which opened his heart and mind to his own sexual identity In order to be true to himself he goes against the grain of society’s often unspoken rules of class wealth and politicsForster understood that his homage to same sex love if published when he completed it in would probably end his career Thus Maurice languished in a drawer for fifty seven years the author reuesting it be published only after his death along with his stories about homosexuality later collected in The Life to ComeSince its release in Maurice has been widely read and praised It has been and continues to be adapted for major stage productions including the Oscar nominated film adaptation starring Hugh Grant and James Wilby.

10 thoughts on “Maurice

  1. says:

    EM Forster Howards End A Room With A View finished this gay themed novel in 1914 and though he showed it to some close friends he didn't publish it in his lifetime It eventually came out after his death in the early 1970sWhat a gift to have a novel about same sex love written a century ago by one of the premier 20th century British authorsWhen Forster penned Maurice homosexuality was so taboo that there was no name for it For a man to be with another man was a criminal offense One of the most touching things about this very moving book is seeing the protagonist – the closeted very ordinary stockbroker Maurice – struggling to describe who he is and what he's feeling He eventually comes up with something about Oscar Wilde So very sad But how triumphant for Forster to have written this book and dedicated it to a happier year No one would argue that this is Forster's best novel But it's an invaluable document about a group of men who experience the love that dare not speak its name I appreciate the fact that Maurice unlike Forster himself is a very unremarkable man he's conservative a bit of a snob not very interested in music or philosophy and rather dull But he's living with this extraordinary secret that affects his entire life And the book shows how he deals with it in his secretive relationship with his Cambridge friend Clive Durham and later with gamekeeper Alec Scudder It would have been so easy for Forster to write a novel about a sensitive soulful brilliant sympathetic character How could we not love him even though he's gay? But that seems to be part of his point Maurice is a middle class Everyman – certainly he's not as intelligent as Clive – but isn't he as worthy of love as anyone else?Some details in the book are dated The language at times feels stilted The class system isn't as pronounced today as it was then And of course there's a whole new attitude towards homosexuality and thousands of books to reflect thatBut there are still people and organizations trying to cure others of homosexuality think of the group Exodus; young people are still committing suicide because of their sexuality; gays and lesbians are still choosing to live a closeted life by marrying members of the opposite sex; and let's not forget that in some parts of the world being gay is cause for deathSo really how dated is this book? Considering that authors decades after Forster wrote veiled gay characters in straight drag or killed off one or characters see Brokeback Mountain how revolutionary is it to have a gay love story with a happy ending? It's absolutely revolutionary Now who's going to write the seuel?

  2. says:

    Begun 1913Finished 1914Dedicated to a Happier Year”Edward Morgan Forster 1879 1970 wrote Maurice as a relatively young man aged 34 at a time when old Europe was starting to fall apart However it was not published until 1971 a year after his death Maurice is probably the first literary work of fiction to deal with male homosexuality in such an open sincere fashion At the time it was written men in the UK could still be imprisoned for ‘acts of gross indecency’ as in the Oscar Wilde trial Publishing this book at that time would have destroyed the deeply admired English novelist Of course E M Forster’s readers had no idea that the author of very successful novels such as Howards End and A Passage to India loved men Nevertheless he let his work be reviewed by his literary friends who knew of his sexuality He was loosely connected with the ‘Bloomsbury Group’ the literary and artistic circle with such prominent members as Virginia Woolf Duncan Grant and Lytton Strachey For the time the members of the Bloomsbury Group had a very open and unconventional approach to sexuality and among this group E M Forster’s novel could be discussed openly In public however he successfully covered up his sexuality and I wonder if this might be one of the reasons why I found Forster’s Howards End rather frigid and detached I second Katherine Mansfield when she complains about Howards End “ EM Forster never gets any farther than warming the teapot He’s a rare fine hand at that Feel this teapot Is it not beautifully warm? Yes but there ain’t going to be no tea Introduction p xxivWell in Maurice E M Forster pours hot boiling water over spicy tea leaves Forster intriguingly describes Maurice Hall’s journey of self discovery and his sexual awakening Maurice comes from a conventional middle class background with a lukewarm mentality He is very much an average guy even though Forster describes him as rather good looking and athletic not very intellectual and a bit arrogant His being sexually different initially comes across as a hindrance to his plans to follow in his deceased father’s footsteps “ Maurice was stepping into the niche that England had prepared for him” p45 Nevertheless early in the novel Forster gives hints that Maurice has always known he is ‘different’ Maurice remarks early on “I think I shall not marry” and he is rather baffled when he realises that he is overwhelmed by the fact that his mother’s garden boy George – with whom he used to play in the ‘woodstack’ when he was a boy – gave notice and left Maurice is after all a snob and he would never consider himself a friend of George Nevertheless George’s departure unsettles him and he does not really know why he has these special feelings Feelings of this kind become clearer when he moves to Cambridge for his studies and meets Clive Durham with whom he fells in love Clive’s pedigree is sophisticated he descends from landed gentry Clive is deeply torn about his sexuality even though he makes the first step in admitting his feelings for Maurice Foster does not shy away from describing romantic moments between the two and he shows perfectly his skills in evoking beauty ‘I knew you read the ‘Symposium’ in the vac’ he said in a low voiceMaurice felt uneasy ‘Then you understand – without me saying –‘‘How do you mean?’Durham could not wait People were all around them but with eyes that had gone intensely blue he whispered ‘I love you’ p 48Clive considers himself a Hellenist and he celebrates “ the love that Socrates bore Phaedolove passionate but temperate” p85 They both set out on a philosophical journey of self discovery about their sexuality and their place in society Forster tries to be as open as possible in his depiction of them We learn that both especially Clive have misogynistic tendencies Alas it is Forster himself who does not give the reader the opportunity to appreciate a fully rounded female character in his book This brings me to Forster’s theory of flat and round characters In EM Forster’s Aspects of the Novel he explains “ The test of a round character is whether it is capable of surprising in a convincing way” p81 Maurice in particular passes his creator’s test with flying colours Even though he might be snobbish arrogant and misogynistic at the beginning of the narrative the reader cannot ignore how he develops into a tolerant and self aware person capable of tender feelings What made this reader root for Maurice was his sincerity towards himself and thus his integrity Despite all his inner struggles he allows himself to be who he is; this makes him such an attractive character not only to the reader but also to others characters in the book Of course only we as readers know his innermost thoughts and feelings Forster offers us a deep insight into these thoughts where we can learn how sincere and full of integrity Maurice becomes “ He would not deceive himself so much He would not – and this was the test – pretend to care about women when the only sex that attracted him was his own He loved men and always had loved them He longed to embrace them and mingle his being with theirs Now that the man who returned his love had been lost he admitted this” p 51Indeed he loses his first love to conformity Clive decides to adapt to his family’s reuirements and beautiful conventions and grows slowly away from Maurice Ironically it is on Clive’s journey to Greece that he lets Maurice know by letter that “ I have become normal I cannot help it” p101 Not long after he marries and settles in at Penge his late father’s estate as the suire everybody expected him to become Forster gives us only a few glimpses into Clive’s inner thoughts and monologues but they are enough to make the reader understand that Clive lives in denial and self deception “One cannot write those words too often Maurice’s loneliness it increased”p124In the meantime Maurice goes through hell He begins to doubt his own sexuality and increasingly feels lonely Forster’s description of Maurice’s journey of self loathing and loneliness gets directly under the reader’s skin These are powerful passages which help enormously in empathising not only with Maurice but with thousands of other men in real life who have had to go through a similar hell “Yet he was doing a fine thing – proving on how little the soul can exist Fed neither by Heaven nor by Earth he was going forward a lamp that would have blown out were materialism true He hadn’t a God he hadn’t a lover – the two usual incentives to virtue” p126He eventually seeks advice from a doctor he has befriended confessing that he is “an unspeakable of the Oscar Wilde sort” I don’t want to spoil the doctor’s answer but I can assure you that it did not help Maurice’s self esteem at all It is on the peak of his crisis that he meets the third important character in the book Alec Scudder the gamekeeper at Penge Clive’s estate Forster likes to let different characters from different social classes bump into each other as his novel Howards End shows brilliantly Alec Scudder the gamekeeper who everybody in Maurice’s circle simply calls ‘Scudder’ belongs to the ‘class of outdoors men’ He is a man of nature with natural instincts The reader cannot really unravel his inner thoughts; Forster leaves us almost in the dark This is certainly deliberate Scudder remains the active pushy slightly aggressive and sexually attractive almost mysterious ‘country lad’ for the reader Today he would probably be categorised as bisexual He instinctively feels Maurice’s pain and reacts accordingly to his nature With Alec Scudder Maurice eventually reaches sexual fulfilment“They must live outside class without relations or money; they must work and stick to each other till death But England belonged to them That besides companionship was their reward” p212Alec Scudder who in the book represents carnality the rural and nature in comparison to Clive who stands for the intellectual and platonic love will eventually be the key to Maurice’s ‘liberation’ Together with Maurice the reader discovers after several bumps in the road the route to Maurice and Alec’s happiness This happy ending to Forster’s novel has much been discussed I was not entirely convinced even though it has its roots in real life namely in the concept of ‘Uranian love’ and the relationship between Edward Carpenter and George Merrill who Forster visited in 1913 and who were an inspiration for this book I am not sure if it is really a happy ending for Maurice and Alec but I think it was the best possible end to the book given the socio political situation at the time Forster writes in his Terminal Note “ A happy ending was imperative I shouldn’t have bothered to write otherwise” p220 I for my part tend to agree with Forster’s Bloomsbury friend Lytton Strachey who wrote in a letter to EM Forster that “ the relationship of the two rested upon curiosity and lust and would only last six weeks” Terminal Note p 222 I can sympathise with Strachey’s train of thought Maurice and Alec are first and foremost attracted sexually to each other and only later recognise that “ what unites them is the need to fight a common enemy” Introduction p xxiiDespite these minor flaws Maurice is still an important novel E M Forster wrote it in 191314 and revised it in 1960 In his Terminal Note written in 1960 he recognises a change in the public attitude towards homosexuality “ the change from ignorance and terror to familiarity and contempt” Terminal Note p 224 Still it took another seven years until the laws criminalizing acts of ‘gross indecency’ by men were abolished in England Today the legal situation in Europe has improved significantly; one could only have dreamed of it fifty years ago This is of course a very positive development In the meantime we should be aware that there are still nations where LGBT people are persecuted incarcerated and even put to death for their sexuality The human race still has a long way to go Let me thus go a step further and suggest that it is not enough to implement legally protected euality even though this must be an unalienable right We as a society ask our governments for rights which guarantee euality But I ask myself does society really embrace and integrate diversity in everyday life? Forster writes pointedly “ We had not realized that what the public really loathes in homosexuality is not the thing itself but having to think about it” Terminal Note p 224 I can only speak for my part of the world and my generation but I feel part of a monolithic world where sexual diversity has not yet reached unconscious acceptance and self evident euality and where definitions such as ‘gay’ and ‘homo’ are still used unconsciously? as an insult Just look at the advertising industry mainstream TV or cinema one rarely finds ‘rainbow families’ or same sex couples And of course the male action hero is supposed to be heterosexual While there has been constant change for the better during the past few years it is still slow; and I am afraid we still have a long wait before there is a gay James Bond and nobody thinks anything of it Until then books like Maurice have lost none of their relevance I highly recommend the Penguin Classics Edition with an introduction and notes by David Leavitt “Uranians The term has its origins in Plato’s Symposium in which Pausanius argues that men who are inspired by Heavenly Aphrodite Aphrodite Urania as opposed to Common Aphrodite Aphrodite Pandeumia “are attracted to the male sextheir intention is to form a lasting attachment and partnership for life” In the 1860s and 1870s Karl Heinrich Ulrichs promulgated the German Urning the English version of which was subseuently put into circulation by Edward Carpenter and the art historian John Addington Symonds” Notes by David Leavitt p 232

  3. says:

    The second dream is difficult to convey Nothing happened He scarcely saw a face scarcely heard a voice say “That is your friend” and then it was over having filled him with beauty and taught him tenderness He could die for such a friend he would allow such a friend to die for him; they would make any sacrifice for each other and count the world nothing neither death nor distance nor crossness could part them because “this is my friend” Maurice follows the story of Maurice a gay man in the early 1900s as he falls in love gets his heart broken and gets his heart repaired This book hit me really hard The idea of class conflict is at the forefront There are two love stories here one between Maurice and his school partner and one between him and a garden worker In one of these his class colleague asks for their relationship to never go beyond kissing; he is always at arms’ length until he is discarded altogether In one of these he is free to love as he is freed from the bounds of false intellectualism and performance It’s not clear from the summary how sectioned this book is but it is decidedly split the first half deals with Clive and the eventual breakdown of that relationship while the second half deals with Maurice’s attempts to ‘cure’ himself and then eventually with Alec I found the first half of this novel interesting The second half made me cry of happiness It’s infused with so much hope The final scene focuses point of view on Clive framed in the light while Maurice is a voice in the dark; that though is his happy ending Maurice ends the novel in love in the dark while Clive ends the novel thinking that his lack of love in the light is superior It is we as the audience who must make our own decisions on that matter I enjoyed the movie which I saw before reading the book a lot Though it’s easy to uibble with certain changes made from the book to the movie there’s one bit I particularly like the final shot in which Clive looks out at the greens wondering what he could have had had he not been afraid In so doing Forster creates an idea of love in the dark as a positive thing This reminded me of that uote from Black Sails “In the dark there is discovery there is possibility there is freedom in the dark once someone has illuminated it” I love how Jami JamiShelves put it in her review “Forster invokes the concept of the Greenwood as a metaphor for relationships existing outside the socially accepted framework for romance The Greenwood exists as an unrestrained space drawing connotations of 'the wilderness' The country acts as a locus for desire its existence outside the restraints of society and allowing desire to flourish unrestrained” There’s something profound about giving a happy ending to two men falling in love in a time where they were few and far between In the outro EM Forster says this “A happy ending was imperative I shouldn't have bothered to write otherwise I was determined that in fiction anyway two men should fall in love and remain in it for the ever and ever that fiction allows and in this sense Maurice and Alec still roam the greenwood” When this book was written in 1913 and 1914 this seemed almost ridiculous that two men could fall in love and not marry and be happy Forster wrote this novel almost to challenge that idea This book could not even published until after his death in 1971 and was then incredibly controversial This book made me feel like I believe in love again Also and this is only a minor spoiler but I think about this scene a lot “You do care a little for me I know but nothing to speak of and you don't love me I was yours once till death if you'd cared to keep me but I'm someone else's now and he's mine in a way that shocks you but why don't you stop being shocked and attend to your own happiness” view spoilerto my ex i fucked your gamekeeper in your house and in a hotel and in your boathouse bye lmao see you never Maurice at the end of this book hide spoiler

  4. says:

    what if we kissed in your ex lover's boathouseand we were both boys 😳😳 haha just kiddingunless?

  5. says:

    listen that might be just my opinion but if a lgbt book from 1913 has a happy ending there is absolutely no excuse for gays dying in books in 2019

  6. says:

    I took the damned Spoiler Alert alert out I think it keeps people from reading the actual review That said some of the following comments might be considered Spoiler but I prefer to think of these comments as what Forster could have done better should have done better and any image of Hugh Grant spread eagled on a table deserves to be noticed IMHOAt first I thought rereading Forster’s gay novel for a group discussion would be fun I liked it first time around and expected to like it as much this time Perhaps it was having watched the film since the first reading Maybe I couldn’t prevent myself from picturing Hugh Grant in the role of Clive Durham and a young Rupert Graves in the role of Scudder; whatever the reasons rereading this novel knowing where it was headed made me impatient made me angry made me want to see the younger Hugh Grant shoved face down over a table depantsed and deflowered in the most aggressive way But that’s just meForster’s novel remained a featherbed of cozy enveloping language The early scene in which Mr Ducie a ‘senior’ at Maurice’s preparatory school and a man who felt the obligation to instruct Maurice in the “mystery of sex” complete with a diagram drawn in the sand on a beach then abandoned and too late realized left to be discovered by other casual strollers of both sexes Oh my was still funny The developing relationship between Maurice and fellow Cambridge student Clive Durham was still touching in its intimacy and affection—but then but then but then—That relationship stalls at intimacy Maurice is coaxed by Clive led on if you will only to reach a wall—a wall of this far and no further After ‘outing’ himself Clive seemingly has no ‘out’ to arrive at His bold confession to Maurice is overstated leaving Maurice confused and wanting While this novel is certainly a matter of time and place the Platonic relationship just doesn’t ring true for a contemporary understanding The British stereotype—the conservative asexual slightly effeminate my apologies good Brits but we are talking stereotypes not realities—registers as alien in modern readers of anything other than Christian fictionAnd it was this alienation from the characters that left me thinking “Jesus Christ Maurice hammer him—nail his ass—show the lame fucker what he’s wanting but is too caught up in an ideal to grab”But of course that won’t do We all know what rape is; there’s never good reason for it to occur—even in fiction Poetic justice and poetic injustice are opposite sides of the same coin They’re really two ways of saying the same thingThe poetic justice if such a thing exists is Clive’s ultimate settling for passionless marriage while Maurice moves on— power to himI don’t regret rereading Maurice It’s still fine story telling and plotting A reader has to understand that Forster writing when he did could only imagine only hope for a better time when people were able to be who they are without fear of social or legal repercussion I think I’ve been spoiled—three decades and still going with my own partner makes me both generous and selfish It makes me wish others had or could have what I have—just not MINE

  7. says:

    “I think you’re beautiful the only beautiful person I’ve ever seen I love your voice and everything to do with you down to your clothes or the room you are sitting in I adore you” this book sent me all the way through it and I was genuinely moved by the tenderness the yearning the way em forster wrote a happy ending for two men because he thought it was time gay men got to be happy in fiction the explorations of class and freedom and longing Maurice's journey to self discovery and coming of age the way that clive his first love is depicted and the closure he gets from him the fact the end of this book is literally I fucked your gamekeeper in your bedroom and then in a hotel and now I realise I don't care for you at all gotta bounce also em forster has such beautiful and emotional writing “A happy ending was imperative I shouldn't have bothered to write otherwise I was determined that in fiction anyway two men should fall in love and remain in it for the ever and ever that fiction allows and in this sense Maurice and Alec still roam the greenwood” I adore this book and em forster

  8. says:

    Possibly my new favourite book of the year so far I absolutely loved this one beautiful moving such a powerful read

  9. says:

    Maurice is a book among few others where I’d like to not only share a select few uotes with you but transcribe the whole story from start to finish I’d also love to delve deep into the story behind the book and its creator E M Forster Maurice is “his story” in two senses of the term firstly it is a story that was born from his mind and his hand and secondly from his own experiences He begins this book with the dedication “Begun 1913 Finished 1914 Dedicated to a Happier Year” Forster made arrangements to have it remain unpublished until after his death in 1970 At the time that he wrote this homosexuality was illegal in England A character from Maurice says at one point in the story “England has always been disinclined to accept human nature” Homosexuality was eventually legalized in 1967 just 3 years before Forsters death Imagine waiting and wishing your whole life for your own country's acceptance and getting it at age 88 Out of his 91 years of living only 3 were ones of legal freedom While reading about Maurice’s own internal struggle I couldn’t help but feel that Forster was using Maurice as a way to give voice to his own private toil “He had awoken too late for happiness but not for strength and could feel an austere joy as of a warrior who is homeless but stands fully armed”Forster showed in a heartbreaking yet beautiful way how Society can influence people to the point of dishonesty Forced to put up walls between their true self and who they think they should be Leading to them not only betraying who they “love” but betraying themselves One of the characters askes the other “After all is not a real Hell better than a manufactured Heaven?” At times Maurice being a “gentleman” seemed sexist elitist and proud Yet there comes a point when station position sex and education don’t matter That is the profound truth about love it conuers all “He educated Maurice’s spirit for they themselves became eual Neither thought ‘Am I led; am I leading?’ Love had caught him out of triviality and Maurice out of bewilderment in order that two imperfect souls might touch perfection”Being a novelist Forster had a power that neither England God or anyone could tamper with That is he could give Maurice the life and ending that was never given to himself He held the pen he was Maurice’s creator and being so meant that he was in control of his own character’s fate Fiction warrants everything all the author needs to do is write “At times he entertained the dream Two men can defy the world”E M Forster on writing the ending of Maurice“A happy ending was imperative I shouldn’t have bothered to write otherwise I was determined that in fiction anyway two men should fall in love and remain in it for the ever that fiction allows and in this sense Maurice and still roam the greenwood”

  10. says:

    Perfect There is probably nothing I can write that hasn't been written before about this work from one of our great English authors It has no doubt been criticised scrutinised analysed investigated praised and acclaimed I will just write about how the book made me feel The style of English was so refreshing to read A style and mastery that has been long since forgotten It has a beauty to it that flows and melts coming from an era where conversation really was an art Where every word was carefully picked and every sentence construction built to hold last and sit precisely A rare treat Forster manages to describe the emotions of gay love by eluding to it but never the vulgar I ask myself what would he think about our modern romances and language if he could read them today The book itself was like having my own personal time portal swept back to a time though noble also ignorant A look into class social etiuette traditions and values of an era gone by Into this was born Maurice and his fight for happiness begins He goes through a personal hell and back jilted by Clive who turns to women here I reckon Clive was probably what we know to be bi today and was easier for him to bow to the pressures of society although uite possibly a sexless marriage to Anne Maurice finds his absolution and love in the arms of Scudder the game keeper An unlikely combination but Scudder's naive acceptance of his homosexuality is refreshing in it's nature A character that creeps out of the background and has a profound effect on Maurice than originally anticipated Maurice goes through an emotional hell and back looking at his sexual orientation as an abomination a disease that has no cure though treatments are sought the internal struggle remains until it nearly drives him to suicidal feelings This would be all uite normal for this day and age and attitudes from society you would have no other choice but to stay firmly in the closet and remain there An extremely lonely feeling This book was far ahead of its time therefore the publication after the death of the author in 1971 when society was ready to embrace its message All I can say for anyone who wishes to read a classic from a master then READ THIS BOOK It was a pioneering work of its day and anyone who takes their mm romance literature seriously should read it as a shining example of how we've got to where we are today

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