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By Glen Cavaliero (auth.)

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Additional info for A Reading of E. M. Forster

Example text

If family prayers came to an end, and the majority of church-goers became 'four-wheelers' (to employ a clerical jocosity), only attending in a perambulator, a wedding carriage or a hearse, formal manners still prevailed, a show of cultured activity was maintained, and above all everyone knew their social place: for Eastbourne (or Tunbridge Wells or Weybridge) read Sawston. The Victorian Compromise may have been dead by the time that Forster wrote A Passage to India, but the people who were conditioned by it still survived, drawing their dividends like the Schlegel sisters and Aunt Juley, and following a certain prescribed standard of outlook and morals.

They were not to be associated 28 A Reading of E. M. Forster merely (if 'merely' be not too easily dismissive a word) with the foundering fortunes of the Liberal Party: rather they consisted of an ideal of individual behaviour that owed as much to Walter Pater and the Aesthetic movement as to the Principia Ethicaof G. E. Moore. Forster never read this book which appeared a year after he went down from Cambridge, and in the Dickinson biography he even gets the date of publication wrong; but Moore's ideas were the intellectual air he breathed, and were what put him in sympathy with his Bloomsbury friends, with whom his name has otherwise been too readily associated.

The extent of the heat may be judged from the fact that, on descending to my cabin, a tube of Kolynos was found in a semi-liquid condition' is a sentence which Dickinson gave me to put in mine. He said it was the ideal diarist style. Most authors would have stopped at this point, content to have transcribed a humorous passage with a neat dry wit; but the reflective man in Forster was too strong to leave matters there. I transcribe it here not for that reason but because nonsense is too seldom recorded.

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