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A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E. M. Forster

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A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E. M. Forster Cover

ISBN13: 9780374166786
ISBN10: 0374166781
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Review-A-Day

"Moffat's frank account of how Forster balanced a public self with the private self revealed in the withheld materials might seem as rude as a home invasion had the man himself not left the door ajar and gambled that someone would eventually take a boot to it." James Morris, The Wilson Quarterly (Read the entire Wilson Quarterly review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A revelatory look at the intimate life of the great author — and how it shaped his most beloved works.

With the posthumous publication of his long-suppressed novel Maurice in 1970, E. M. Forster came out as a homosexual-- though that revelation made barely a ripple in his literary reputation. As Wendy Moffat persuasively argues in A Great Unrecorded History, Forster's homosexuality was the central fact of his life. Between Wilde's imprisonment and the Stonewall riots, Forster led a long, strange, and imaginative life as a gay man. He preserved a vast archive of his private life--a history of gay experience he believed would find its audience in a happier time.

A Great Unrecorded History is a biography of the heart. Moffat's decade of research — including first-time interviews with Forster's friends — has resulted in the first book to integrate Forster's public and private lives. Seeing his life through the lens of his sexuality offers a radically new view — revealing his astuteness as a social critic, his political bravery, and his prophetic vision of gay intimacy. A Great Unrecorded History invites us to see Forster — and modern gay history — from a completely new angle.

None of Forster's] biographers have had either the will or the wherewithal to concentrate as closely on Forster's sexuality as Wendy Moffat. In A Great Unrecorded History, she offers an insightful, revelatory portrait of a man who deeply resented having to hide such an important side of himself . . .

Review:

"An impressive first-time biographer [Moffat] offers an insightful, revelatory portrait of a man who deeply resented having to hide such an important side of himself — a vigorous storyteller — Moffat casts more light…than has any Forster biographer before her." Janet Maslin, The New York Times

Review:

"Moffat pays diligent attention… [She] amplifies Forster's story with his words, scavenged from previously unavailable diaries. Moffat isn't gossipy or reductive — the Forster who emerges from her work is a more human and satisfying figure than we've known. She portrays a limited man in full whose compromises between sense and sensuality parallel those of his most complex fictional characters." Eric Banks, Time Magazine

Review:

In A Great Unrecorded History, a well-written, intelligent and perceptive biography of Forster, Wendy Moffat attempts to explore that silence and at the same time to draw a picture of a figure who was sensitive, sensuous and kind, an artist who possessed a keen, plain sort of wisdom and lightness of touch that make him, to this day, an immensely influential novelist, almost a prophet. She uses the sources for our knowledge of Forster’s sexuality, including letters and diaries, without reducing the mystery and sheer individuality of Forster, without making his sexuality explain everything. Colm Toibin, New York Times Book Review

Review:

"One of the best literary biographies of recent years. The excellence of Moffat's treatment comes not from new sources — though she has some terrific unpublished quotations from letters and diaries — but from the intelligence and tact with which she moves between the life and the work…Moffat is wholly persuasive in her argument that the fact of Forster's homosexuality is indeed the key to his art. In a manner worthy of her subject, she writes with great style and control." Jonathan Bate, Sunday Telegraph

Review:

"An excellent biography… [Moffat] demonstrates that [Forster's] was a fruitful and rewarding existence. This is an exemplary biography, its elegance and humour successfully concealing its erudition. It is the story of a pilgrimage towards humanity." Peter Ackroyd, Times [London]

Review:

"[A] fascinating examination of [Forster's] inner life, drawing on…honest, clear-sighted and sometimes heart-breaking journals…. [Moffat's] approach makes all the necessary connections between his novels and his inner life…Wendy Moffat has given us an illuminating account of an honest, touchingly self-aware man, whose writings continue to engage and influence and connect. Eibhear Walshe Irish Times

Review:

"This sympathetic, often touching biography will connect with literature lovers, gay and straight." Jocelyn McClurg, USA Today

Synopsis:

With the posthumous publication of his long-suppressed novel Maurice in 1970, E.M. Forster came out as a homosexual. Moffat offers a revelatory look a the intimate life of the great author — and how it shaped his life as a writer.

Synopsis:

A relevatory look at the initimate life of the great author — and how it shaped his most beloved works.

With the posthumous publication of his long-suppressed novel Maurice in 1970, E. M. Forster came out as a homosexual — though that revelation made barely a ripple in his literary reputation. As Wendy Moffat persuasively argues in A Great Unrecorded History, Forster's homosexuality was the central fact of his life.

Between Wilde's imprisonment and the Stonewall riots, Forster led a long, strange, and imaginative life as a gay man. He preserved a vast archive of his private life — a history of gay experience he believed would find its audience in a happier time.

A Great Unrecorded History is a biography of the heart. Moffat's decade of detective work — including first-time interviews with Forster's friends — has resulted in the first book to integrate Forster's public and private lives. Seeing his life through the lens of his sexuality offers us a radically new view — revealing his astuteness as a social critic, his political bravery, and his prophetic vision of gay intimacy.

A Great Unrecorded History invites us to see Forster — and modern gay history — from a completely new angle.

Synopsis:

A New York Times Book Review Editors Choice

Finalist for the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography

ALA Stonewall Honor Book

Finalist for James Tait Black Memorial Prize

E. M. Forsters homosexuality was the central fact of his life. Between Wildes imprisonment and the Stonewall riots, Forster led a long, strange, and imaginative life as a gay man. He preserved a vast archive of his private life---a history of gay experience he believed would find its audience in a happier time. Seeing Forsters life through the lens of his sexuality, Wendy Moffats biography offers us a dramatic new view---revealing his astuteness as a social critic, his political bravery, and his prophetic vision of gay intimacy. A Great Unrecorded History casts fresh light on one of the most beloved writers of the twentieth century.

About the Author

Wendy Moffat is an associate professor of English at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. This is her first book.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Thom, May 30, 2010 (view all comments by Thom)
Finally the shell is broken and the life of this great writer is revealed as it really was... and not suspected.
MAURICE, regardless of the suggestion that this was not his "greatest novel" becomes more relevant and important.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374166786
Subtitle:
A New Life of E. M. Forster
Author:
Moffat, Wendy
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Subject:
Authors, English -- 20th century.
Subject:
Forster, E. M
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Biography-Literary
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20100511
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Includes 16 Pages of Black-and-White Ill
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
9.00 x 6.00 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » Literary
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E. M. Forster Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374166786 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "Moffat's frank account of how Forster balanced a public self with the private self revealed in the withheld materials might seem as rude as a home invasion had the man himself not left the door ajar and gambled that someone would eventually take a boot to it." (Read the entire Wilson Quarterly review)
"Review" by , "An impressive first-time biographer [Moffat] offers an insightful, revelatory portrait of a man who deeply resented having to hide such an important side of himself — a vigorous storyteller — Moffat casts more light…than has any Forster biographer before her."
"Review" by , "Moffat pays diligent attention… [She] amplifies Forster's story with his words, scavenged from previously unavailable diaries. Moffat isn't gossipy or reductive — the Forster who emerges from her work is a more human and satisfying figure than we've known. She portrays a limited man in full whose compromises between sense and sensuality parallel those of his most complex fictional characters."
"Review" by , In A Great Unrecorded History, a well-written, intelligent and perceptive biography of Forster, Wendy Moffat attempts to explore that silence and at the same time to draw a picture of a figure who was sensitive, sensuous and kind, an artist who possessed a keen, plain sort of wisdom and lightness of touch that make him, to this day, an immensely influential novelist, almost a prophet. She uses the sources for our knowledge of Forster’s sexuality, including letters and diaries, without reducing the mystery and sheer individuality of Forster, without making his sexuality explain everything.
"Review" by , "One of the best literary biographies of recent years. The excellence of Moffat's treatment comes not from new sources — though she has some terrific unpublished quotations from letters and diaries — but from the intelligence and tact with which she moves between the life and the work…Moffat is wholly persuasive in her argument that the fact of Forster's homosexuality is indeed the key to his art. In a manner worthy of her subject, she writes with great style and control."
"Review" by , "An excellent biography… [Moffat] demonstrates that [Forster's] was a fruitful and rewarding existence. This is an exemplary biography, its elegance and humour successfully concealing its erudition. It is the story of a pilgrimage towards humanity."
"Review" by , "[A] fascinating examination of [Forster's] inner life, drawing on…honest, clear-sighted and sometimes heart-breaking journals…. [Moffat's] approach makes all the necessary connections between his novels and his inner life…Wendy Moffat has given us an illuminating account of an honest, touchingly self-aware man, whose writings continue to engage and influence and connect.
"Review" by , "This sympathetic, often touching biography will connect with literature lovers, gay and straight."
"Synopsis" by , With the posthumous publication of his long-suppressed novel Maurice in 1970, E.M. Forster came out as a homosexual. Moffat offers a revelatory look a the intimate life of the great author — and how it shaped his life as a writer.
"Synopsis" by , A relevatory look at the initimate life of the great author — and how it shaped his most beloved works.

With the posthumous publication of his long-suppressed novel Maurice in 1970, E. M. Forster came out as a homosexual — though that revelation made barely a ripple in his literary reputation. As Wendy Moffat persuasively argues in A Great Unrecorded History, Forster's homosexuality was the central fact of his life.

Between Wilde's imprisonment and the Stonewall riots, Forster led a long, strange, and imaginative life as a gay man. He preserved a vast archive of his private life — a history of gay experience he believed would find its audience in a happier time.

A Great Unrecorded History is a biography of the heart. Moffat's decade of detective work — including first-time interviews with Forster's friends — has resulted in the first book to integrate Forster's public and private lives. Seeing his life through the lens of his sexuality offers us a radically new view — revealing his astuteness as a social critic, his political bravery, and his prophetic vision of gay intimacy.

A Great Unrecorded History invites us to see Forster — and modern gay history — from a completely new angle.

"Synopsis" by ,

A New York Times Book Review Editors Choice

Finalist for the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography

ALA Stonewall Honor Book

Finalist for James Tait Black Memorial Prize

E. M. Forsters homosexuality was the central fact of his life. Between Wildes imprisonment and the Stonewall riots, Forster led a long, strange, and imaginative life as a gay man. He preserved a vast archive of his private life---a history of gay experience he believed would find its audience in a happier time. Seeing Forsters life through the lens of his sexuality, Wendy Moffats biography offers us a dramatic new view---revealing his astuteness as a social critic, his political bravery, and his prophetic vision of gay intimacy. A Great Unrecorded History casts fresh light on one of the most beloved writers of the twentieth century.

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