A collection of correspondence from Edward Morgan Forster (1879-1970) written to Forrest Reid (1876-1947) between 1912 and 1946.
The collection includes 217 letters and cards to Reid, many of which deal directly and at length with literary and cultural matters. There are four letters written to Forrest Reid’s friend and protégé, Stephen Gilbert (1912-2010).
The letters contain detailed discussions considering the role of the arts, expose Forster’s insecurities and anxiety regarding his creative output, and provide insight into the conception and development of hugely significant literary works, not only by Forster and Reid but numerous established and new writers in the early part of the twentieth century. Such works include Forster’s A Passage to India (1924), which helped to shape Anglophone literary modernism, and Maurice, his homoerotic novel published posthumously in 1971. The honest and serious discussions of homosexuality at a time when these matters could have been the focus of public scandal or prosecution, the impact and social consequences of two World Wars on literary figures and cities such as Belfast and London, and the bearing and significance of social and political crises such as the Third Irish Home Rule Bill and Irish Partition are of particular sociological and historical interest across these letters.
217 letters and cards
Queen’s University Belfast has legal ownership of this collection, please consult with staff as to matters of copyright and permission to publish.
Queen’s University Belfast acquired these letters through the funding of the National Heritage Lottery Fund and the following supporting funders: The Pilgrim Trust, Esme Mitchell Trust, the John Jefferson Smurfit Monegasque Foundation, Dr Michael and Mrs Ruth West and Sir Donnell Deeny.