A Room

January 6, 2017 General Studies

Romanticism is one of the more popular styles of fine art and literature. Romantic authors place great emphasis on having freedom to release passionate emotions, living by the spontaneity of intuition, and yearning for the infinite (Lipking 430). Many great novels emerged from the romantic period. Edward Morgan Forster’s novel A Room with a View is an excellent example of romanticism. .

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E.M. (Edward Morgan) Forster was born January 1, 1879, in London, England. His father died soon after his birth, and he was raised by his mother and two aunts. Forster was educated at the Tonbridge School in Kent until 1897, when he began attending King’s College at Cambridge. It was at Cambridge that Forster came into the romantic manner of thought. In 1904 the Bloomsbury group, a circle of literary, artistic, and intellectual individuals, began meeting in their homes. Members of the group included Vanessa Bell, Virginia Woolf, Forster, Roger Fry, John Maynard Keynes, Victoria Sackville-West, Lytton Strachey, Clive Bell, and Duncan Grant. Members of the Bloomsbury group “held in common a belief in the paramount importance of good taste, personal relationships, and the pursuit of knowledge” (Ford). A critical reader will note also that Forster uses Bloomsbury in A Room with a View (Forster 7). Forster felt very comfortable within this circle of friends, as it was to these intellectuals that he first revealed his homosexuality openly (Perkowitz). It is also noteworthy that the character of George Emerson is based upon Hugh O. Meredith, Forster’s first “love” (Simpson xvii). Despite his admission of homosexuality, the circle still embraced Forster and held him in high regard. Virginia Woolf wrote in The Atlantic Monthly that “. . . there is something baffling and evasive in the very nature of his gifts . . . with his queer and in some ways contradictory assortment of gifts, he needed . . . some subject which . . . would not demand the extremes of romance or passion .


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