Book Review

Maurice – Book Review

Maurice is a classic novel by E.M. Forster. It is an Edwardian tale about Maurice Hall, where we follow him from his childhood to college, and finally adulthood. This book is unique as it was published after the author’s death. When he wrote this tale, he didn’t think it would be well received by the public considering its content.

Maurice comes from a modestly wealthy family. His father has passed away and he is being prepared to take charge of the family when he is older. At the start of the story, we meet him as a child. During an outing with his schoolmates, one of his professors takes it upon himself to explain the mysteries of marriage and sex, through diagrams drawn on the sand.

Already at this age, Maurice has affection towards other men, as the reader learns about his crush on the local stableboy.

The story jumps to his college days, where he meets Clive Durham. As a college man, Maurice has suppressed his feelings towards men, but he feels drawn to Durham. They have relations, but a series of events cause them both to question what their relationship means.

In the third part of the book, we are introduced the Durham’s gamekeeper Alec Skutter. With whom Maurice starts an uneasy affair.

This story, set in the Edwardian period, talks heavily about the hypocrisy of religion and the British class system. Maurice is looking to be loved by someone but often makes the wrong choices as that is what society has determined he should do. Once he finds his path, those who have known him, try to steer him back to what is considered normal. He is forced to decide what is more important, his status in society or “the love that dare not speak its name.”

This is my all-time favorite novel. I discovered its existence years ago after coming across the film that it was based on. I became obsessed with this story. I recently acquired the audiobook for it, replacing the CD copy that I long ago lost. I highly recommend giving this book a shot as it gives a good glimpse of what life was like for closeted gay men during that era.

Available at Amazon

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