A Passage to India

  • Glen Cavaliero


The writing of A Passage to India was preceded by a lengthy period of literary dithering and false starts. Following the success of Howards End, the thirty-year-old author resumed that novel’s theme, this time setting out to explore the idealistic division between the Schlegel sisters as it might affect two men. Martin Whitby the intellectual, Cyril Marsh the man of action — what should happen to them? The book hung fire; Forster went to India; and returned with a new novel already partly written, inspired by his experiences there. Again there was a hitch. Then followed the visit to Edward Carpenter at Milthorpe and the writing of Maurice. With this therapeutic activity behind him Forster made a fresh start on the novel about the man of action and the intellectual, which he called ‘Arctic Summer’. But he could still not get it working, and the Great War arrived and finished it off forever.


Railway Carriage Fresh Start Indian Affair House Tree English Community 
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  1. 2.
    N. C. Chaudhuri, ‘A Passage to and from India’, Encounter, 11 June 1964.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Glen Cavaliero 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Glen Cavaliero

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