1st November

In November 1914 he was thinking about the First World War, then in its first months. In a letter to his friend Malcolm Darling, he expressed a resigned opinion that 'we could not have kept out of this war’. He also related a change of opinion. Formerly, 'I did think that we should send no men to France, but support our Allies by the Navy only’. Now, the need to engage more aggressively was more compelling. However, Forster maintained that 'stalemate’ was the probable outcome, and that European civilization would take a long time to recover 'whichever side wins’. (Source: Selected Letters of E.M. Forster, ed. Mary Lago and P.N. Furbank (London: Collins, 1983-1985), letter of 6 November 1914)

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