E.M. FORSTER ARCHIVE
AUTHOR OF: WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD, A PASSAGE TO INDIA, & HOWARDS END
DISCUSSING HIS READING AND BOOK BUYING HABITS SAYING: ‘LIVING IN CAMBRIDGE, I DO MY BOOK-BUYING AND BOOK-SCROUNGING HERE’ — AND MENTIONING ~~ THOMAS HARDY, T.E. LAWRENCE, & GEORGE BERNARD SHAW AND PENS A LIST OF SEVERAL OF HIS BETTER KNOWN WORKS
FORSTER, E(DWARD) M(ORGAN). (1879-1970). English novelist and essayist; famous for his ironic novels, many of which confronted the difference in the classes in British society in the twentieth century, and its innate hypocrisy; among his many works are: Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905); A Room with a View (1908); Howards End (1910); A Passage to India (1924). Good archive of six Autograph Letters Signed, “E. M. Forster”, on imprinted King’s College and West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking stationery. Plus an Autograph List Signed, “E.M. Forster”, of his various works, organized by publisher. Nine total pages. Cambridge and Dorking, January 9, 1939 to October 6, 1958. Overall, fine condition. To “J. Wilson, Esq., Mews Bumpus, Bookseller, 277 Oxford Street, W.” Forster writes:
[January 9, 1939] “Dear Wilson, Messrs Whitehead Morris, Rue Cherif Pacha, Alexandria, have just brought over a new edition of my Alexandria Guide. Will you please get me six copies. (I don’t know whether you would feel disposed to order a few extra, in case I or any of my friends should want them.) Possibly in London Whitehead Morris may have copies in stock, but I don’t know. Yours ever, E.M. Forster”.
[January 10, 1940] “Dear Wilson, I have sent your letter to the editor of the Abinger Chronicles, Mrs. Sprigge, Cherry Cottage, Abinger Corner, Dorking. Yes, I think she doesn’t sell single members. I don’t know how long the venture will continue—it is just a bit of private amusement. I believe I’m to come out [?] in the next number: in a very frivolous mood. Thank you for the family Christmas card, I didn’t know that Barnes poem. It is lovely and true and the only truth that matters. (Its … of books anger [?] me, though.) Talking of books, if you ever have the 2nd or 3rd volumes of Barnes poems in the Dorset Dialect [William Barnes’ Poems of Rural Life, in the Dorset Dialect, 1844] I wish you would drop me a line. I have the 1st vol—it belonged to Thomas Hardy—and should like to acquire its fellows: if they are to be had at a modest price. Kindest greetings for 1940, Yours ever, E.M. Forster”.
[June 11, 1941] “I am broadcasting next month—the usual sort of thing ‘Books of the Past Six Months’. I may look in on you next Monday morning (the 16th) and trouble you for information and advice. Hope all goes as well as possible. E.M. Forster”.
[November 24, 1955] “Dear Mr. Wilson, Many thanks for sending me Mr. Villan’s book on T.E. [Lawrence] I appreciate it, and his inscription on it and it appears to be an admirable study. Please thank him for his kindness when you are in touch with him. It very pleasant to see your handwriting. I hope you keep well. I am doing excellently, considering my age, and have been well occupied in various ways this year. I got down to Cloud Hill in the summer. The Knowles were well, but the cottage is a bit of an anxiety to them: for one thing its foundations have been shaken by army traffic and the National Trust has funds for its support. What a trash this denigration business has become! Bernard Shaw will probably be its next victim. It will go on, I’m afraid, as long as people prefer to read books about books, rather than to read books. With all good wishes, kind remembrances, Yours sincerely, E.M. Forster. [P.S.] I will give you a look in if I may when next I pass.”
[September 3, 1958] “My dear Wilson, How pleasant to hear from you! I would gladly do what you suggest, but do you not think a London customer would be more suitable? Living in Cambridge, I do my book-buying and book-scrounging here, and I haven’t actually entered 477 for years, though I have entered it mentally from time to time, in the knowledge that it has done and is doing such good work. If you can think of some tasteful or tasty Londoner, get him on the job. If no one turns up, I will do it, and as far as I know I shall be around about then. With best wishes, Yours sincerely, E.M. Forster”.
[October 6, 1958] “Dear Wilson, Thank you for your letter. Yes, all being well I shall come along on the 6th and talk for about ten minutes at about 7 P.M. It will be very nice to see you again and to see the new shop. I hope you are faring well. I am doing all right so far and am just back from Italy. Yours sincerely, E.M. Forster”.
The list that Forster has penned reads:
“Where Angels Fear to Tread Arnold [Publisher]
The Longest Journey
Aspects of the Novel
G[oldsworthy] L[owes] Dickinson
Anonymity Hogarth Press
Pharos and Pharillon
Alexandria: a History and a Guide (if available)”
Just a superb grouping of his letters, from the author who has supplied us with several of the best novels written in the last century.