On This Gay Day: E.M. Forster finished writing Maurice

On This Gay Day: E.M. Forster finished writing his novel Maurice

On this day in 1913 author E.M. Forster finished work on the first draft of his novel Maurice.

The book tells the tale of Maurice Hall a young man who develops a romantic relationship with his university friend Clive Durham. His heart is broken when Clive marries, leading Maurice to explore various avenues to cure himself of homosexuality. He later falls in love with Alec Scudder, one of the workers on Durham’s estate. The novel explores class difference and attitudes towards homosexuality, while at its core being a same-sex love story.

Forster showed the novel to only a few close confidants and it was not published until 1971 after his death. He revised the work several times, first in 1932 and then again in 1959 – 60. The author felt it was not publishable due to negative attitudes towards homosexuality in Britain. Forster passed away in 1970 aged 91, the novel was found with a note attached reading “Publishable, but worth it?”

During his life Forster found success with many other books including A Room With a View, Passage to India, Howards End, Where Angels Fear to Tread and The Longest Journey. He also authored many short stories, plays, travel essays and literacy criticism.

Maurice was adapted into a feature film in 1987, it was one of the first film roles for Hugh Grant who played Clive, James Wilby portrayed Maurice, while Rupert Graves took on the role of Alec.

Monty Python star Graham Chapman died in 1989

Comedian Graham Chapman who was a co-founder of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, died of throat cancer at the age of 48, on this day in 1989. He was survived by his partner of 23 years, David Sherlock, and John Tomiczek who the couple adopted as a teenager in 1971.

Chapman had played the lead role in several of the comedy troupe’s films including Holy Grail and The Life of Brian.  He first came out during an appearance on a television show in 1972. He was a vocal spokesperson for gay rights and one of the few prominent celebrities who spoke about being gay.

Famous people born on this day

Former Icelandic Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir celebrates her 82nd birthday, internationally acclaimed theatre director Robert Wilson is also 82 today, while Chris Lowe from Pet Shop Boys is 65 today.

OIP Staff

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