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“[A Great Unrecorded History is] a well-written, intelligent and perceptive biography . . . [Moffat] uses the sources for our knowledge of Forster’s sexuality, including letters and diaries, without reducing the mystery and sheer individuality of Forster, without making his sexuality explain everything.” —Colm Tóibín, The New York Times Book Review
“None of [Forster’s] biographers have had either the will or the wherewithal to concentrate as closely on Forster’s sexuality as Wendy Moffat . . . In A Great Unrecorded History, she offers an insightful, revelatory portrait of a man who deeply resented having to hide such an important side of himself . . . Ms. Moffat’s overarching interests are in tracing Forster’s attitudes about sex and hypocrisy and in placing this increasingly outspoken figure within the context of his changing times.” —Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“The Forster who emerges from Moffat’s work is a more human and satisfying figure than we’ve known. She portrays a limited man in full whose compromises between sense and sensuality parallel those of his most complex fictional characters.” —Eric Banks, Time
“This eminently readable, beautifully and often lyrically written biography is gripping, mesmerizing, heartfelt, and kind....Moffat has written a splendid, thoughtful, riveting biography of a man who was a revolutionary in his work, descended into his own sexual depths with aplomb, and left all of us the richer for it.” —Sam Coale, The Providence Journal
“This sympathetic, often touching biography will connect with literature lovers, gay and straight.” —Jocelyn McClurg, USA Today
“Wendy Moffat’s reexamination of E. M. Forster identifies his homosexuality as the essence of his creative life. Using unpublished writings, she charts his gradual awakening to the moral, intellectual, and emotional significance of his homoerotic imagination. Her book is an astute and original new portrait of this major novelist.” —Michael Holroyd, author of A Strange Eventful History
“A Great Unrecorded History explores the intimate life of E. M. Forster with sensitivity and scholarship. Wendy Moffat writes with profound insight about a great writer who believed in the vital significance of personal connection while being unable to openly express his sexual feelings for the men he desired. She also gives us an illuminating picture of gay sexual culture in the first half of the twentieth century. This biography is at once an engrossing read and a book to cherish and go back to. Essential for understanding E. M. Forster and the times in which he lived.” —Sheila Rowbotham , author of Edward Carpenter
“Wendy Moffat’s biography of E. M. Forster is splendid—beautifully researched and written, imaginatively structured, and deeply revealing. We finally have a life of Forster that foregrounds his homosexuality and skillfully traces its impact on his life and art. We’ve had a long wait for a fully honest book on Forster—but at last we have it.” —Martin Duberman, author of Paul Robeson
“A Great Unrecorded History is a bold new re-imagining of Forster’s long career, which makes some striking connections between his life and work.” —D. J. Taylor, author of Bright Young People
Moffat has an extraordinarily light touch, a quick, connective brain, and writes beautifully fluid prose.
Ms. Moffat in this biography has created a really fine portrait of E. M Forster that brings to life this great writer and-- more importantly-- decent and good person.
The tone of the bio is, however, based upon a major agenda, whether Moffat would admit to that or not, and I can't imagine she would deny it.
Wendy Moffat's "A Great Unrecorded History" records in detail the sexual life of E.M. Forster, in an attempt to show how his homosexuality influenced his writing and thought. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Miles D. Moore
It was too gay oriented, and a kind of advocacy of gays,
That's fine and needed, but not in a literary biography.
Though it's understandable why Ms. Moffatt would want to write this, it's superfluous given the exhaustive and authoritative biography by Furbank. Read morePublished 7 months ago by reading man
I haven't gotten around to reading it yet. I saw a review suggesting it was all about Forster's lovelife, which persuaded me tentatively that that might be as dry as Forster... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Mike J. Rice
Very good at the beginning, up until the 30%, then it became less focused, especially the period about the second New York trip. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Amazon Customer
I wanted at least a week to think before reviewing this biography of Forster; I wanted to "do justice" obviously to the author, Wendy Moffat, to Forster, and to my own sense of... Read morePublished on June 11, 2012 by JordanJasper
I also read the Furbank biography and it too is very good. This biography however gives a more complete picture of E.M. Forster. It includes a lot more detail about his gay life. Read morePublished on June 3, 2011 by Michael Poore
With an author who delights in hyper-intellectual adjectives and a subject matter of closet homosexual nonsense, I should not recommmend this book to anyone but those of Forster's... Read morePublished on January 14, 2011 by Henry Peper
My wife requested this book as a gift and liked it so much that she insisted I read it. A fan of Forster's novels, and the films made from them, I wasn't as interested in his... Read morePublished on December 31, 2010 by Walter J. Jamieson Jr.