Maurice by E. M. Forster

1. The novel opens with Maurice’s teacher discussing the facts of life with him. Is this an appropriate opening scene? How is this discussion reflected later in the novel?

2. How would you characterize Maurice in the first half of the book?

3. Do you think the relationship between Clive and Maurice is a positive one?

4. Does Clive’s intellectualism keep him from being happy? What does Plato mean to him?

5. How does Maurice’s family impact on him? Does he care about his family? How does he view women?

6. Homosexual love is obviously repressed by the society depicted in the novel. But is heterosexual love also repressed? How would you characterize Clive’s relationship with Anne?

7. How is Maurice changed by his relationship with Clive?

8. Alec represents the working class, while Clive represents the upper class. Which is viewed more positively by the novel? Does Forster idealise Alec?

9. What point is Forster making about the upper classes?

10. Do you believe in Alec and Maurice’s relationship? Do you think they will be able to be happy together?

11. Why do you think Maurice’s teacher appears once more at the end of the novel?

12. What is the importance of darkness – real darkness of night, and the darkness of ignorance – to the narrative?

13. What role does Lasker Jones play? What does he symbolise, if anything?

14. Maurice appears baffled by heterosexuality. Do you think Forster was making a point about homosexuality being “natural”?

15. Do you understand Forster’s decision not to publish this book during his lifetime?

16. Is the divide between public and private life important to the novel? How so?

17. How is the theme of repression explored in the novel? Is Forster himself repressed? How does he feel about bodily pleasure?

18. Forster wanted to write a novel about gay men with a happy ending. Do you think he was successful?

Notes from the Margins: 16 November 2018

Notes from the Margins takes its cue from Eavan Boland’s editorial for Poetry Ireland Review 125, in which the trailblazing poet argues that ‘the margin re-defines the centre, and not the other way around’. In this poetry reading and conversation chaired by academic and activist Ailbhe Smyth, poets Rosamund Taylor and Toby Buckley and artist and activist Will St Leger discuss the current moment in Irish LGBTQI + poetry; the importance of a plurality of voices in contemporary poetry, and the question of resistance to – and necessity for – poetry from the margins.


  • Friday 16 November, 1.00pm
  • Boys’ School, Smock Alley Theatre
  • Tickets: Free entry, booking advised

I am thrilled to take part in this event, and hope you can come along!


Summer Readings

In June, I was lucky enough to be invited to read at the launch of the River Mill Writers’ Retreat at the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast. This was the second time I had read at the Crescent Arts Centre, and it was lovely to be back there, as everyone was very encouraging and enthusiastic about my work.

I also spent five days at the River Mill, which is a beautiful and tranquil place to work, with excellent meals provided. I highly recommend it.

After a long hot summer, I took part in the Bray Literary Festival, where I read at the Harbour Bar. Tanya Farrelly has done an amazing job putting together this festival, which is now in its second year.


Reading: Books Upstairs, May 6th, 3pm

Sunday Session: Angela T. Carr, Rosamund Taylor, Jessica Traynor

Books Upstairs, 17 D’Olier Street, Dublin 2

Angela, Rosamund and Jessica were last seen together in the pages of Banshee no. 6, which featured their poems on women, witchcraft and science. Join them for a special Sunday Session to get a sneak preview of some new work alongside some old favourites!

About the poets:

Angela T. Carr’s debut collection How to Lose Your Home & Save Your Life, won the Cork Literary Review Poetry Manuscript Competition 2013, and was published by Bradshaw Books (2014). Her work is published in literary journals in Ireland, the UK and US, and has been placed/shortlisted in poetry competitions including the Patrick Kavanagh Award, Trocaire Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition, Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition, The London Magazine Poetry Competition and the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award. In 2017, she was selected for the Words Ireland National Mentoring Programme. Originally from Glasgow, she lives in Dublin. More at

In 2017, Rosamund Taylor won the inaugural Mairtín Crawford Award at the Belfast Book Festival and was nominated for a Forward Prize. Most recently, her work has appeared in Agenda, Orbis, Banshee, The Penny Dreadful and Magma. She was also selected for Best New British and Irish Poets Anthology 2018 published by Eyewear Press. She has been twice short-listed for the Montreal International Poetry Prize and won joint second-place for the Patrick Kavanagh Award 2015. She read at the Cork International Poetry Festival in 2016, and took part in the Poetry Ireland Introductions series in 2015. Rosamund lives in Dun Laoghaire, where she writes and edits full time.

Jessica Traynor’s debut collection, Liffey Swim, was published in 2014 by Dedalus Press. Liffey Swim was named one of the best debuts of the past five years on, and was shortlisted for the Strong/Shine Award in 2015. A series of poems in response to Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal was commissioned by The Salvage Press and published in 2017. Poems are forthcoming or have recently appeared in Magma, Salamander, Copper Nickel, Rochford Street Review, Acumen, Prelude, The Irish Times and Poetry Ireland Review. Awards include the Hennessy New Writer of the Year Award and Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary. Her next collection is forthcoming in 2018.