"'Notes on the English Character' and later Howard's End became sacred texts for me"
Portrait of E. M. Forster
Public DomainPortrait of E. M. Forster - Credit: Dora Carrington

In Notes on the English Character (read here or below) E M Forster (1879-1970) investigated class differences and hypocrisy as well as attitudes towards homosexuality. His 1910 'condition-of-England' novel Howards End explored the interaction of families from different social classes, its motto being 'only connect'.

Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer.

E M Forster published five novels in his lifetime, the others being: Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905), The Longest Journey (1907), A Room with a View (1908), and his greatest success, A Passage to India (1924). Maurice was published posthumously in 1972 and is a gay love story. E M Forster struggled with his homosexuality for much of his life, though recent publications indicate that he developed a surprisingly active sex life (given his reputation) in his late thirties.