Where Angels Fear to Tread

By E. M. Forster
(Vintage Books USA, Paperback, 9780679736349, 181pp.)

Publication Date: February 18, 1992

List Price: $11.95*
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Description

"Let her go to Italy!" he cried. "Let her meddle with what she doesn't understand! Look at this letter! The man who wrote it will marry her, or murder her, or do for her somehow. He's a bounder, but he's not an English bounder. He's mysterious and terrible. He's got a country behind him that's upset people from the beginning of the world."

When a young English widow takes off on the grand tour and along the way marries a penniless Italian, her in-laws are not amused. That the marriage should fail and poor Lilia die tragically are only to be expected. But that Lilia should have had a baby -- and that the baby should be raised as an Italian! -- are matters requiring immediate correction by Philip Herriton, his dour sister Harriet, and their well-meaning friend Miss Abbott.

In his first novel, E. M. Forster anticipated the themes of cultural collision and the sterility of the English middle class that he would develop in A Room with a View and A Passage to India. Where Angels Fear to Tread is an accomplished, harrowing, and malevolently funny book, in which familiar notions of vice and virtue collapse underfoot and the best intentions go mortally awry.




About the Author
Edward Morgan Forster's most homosexual works are the two published posthumously, his novel Maurice, written in 1913 but not published until 1971, and a collection of short stories titled The Life to Come. Forster's other works were published as he wrote them. None contained overtly homosexual themes, although what readers would now refer to as a "gay sensibility" is present in all. Forster was a prolific writer in his youth but ceased to write at age forty-five. Forster never married and was well-known among his friends to be homosexual. However, he remained celibate until the age of thirty-eight when he visited Egypt and had sex with a wounded soldier he met on the beach. He lived a closeted life, but eventually enjoyed a loving relationship with a married policeman named Bob Buckingham. The two met when Forster was fifty-one, Buckingham twenty-eight, and the relationship lasted forty years. Before meeting Buckingham, Forster had much briefer affairs with another policeman and a bus driver.
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