71 E. M. Forster Quotes from the Famous English Novelist

Edward Morgan Forster a British novelist, essayist and critic is known for his novels “Howards End” and “A Passage to India.”

Raised by his mother and aunts, Forster’s upbringing gave him insights into domestic tensions.

His education at Tonbridge School and King’s College. Cambridge shaped his critiques of the English school system and his values.

Forster’s novels often include social commentary and explore themes of connection to the earth and the imagination.

E. M. Forster Quotes

His later works emphasize the importance of kindness, common sense and individual respect.

Forster also wrote essays, short stories and a biography of his great-aunt Marianne Thornton.

Let’s have a look at some of the best quotes by Forster.

Best E. M. Forster Quotes


Don’t be mysterious; there isn’t the time. ~ E. M. Forster.


One’s favorite book is as elusive as one’s favorite pudding. ~ E. M. Forster.


For you cannot have gentility without paying for it. ~ E. M. Forster.


We may divide characters into flat and round. ~ E. M. Forster.


Lord I disbelieve – help thou my unbelief. ~ E. M. Forster.


Truth is a flower in whose neighborhood others must wither. ~ E. M. Forster.

Do you remember Italy? ~ E. M. Forster.

Life is like a public performance on the violin, in which you must learn the instrument as you go along. ~ E. M. Forster.


To trust people is a luxury in which only the wealthy can indulge; the poor cannot afford it. ~ E. M. Forster.

They had nothing in common but the English language. ~ E. M. Forster.


You confuse what’s important with what’s impressive. ~ E. M. Forster.

I am sure that if the mothers of various nations could meet, there would be no more wars. ~ E. M. Forster.

Unless we remember we cannot understand. ~ E. M. Forster.


History develops, art stands still. ~ E. M. Forster.

It is so difficult – at least, I find it difficult – to understand people who speak the truth. ~ E. M. Forster.

Death destroys a man, but the idea of death saves him. ~ E. M. Forster.

Famous E. M. Forster Quotes

Let yourself go. Pull out from the depths those thoughts that you do not understand, and spread them out in the sunlight and know the meaning of them. ~ E. M. Forster.

When I think of what life is, and how seldom love is answered by love; it is one of the moments for which the world was made. ~ E.M. Forster.


How can I know what I think till I see what I say? ~ E.M. Forster.

School was the unhappiest time of my life and the worst trick it ever played on me was to pretend that it was the world in miniature. For it hindered me from discovering how lovely and delightful and kind the world can be, and how much of it is intelligible. ~ E. M. Forster.

The fact is we can only love what we know personally. And we cannot know much. In public affairs, in the rebuilding of civilization, something less dramatic and emotional is needed, namely tolerance. ~ E. M. Forster.

Sometimes I think too much fuss is made about marriage. Century after century of carnal embracement and we’re still no nearer to understanding one another. ~ E. M. Forster.

Nonsense and beauty have close connections. ~ E. M. Forster.

At night, when the curtains are drawn and the fire flickers, my books attain a collective dignity. ~ E. M. Forster.

I think you’re beautiful, the only beautiful person I’ve ever seen. I love your voice and everything to do with you, down to your clothes or the room you are sitting in. I adore you. ~ E. M. Forster.


The sun was already declining and each of the trees held a premonition of night. ~ E. M. Forster.

Are not beauty and delicacy the same? ~ E. M. Forster.

Top E. M. Forster Quotes

How do I know what I think until I see what I say? ~ E. M. Forster.

The tragedy of preparedness has scarcely been handled, save by the Greeks. Life is indeed dangerous, but not in the way morality would have us believe. It is indeed unmanageable, but the essence of it is not a battle. It is unmanageable because it is a romance, and its essence is romantic beauty. ~ E. M. Forster.

So, two cheers for Democracy: one because it admits variety and two because it permits criticism. ~ E. M. Forster.

I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little further down our particular path than we have yet gone ourselves. ~ E. M. Forster.

Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon. ~ E. M. Forster.

Either life entails courage, or it ceases to be life. ~ E. M. Forster.


The four characteristics of humanism are curiosity, a free mind, belief in good taste, and belief in the human race. ~ E. M. Forster.

Tolerance is a very dull virtue. It is boring. Unlike love, it has always had a bad press. It is negative. It merely means putting up with people, being able to stand things. ~ E. M. Forster.

What is the good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and the wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives? ~ E. M. Forster.

The king died and then the queen died is a story. The king died, and then queen died of grief is a plot. ~ E. M. Forster.

Our life on earth is, and ought to be, material and carnal. But we have not yet learned to manage our materialism and carnality properly; they are still entangled with the desire for ownership. ~ E. M. Forster.

The kingdom of music is not the kingdom of this world; it will accept those whom breeding and intellect and culture have alike rejected. ~ E. M. Forster.


Adventures do occur, but not punctually. ~ E.M. Forster.

Popular E. M. Forster Quotes

He doesn’t want you to be real, and to think and to live. He doesn’t love you. But I love you. I want you to have your own thoughts and ideas and feelings, even when I hold you in my arms. ~ E. M. Forster.

It is the vice of a vulgar mind to be thrilled by bigness, to think that a thousand square miles are a thousand times more wonderful than one square mile, and that a million square miles are almost the same as heaven. ~ E. M. Forster.

What the world most needs today are negative virtues – not minding people, not being huffy, touchy, irritable or revengeful. ~ E. M. Forster.

Think before you speak is criticism’s motto; speak before you think, creation’s. ~ E. M. Forster.


While her lips talked culture, her heart was planning to invite him to tea. ~ E. M. Forster.

Mistrust all enterprises that require new clothes. ~ E. M. Forster.

They had nothing in common but the English language, and tried by its help to express what neither of them understood. ~ E. M. Forster.

The main facts in human life are five: birth, food, sleep, love and death. ~ E. M. Forster.

You want to love everyone equally, and that’s worse than impossible – it’s wrong. ~ E. M. Forster.

Excuse my mistakes, realize my limitations. Life is not easy as we know it on the earth. ~ E. M. Forster.

It isn’t possible to love and part. You will wish that it was. You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. I know by experience that the poets are right: love is eternal. ~ E. M. Forster.

The armour of falsehood is subtly wrought out of darkness, and hides a man not only from others, but from his own soul. ~ E. M. Forster.


When you come back you will not be you. And I may not be I. ~ E. M. Forster.

Most of life is so dull that there is nothing to be said about it, and the books and talk that would describe it as interesting are obliged to exaggerate, in the hope of justifying their own existence. ~ E. M. Forster.

Great E. M. Forster Quotes

Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its highest. Live in fragments no longer. ~ E. M. Forster.

Life never gives us what we want at the moment that we consider appropriate. ~ E. M. Forster.

English literature is a flying fish. ~ E. M. Forster.

One must be fond of people and trust them if one is not to make a mess of life. ~ E. M. Forster.

Human relations are impossible. When they are real they are uncomfortable, and when they are comfortable they are unreal. It was for the journey into solitude that the human soul was created. ~ E. M. Forster.

A work of art is never finished. It is merely abandoned. ~ E. M. Forster.

You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. ~ E. M. Forster.

Wise E. M. Forster Quotes

If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country. ~ E. M. Forster.

Failure or success seems to have been allotted to men by their stars. But they retain the power of wriggling, of fighting with their star or against it, and in the whole universe the only really interesting movement is the wriggle. ~ E. M. Forster.

I seem fated to pass through the world without colliding with it or moving it – and I’m sure I can’t tell you whether the fate’s good or evil. I don’t die – I don’t fall in love. And if other people die or fall in love they always do it when I’m just not there. ~ E. M. Forster.


Life is easy to chronicle, but bewildering to practice. ~ E.M. Forster.

One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested. ~ E. M. Forster.

Tolerance is just a makeshift, suitable for an overcrowded and overheated planet. It carries on when love gives out, and love generally gives out as soon as we move away from our home and our friends. ~ E. M. Forster.

So these were the 71 top E. M. Forster quotes and sayings.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Dwight D. Eisenhower quotes and Dwight L. Moody quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar