EM Forster: A New Life

From The Telegraph:

Forsterstory_1649968f Lytton Strachey referred to E M Forster as “the Taupe”: a cruelly perfect nickname for a writer whose whiskery and short-sighted appearance was matched by a manner so self-effacing he seemed to disappear while you were looking at him. Inevitably this poses problems for a biographer. It is hard to make a case for the public importance of someone who only occasionally popped into view – appearing alongside a sobbing Winston Churchill at T E Lawrence’s funeral, or waving off Auden and Isherwood as they departed for America – before retreating into a network of secret tunnels.

For Wendy Moffat, in this superbly illuminating biography, Forster’s buried life was also his real life, and his tunnels were shared with a host of other writers whose homosexuality made it difficult to break cover. Far from being a solitary burrower, she points out, Forster was part of an underground movement, a mole only in the sense that he lived in respectable society without being detected as the true radical he was.

More here.