Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 339
E. M. Forster's first novel, Where Angels Fear to Tread, was published in 1905. Set it Italy, it concerns the tragic relations between an English family and a young Italian man.
Forster's third novel, A Room With a View (1908), is also set in Italy. It too focuses on a clash of cultures, contrasting the conventional behavior of English characters with the more spontaneous life of the Italian characters.
Considered second only to A Passage to India among Forster's novels, Howards End (1910) is a subtle study of English class distinctions and the uneasy relationship between aesthetic and materialistic outlooks on life. An Edwardian novel of manners, it is the most "English" of Forster's novels. In it, Forster coined the motto that best expresses his view of how to live a full life: "Only connect." ("Only connect the prose and passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height.")
Forster expressed his ideas about the novel as a literary genre in a series of lectures that he gave at Cambridge University in 1927. These lectures were collected and published in the same year under the title Aspects of the Novel. Forster mentions particular novels by important writers and discusses the qualities that make a good novel.
Forster gave a factual account of his travels in India in a nonfiction work, The Hill of Devi, published in 1953.
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's 1975 novel Heat and Dust traces the parallel experiences in India of an Englishwoman and her great-niece some sixty years apart. Jhabvala also wrote the screenplays for Ishmail Merchant and James Ivory's film adaptations of Forster's Room With a View, Maurice, and Where Angels Fear to Tread.
The English writer Paul Scott wrote a series of four novels known collectively as The Raj Quartet. Set in India from 1942 to 1947, the books follow relations between the English and Indians in the years leading up to India's independence. The four books are The Jewel in the Crown (1966), The Day of the Scorpion (1968), The Towers of Silence (1972), and A Division of Spoils (1972).
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