11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Only One Aspect of E. M. Forster,
This review is from: E. M. Forster: A New Life (Hardcover)Wendy Moffat offers in the new biography of E. M. Forster a unique but not necessarily valuable approach to his life and work. Her major strength was the access to his previously unpublished secret memoirs (not for long, an edition is finally announced for February 2011 although at 275GBP few will choose to buy it) and the fact influenced the book much more that it was worth.
"The New Life" turned out to be most sexual life. When you consider that Forster did not have any sex involving partners of any kind until he turned thirty-eight it is no mean feat and yet quite apparently not enough to make this book a valuable addition to the three biographies of the writer we already had: Furbank, King, and Beauman. Except for an addition to what had already been said (and usually better) of some rather uninspiring details of Forster's sex life, there is little that is new here. Actually, one can hardly speak of details as Forster described them in a personal code, always afraid that his diaries might be discovered and he would end up in jail.
Intended to commemorate the novelist's 130th anniversary the book falls flat and any readers interested in the life of E. M. Forster (and those who like to read bulky volumes) are strongly recommended to look up either the work of Furbank (if they want Forster's version of his life) or that of Beauman (if they want some more or less educated guesses about what Forster preferred to cover up). If you prefer something less bulky (and nicely illustrated) Francis King remains the natural choice.