'Ah for darkness...not the darkness of a house which coops up a man among furniture, but the darkness where he can be free!'
Maurice Hall knows he must choose between living life in the shadows or denying himself a chance at love and fulfilment. Aware of his attraction to the same sex, in a time where it was considered unlawful and immoral to have homosexual desires, Maurice must decide whether to battle or submit to a prejudiced 20th-century English society.
A passionate and poignant tale, E.M. Forster's Maurice was a masterpiece ahead of its time. Incapable of believing that his contemporaries would accept its content, Forster refused to publish it, fearing that it would expose his sexuality along with his hero's.
Having witnessed, at 16, the very public trial and chastisement of Oscar Wilde, Forster grew up with an acute awareness of the kind of society he inhabited. This affected him immensely and, as such, he refused to publish any further fiction during the last 37 years of his life. Despite being one of the most celebrated authors of British history, Forster's talents were as constrained as his love life. Realising that he could never publically talk or write about the issues he held close to his heart, Forster made A Passage to India his last work.
He wasn't mistaken about his society, and when Maurice was published, posthumously, many were scandalised by the controversial content.
Unfortunately, Forster never experienced the freedom which his protagonist seeks, but Maurice has far outlived an age of bigotry and is now widely celebrated and critically acclaimed.
Having started his career as a leading child actor, Peter Firth received a Tony Award nomination for his performance in Peter Shaffer's play Equus (1973) at only 21. He later starred with Richard Burton in its film adaption, earning him a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor and an Academy Award nomination. His other film work has included roles in Pearl Harbor (2001) and The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005).
He is best known for his role as Sir Harry Pearce in the BBC show Spooks (2002-2011), appearing in every episode of the show's 10 series. Recent roles have included Jacob Marley in the BBC's Dickensian series (2015) and Ernest Augustus in ITV's drama series Victoria (2016).
He has narrated several audiobooks such as Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Birdsong and Witness. In 2015, Peter starred in Audible's multicast drama Amok.
Regular price: £14.69
Buy Now with 1 Credit
Buy Now for £14.69
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Culwen on 23-09-16
Good classic by EM Forster
I enjoyed the story. It has an air of innocence while being subtly gentle and calm about the characters dealings of homosexuality. It paints a good picture of ideologies of a certain class and time and how men would have dealt with it.
I liked the narrating of variable accents and voices that kept different characters clear.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Christopher P. on 18-11-10
Finally!!! It's past time!
I had an old recording of Maurice on cassette many years ago and adored it. Finally, this intelligent and moving novel is available again at Audible, and I couldn't be more satisfied with this new recording.
Maurice is a very literate and thoroughly enjoyable novel concerning same-sex love among an intolerant and hypocritical society. The rather poetic descriptions of Maurice's inner life as he stumbles about in self-discovery are just as accurate and appropriate today as ever.
The scathing humor in Forster's more famous novels is properly not as apparent in Maurice, as its subject matter was obviously a more personal one for the author. The fact that the book wasn't published until after Forster's death lends a definite eloquence to the story. During his lifetime, the novel was shared only among his closest friends.
Peter Firth, a great actor, gives a measured performance that is perfectly suited to Forster's style. The romantic aspect of the story is that much more powerful because the narration is restrained. Forster is so honest and matter-of-fact, purposely dry because his subject is so very affecting.
48 of 52 people found this review helpful
By VampSlayer0 on 13-11-14
Any additional comments?
"Maurice" was not quite what I expected, yet from the start, one feels how important this novel is. It is unfortunate that this work is rather obscure. I believe it should be read by everyone as a way of looking into homosexuality with the intent to see it as normalcy to those who have no choice in what they feel. Mr. Forster understood this and wanted to bring this knowledge to a world that was not, and in some ways is still not, ready for it. Maurice himself spends a great part of his time loathing himself for the things he feels yet is in a state of bewilderment because he can't conceive of feeling any other way. He wants desperately to love and be loved and as a result brings himself misery when he doesn't think he'll ever be worthy of the emotion. In the process, his unhappiness spreads into his surrounding world, effecting his everyday life. Peter Firth's narration was spot on, a perfect voice for the plot of the book, which was superbly written. It's a novel I will certainly listen to again for it gave me a great deal to think about. The deeply human characters, especially Maurice and Alec, are perfect catalysts to show the reader/listener, without judgement, that everyone has a right to happiness and love, and, when it comes to tolerance, what a long, long way society has come.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful