Book for December 2004
The story revolves around four characters: Dr. Aziz, his British friend Mr. Cyril Fielding, Mrs. Moore, and Ms. Adela Quested. During a trip to the Marabar Caves (modeled on the Barabar Caves of Bihar), Adela accuses Aziz of attempting to assault her. Aziz's trial, and its run-up and aftermath, bring out all the racial tensions and prejudices between indigenous Indians and the British colonists who rule India.
At King's College, Cambridge, between 1897 and 1901, he became a member of a discussion society known as the Apostles (formally named the Cambridge Conversazione Society). Many of its members went on to constitute what came to be known as the Bloomsbury Group, of which Forster was a peripheral member in the 1910s and 1920s. There is a famous recreation of Forster's Cambridge at the beginning of The Longest Journey.
After leaving university he travelled in continental Europe with his mother. He visited Egypt, Germany and India with the classicist Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson in 1914. By that time, Forster had written all but one of his novels. In the First World War, as a conscientious objector, he volunteered for the International Red Cross, travelling to Alexandria, Egypt.
Forster spent a second spell in India in the early 1920s as the private secretary to Tukojirao III, the Maharajah of Dewas. The Hill of Devi is his non-fictional account of this trip. After returning from India, he completed his last novel, A Passage to India (1924), for which he won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction.
Other books we've read by the same author:A Room With a View