An essayist, lecturer, tutor to the working class, and travel guide, Edward Morgan Forster is recognized chiefly for his five novels published up to 1924. For those works, Forster has been proclaimed one of the greatest novelists of the twentieth century though he has no school of followers or even an obvious apostle. Instead, Forster holds his position of influence on the novel in solitude. Though Forster would not approve of his works being adapted to film, a renewed appreciation of Forster in the late twentieth century coincided with film adaptations of his works.
Forster's belief in personal relationships and his experience as a globetrotter allowed him to be a staunch advocate of multiculturalism long before the term came into academic vogue. His stories and writings are rife with a permissive transgression of social, racial, sexual, and cultural strictures. Forster's egalitarianism found a large audience during a time when his intellectual contemporaries were elitist, conservative, and still trying to transition from Victorian to Modern England.
Forster contributes to this transition with his third novel, Room with a View, which he started in 1902 but did not publish until 1908. In this novel, Lucy finds completeness in an ending of unabashed happiness after journeying through a story of textbook comic structure. She has found love, adulthood, and happiness—all things lacking in the beginning. The work celebrates youth, nature, and the comic or Greek spirit with Lucy a light that illuminates a path for both men and women to follow. Lucy, with her husband, takes the best of radical politics and Victorian society and makes a place of equanimity.