Remembering E. M. Forster
At various times in his long life he was described as dowdily dressed and physically awkward but with ‘fine eyes … and a most expressive and sensitive mouth’, and as a ‘very pale, delicately-built young man, slightly towzled and very shy, with a habit of standing on one leg and winding the other round it’. Lytton Strachey nicknamed him ‘the Taupe’, another friend said he looked ‘like a whim’. A New Yorker reporter found ‘a shy, apprehensive Edwardian gentleman with a long sensitive nose and tousled tan moustache’, and Frank Hauser, who directed the first production of the play A Passage to India, saw a ‘stooping spry old buffer in a grey tweed suit, glasses glinting, the familiar rabbit-face.…’ He considered himself ‘physically ugly — red nose enormous, round patch in middle of scalp… Face in the distance (seen in the mirrors of his club) is toad-like and pallid, with a tiny rim of hair along the top of the triangle. My stoop must be appalling.…’
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- 6.To Francis King, August Bank Holiday 1960, The Letters of J. R. Ackerley, ed. Neville Braybrooke (London: Duckworth, 1975) p. 170.Google Scholar