E.M. Forster’s novel Maurice, written in 1913 but published only posthumously in 1971, tells the story of a homosexual love affair, in the context of a society (like that of Howards End) riven by class conflict. It ends with the title character escaping from civilization and going to live in the country with his working-class lover, the game-keeper Alec.[1]

Forster’s decision not to publish Maurice suggests some of the constraints under which writers of the Edwardian period labored. Both playwrights and novelists faced a challenge in frankly addressing sexual issues in particular because of the continuing power of censorship, one area in which the Edwardian period continued Victorian traditions.

  1. ↑ This page has been adapted from Pericles Lewis’s Cambridge Introduction to Modernism (Cambridge UP, 2007), p. 68.