E.M. Forster was born Edmund Morgan Forster on August 18, 1879 in Wellington, Somerset, England, the son of George Forster, a barrister, and his wife Emily Morgan. The family moved to London where he spent his childhood. He studied at the Harrow School in London and at Trinity College at Cambridge University
While attending Trinity College he became involved with the Apostles Society which had formed in 1882 by undergraduates to promote lectures and debates on academic subjects. After graduating from Cambridge he was accepted to Christ's College, Cambridge, to study for a degree in mathematics but abandoned that plan. He then continued his studies at Cambridge while also teaching mathematics at Wellington College until 1902, when he left to tour Europe.
On May 29, 1903, Forster married Mary Blathwayt Robarts (1881–1951), daughter of Edward Robarts, M.P., an editor of "The Times".
They had three children: Morgan Forster (1907–1945), Christopher Pemberton (1910–1939) and Ruth Mary (1912–2004). After returning to England from his travels in 1904, he devoted himself full-time to writing.
Forster's first novel was published in 1915 under the pseudonym Morgan Robertson after Robertson's success with the same pen name. His novel "Howards End" appeared in 1910 and was published under his own name in 1911.
It is an exploration of human relationships based on class differences between well-to-do families living near each other in early 20th century London.
Forster's experiences as a prisoner of war during World War I inspired his next work "The Longest Journey", about a female protagonist who escapes her stifling upper class life in England by joining the French Resistance during World War II. The book sold more than four million copies in English alone and was adapted into a successful film in 1992 starring Kate Winslet and Jeremy Irons among others.
Forster became an American citizen on June 6, 1956; he died on July 25, 1970 in Norfolk, Virginia. He was cremated and his ashes were interred at Ivy Hill Cemetery near Charlottesville, Virginia where his wife is buried alongside him.
On November 1–2, 1925 Forster gave two lectures at Harvard University entitled "Why I Wrote As I Did" which were later published as "Concerning the Abuses of Words" (1926).
His reflections during these