E. M. Forster's father died when he was a baby, and he was raised in an English country village by his mother and various female relatives. At Kings College, Cambridge, he discovered his homosexuality and became a member of the Apostles, in which he met Leonard Woolf, Lytton Strachey, John Maynard Keynes, and Roger Fry--the foundations of what is known as the Bloomsbury Group, of which Forster also became a member. Thanks to a legacy from a great-aunt, Forster was able to support himself and also to travel widely in Italy, Austria, and Greece--places that would become useful to him as a writer. Between 1903 and 1910 he wrote his four "Edwardian" works--the novels that have gained him wide acclaim as a delineator of English upper-middle-class lives and manners. His 1912 trip to India inspired his masterpiece, A PASSAGE TO INDIA. He stopped writing fiction after World War II (in which he was a prominent pacifist), except for MAURICE, his posthumously published novel that dealt overtly with homosexuality. In addition to his fiction and essays, Forster is also the author of the influential ASPECTS OF THE NOVEL, in which he emphasized the novel's value as a mirror of human experience. Forster became a fellow of King's College and lived there until just before his death of a massive stroke at the age of 81.
"The author knows his provincial Italy and the Italian character as well. The reader's attention will be held to the end of this charming book."
"WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD is not at all the kind of book that its title suggests. It is not mawkish or sentimental or commonplace....It is a protest against the worship of conventionalities, and especially against the conventionalities of "refinement" and "respectability"; it takes the form of a sordid comedy culminating, unexpectedly and with a real dramatic force, in a grotesque tragedy."
From the Publisher
The domineering Mrs. Herriton dispatches her son Philip and her daughter Harriet to Italy to bring back the baby born of her deceased son's wife Lilia and an Italian named Gino. Lilia's former chaperone, Caroline, goes with them, hoping to adopt the baby to atone for her laxness in letting Lilia get mixed up with Gino in the first place. Unexpectedly opposed by Gino, who turns out to be a devoted father, each member of this trio responds to Italy in his or her own way. The prim Harriet is shocked by the Italians; Philip and Caroline respond joyfully to their zest for life and freedom. The disputed baby meets a sad end, Harriet remains as ever, but Philip and Caroline return to England changed, renewed, and with a greater appreciation for the spiritual.
They were all at Charing Cross to see Lilia off--Philip, Harriet, Irma, Mrs Herriton herself.