Source: Zimmermann, Heiko, ed. Aspects of E.M. Forster. 1 Mar. 2000 - 13 Dec. 2017. 13 Dec. 2017 <http://emforster.de/>.
Posted by Gordon W. Mayne (22.214.171.124) on 03:08:29 18/04/04
Have gone to the local library and found that there are several different endings to this novel. Where could I find the ending the author himself wrote?
Posted by Laura (board editor) on 16:50:09 11/06/04
They are all his. He wrote on this book from about 1913 to about 1958 and rewrote en edited a lot. The ending he preferred at a later stage was the one in which Maurice simply disappears from Clive's world and remains 'nothing but' a smiling vision in the Cambridge sunshine, leaving only a trace of leaves or petals behind. Hope this helps!
Best wishes, Laura
Posted by Laura (board editor) on 17:00:16 11/06/04
That vision of course appears to Cive in his back garden, not in Cambridge - Cambridge is where they were platonic lovers.
To Forster it was imperative that the novel should have a happy ending. In those days, homosexual content would only be allowed if it was used to show it would come to a bad end, aiming at discouragement. The Maurice manuscript was lent out to trusted good friends now and then, and Forster would - homosexuality still being a criminal offence, that only changed a couple of years before Forster's death in 1970 - avoid public places if he or friends would be carrying the manuscript in a bag. The stigmatizing of h.s. as a vice and only mentionable in fiction as a bad example, made it very important for Forster that (I'm paraphrasing): here at least, two men would find each other for the for ever and ever that fiction allows.
Forster's idea of the two men living in the 'greenwood' has been much criticized as homosexual subcultures were mostly urban - yet, to Forster, whose work tends to have a pastoral vain anyway, the connection with Nature might have been symbolical rather than factual. The greenwood could then be seen as an alternative Paradise.
Quite a long P.S., isn't it!
Posted by Gordon W. Mayne (126.96.36.199) on 23:24:05 13/08/09
Laura, checked back today to see if perhaps anyone had been able to answer my questions about the ending of "Maurice." Was happy to read that you were willing to spend a few minutes with me and answer my question. Thank you Laura. I can stop my questioning.