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November Meetup: Where Angels Fear to Tread by E.M. Forster
Please join us in November when we discuss Where Angels Fear To Tread by E.M. Forster. When entering Howden's Spice Monkey, please order something no matter how inexpensive at the bar downstairs. Then climb the inner stairs (not the ones against the outer wall) up to the tables in the Mezzanine. When approaching our table, be careful of the down step. When a young English widow takes off on the grand tour and along the way marries a penniless Italian, her in-laws are not amused. That the marriage should fail and poor Lilia die tragically are only to be expected. But that Lilia should have had a baby -- and that the baby should be raised as an Italian! -- are matters requiring immediate correction by Philip Herriton, his dour sister Harriet, and their well-meaning friend Miss Abbott. Early critical reception of this, E.M. Forster's first, novel: The reviewer for UK daily newspaper The Manchester Guardian (forerunner of The Guardian) wrote in August 1905: "Where Angels Fear to Tread is not at all the kind of book that its title suggests. It is not mawkish or sentimental or commonplace. The motive of the story […] is familiar and ordinary enough, but the setting and treatment of this motive are almost startlingly original". The review noted "a persistent vein of cynicism which is apt to repel, but the cynicism is not deep-seated. […] It takes the form of a sordid comedy culminating, unexpectedly and with a real dramatic force, in a grotesque tragedy." It concluded by saying, "We wonder whether EM Forster could be a little more charitable without losing in force and originality. An experiment might be worth trying." Considering what V.S. Naipaul had to say about Jane Austen's novels, I wonder what he would have said about "Where Angels Fear to Tread". There are times when I feel I'm watching an episode of "As the World Turns".

Howden, Home of The Spice Monkey

1628 Webster Street, inside restaurant upstairs · Oakland, CA