The First English Novel:The Longest Journey(1907)

Part of the How to Study Literature book series


The Longest Journey is the first of two novels entirely set in England; it is also the most puzzling and complex of Forster’s early novels and the one for which he had most affection. Whatever other novels you have to study, if you want to get closer to Forster himself, this is the book to read. It is a curious fiction and not often rated as an unqualified success but it is the most intimate of Forster’s major works and, in some ways, the most bold and ambitious. He takes more imaginative risks here than elsewhere, and engages most directly with his private obsessions and preoccupations, his hopes and fears. It is also the most autobiographical of his novels, as I think a synopsis will show.


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© Nigel Messenger 1991

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