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Maurice (1971)

by E. M. Forster

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,743642,796 (3.94)131
Written during 1913 and 1914, Maurice deals with the then unmentionable subject of homosexuality. More unusual, it concerns a relationship that ends happily.
  1. 30
    The Charioteer by Mary Renault (emanate28)
    emanate28: Understated, loving, and in a way heartbreaking depiction of love between two men in repressive British society.
  2. 30
    A Passage to India by E. M. Forster (li33ieg)
    li33ieg: The man is brilliant! One should read all of his books!
  3. 30
    Why We Never Danced the Charleston by Harlan Greene (lucybrown)
    lucybrown: Both books examine young men coming to terms with their homosexuality in a time period when it was entirely unaccepted, even illegal. Forster's book is set in the late Victorian England (1914)and Greene's 1920s Charleston, SC. Both are well written though stylistically different.… (more)
  4. 20
    The Obelisk by E. M. Forster (DitisSuzanne)
  5. 10
    The Lost Language of Cranes by David Leavitt (Booksloth)
  6. 10
    A Month in the Country by J. L. Carr (1502Isabella)
  7. 21
    Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin (jonathankws)
  8. 00
    Simple Man: The Autobiography of Peter West by Ruadhán J. McElroy (youngsoulrebel)
  9. 00
    Tell it to the Bees by Fiona Shaw (MinaKelly)
  10. 01
    Stalky & Co. by Rudyard Kipling (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Maurice is kind of a Stalky grown-up to be gay.
  11. 02
    Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima (GYKM)
    GYKM: Another LGBT Bildungsroman

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» See also 131 mentions

English (60)  French (1)  Portuguese (1)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (64)
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
One of the most challenging things about reading stories of queer persons from decades past is that these can often be horror stories, in a way. The societal abuses and legal trouble people faced in the past for pursuing love and consenting relationships is nothing less than horrifying. This is certainly true when reading stories which come from the decade of my formative years, the 1980s. Even more so when reading stories set in the early twentieth century, as with the case of “Maurice” by E. M. Forster.

The way in which the titular character navigates being gay in England in the early 1900s is so frustrating and heartbreaking. He tries to get “cured” even as he realizes being “like Oscar Wilde” is something that’s just a part of his deepest self. The way others in whom Maurice confides react to him can be just as difficult to read. And, these scenes are difficult to read because they describe real-life horror instead of something fantastic. It’s like what my community faced in the 1980s, only much worse.

And there’s also the issue of language. This book, while first published in the early 1970s after the author’s death, was written in 1913-14 (per Wikipedia). Conventions of language that I learned are very different from what’s used in this work. And that’s not even taking into consideration the differences between British English and American English in terms of vocabulary and slang.

The tone, and settings, of “Maurice” remind me somewhat of “The Well of Loneliness” by Radclyffe Hall. However it’s been so long since I read that book, I don’t remember enough of its details to really make a true comparison between it and “Maurice.”

I first learned of this novel from coworkers, which lead to me looking it up on Bookshop.org and that’s where I got my copy. The fact that the book was reputed to have a happy ending is what sold me on it. But the more I read the book, the more I began to wonder how happy the ending would be. Fortunately for my sensitive self, Forster gave me a happy ending indeed.

I recommend this book, and I wish the author were still alive for me to tell him how much I enjoyed it. I found that it took careful reading, for the language reasons I mentioned above. But that really is the primary complaint I have.

“Maurice” was a wonderful book. ( )
  cr0nePunk | Jul 18, 2022 |
Even though it was written almost a hundred years ago, this book was super accessible. I thought it was interesting how unlike other novels that dealt with gay protagonists, Maurice almost exclusively focused on the social frustrations of being gay and out, especially in the 1910s. I didn't find Maurice's feelings dated at all; he was extremely relatable and in many ways lovable. He was flawed, but he was somewhat I got to know intimately and understand by the book's ending, which I loved.

My only problem with the book is that it seemed unfocused at parts--I don't really understand now whether the book's central focus was Maurice and Clive's relationship, or if it was about Maurice dealing with his sexuality in general... I also wasn't particularly wowed by the writing or anything else. However, I was wowed by how mature and skilled Forster is when it came to his characters.

I wish half-stars existed because Maurice was super close to a 5 in many ways--super enjoyable read, extremely thoughtful, great writing. ( )
  Gadi_Cohen | Sep 22, 2021 |
Reading this book I was struck over and over again by EM Forster’s sensitivity, sparsity, and genius. I can’t express how glad I am that this book was published, even after 50 years.

How did Forster create Maurice, off-handedly arrogant, non-intellectual, misogynistic and insensitive, and breathe such feeling and particular life into him? Over the course of the book, Maurice becomes variously enflamed and tempered, confuses himself, understands himself, learns and regresses… do I dislike him? Do I love him? I feel with him.

Clive swings to the forefront now and again, frustratingly opaque with repression. Alec creeps up from the background— is enough time given to him? Maybe not. In Forster’s “Terminal Note” he writes about expanding Alec’s role in his rewrites, and reading the letter in Chapter 42 I got a breathtaking sense of the unexplored depth of Alec's perspective, and I wonder how the book would read if he had been expanded even more. But I’m satisfied. Besides, the end of the book feels much more like a beginning of Maurice and Alec’s story than a culmination.

In general, of course, I’m in awe of Forster’s writing. I wish I knew how to express what he does so well, the wonder of his under-writing. Maybe if I figure it out I can try to do it too.

P.S. Pronounced "Morris", apparently. ( )
3 vote misslevel | Sep 22, 2021 |
An aristocratic British ass battles his own homosexuality. His first love is a classmate, who later turns "normal," causing Maruice no end of torment. In the end he finds happiness with a working class man.
Having loved "Howard's End" and "A Passage to India" I was quite disappointed with "Maurice." I think my dislike stems from two points: 1. Maurice is an extremely unlikable character. 2. I dislike it for the same reason I disliked "The Great Gatsby." That the characters are all so wealthy, aristocratic, and snobbish, that I was unable to relate to their world view at all. ( )
1 vote fingerpost | Sep 15, 2021 |
"Where all is obscure and unrealized the best similitude is a dream."

Maurice by EM Forster is inspired by the author’s same-sex orientation. The manuscript was concealed until after his death. Read my review here.


#Maurice #EMForster #gayfiction #LGBTQIA #lgbt #novel #literature #JohnCAdamsReviews #JohnCAdams #MondayMusings #book #bookreview #bookreviews #Review #Reviews ( )
  johncadamssf | Jul 23, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
added by gsc55 | editBoys in our Books, Ilhelm (Feb 19, 2015)
added by gsc55 | editSinfully Sexy, Mark (Jan 8, 2014)
Includes link to "new" essay
added by gsc55 | editBand of Thebes, Laurence Scott (Jul 7, 2013)

» Add other authors (33 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
E. M. Forsterprimary authorall editionscalculated
Furbank, P. N.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leavitt, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Once a term the whole school went for a walk - that is to say the three masters took part as well as all the boys.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Written during 1913 and 1914, Maurice deals with the then unmentionable subject of homosexuality. More unusual, it concerns a relationship that ends happily.

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Average: (3.94)
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W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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