Brian Gregory Caraher deposited The Correspondence of E M Forster and Forrest Reid: Content and Implications of a New Literary Archive on Humanities Commons 10 months, 3 weeks ago
This essay/ article examines the provenance and the implications of a literary archive acquired by the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library of Queen’s University Belfast and now fully catalogued by Brian Caraher and Emma Hegarty under the auspices of the British Academy. The state-of-the-art. fully annotated, online catalogue establishes the complete chronology as well as the range of people, books and topics under discussion in an extraordinary set of 217 letters and postcards sent by E M Forster to the Irish writer Forrest Reid from England, Egypt and India during the years 1912 to 1946. The essay examines the integrity of this new archive in relation to partial, flawed use of some early, poorly photocopied materials by Mary Lago and P N Furbank in the 1980s. A case is argued for a fuller literary and political scope for this important body of personal correspondence, especially in relation to (1) the origins of Forster’s novels “Maurice” and “A Passage to India”, (2) Forster’s views on homosexuality and male friendship, and (3) the impact of the Irish Home Rule Crisis of 1912-14 and the two World Wars on Forster’s politics.