E. M. Forster And Virginia Woolf Summary

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E. M. Forster and Virginia Woolf were the literary leaders of the Bloomsbury Group, a circle of intellectuals who gathered regularly in London in the first two decades of the twentieth century to discuss art and aesthetics. The circle also included the economist John Maynard Keynes, the painters Vanessa and Clive Bell, and the philosopher and critic Lytton Strachey. From their discussions, Forster often received ideas about art that he later incorporated into his interest and fiction. Forster became well known for his impressive styles, complex characters, and important themes.

Although he is best remembered for his acknowledged masterpieces Howards End (1910) and A Passage to India (1924), Forster’s earlier novels and short stories often point in the direction to which his later fiction turned. These earlier works are usually concerned with how people living in a modern world lack the passion and interests necessary for a complete and prosperous life. To make his point, Forster often made comparisons of the passionate intensity of people in southern European countries with the unfirm people of his native England.

Typically, a character in one of these stories travels from England to Greece or Rome and there undergoes a revelation. In Forster’s famous short story “The Road from Colonus” (1903), for example, Mr. Lucas discovers passion at an idyllic spring in Greece. His daughter forces him to return to England. However, he subsequently dies as a miserable and lonely old
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