1st October

In October 1924 he was thinking about hospitality and social class. In a letter to his confidante Florence Barger, he wrote about a new friendship with a 'motor driver’ (it seems fair to presume a sexual attraction from the outset, but the letter is a little coy about it). Having been invited for biscuits and coffee at his house, Forster had to think about how to reciprocate. He reported on a discussion with his mother, who was worried that the man had not 'place me socially’, and might 'collapse when he sees the splendours of Harnham’ [the family home]. Forster was worried about causing offence, but hoped for the best: 'The “lower classes”, especially near London, seldom ask strangers to their houses. That he has done so, and introduced me to his wife quite simply, does suggest something rather remarkable and perhaps rather lovable’. (Source: Selected Letters of E.M. Forster, ed. Mary Lago and P.N. Furbank (London: Collins, 1983-1985), letter of 2 October 1924)

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