The Hill of Devi

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Rosetta Books, Sep 2, 2015 - Biography & Autobiography - 138 pages
An essential companion to A Passage to India, a collection of the author’s own letters that read like “a close personal friend has shared his impressions” (Kirkus Reviews).
In 1912, a young E. M. Forster traveled to India to serve as a secretary to the Maharajah of Dewas, a small Indian state. He was elevated to the rank of a minor noble, and eventually given the state’s highest honor, the Tukoji Rao III gold medal.
This brief episode in Forster’s life became the basis for his masterwork, A Passage to India. In the letters included in The Hill of Devi, he shares his personal journey of discovering his beloved India for the first time. Forster paints a vivid, intimate picture of Dewas State—a strange, bewildering, and enchanting slice of pre-independence India.
In this collection, Forster shares insight into the lives of Indian royalty and accounts of the stark contrast between their excesses and the poverty he encounters. From letters that set the scene for Forster’s lifelong friendship with the Maharaja, to an essay on the Maharaja himself and Forster’s experiences as the Maharaja’s personal secretary, The Hill of Devi is a fascinating chronicle of the author’s experience in the land he called “the oddest corner of the world outside Alice in Wonderland.”

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User Review  - knotbox - LibraryThing

E. M. Forster, Morgan to his friends, sits down after WWII and puts together this slim volume collecting letters and remembrances of two visits to India. In 1912 he is introduced to the Maharajah of ... Read full review


User Review  - Kirkus

A collection of letters, recording Forster's remembrances of India and written during his visits in 1912-13 and again in 1921 when he served briefly as secretary to the Maharajah of Dewas. Not only do ... Read full review

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About the author (2015)

E.M. Forster published his first novel, Where Angels Fear to Tread, in 1905, which was quickly followed in 1907 by The Longest Journey and then in 1908 by A Room with a View. Forster’s major breakthrough came in 1910 with the book Howard’s End. Forster was associated with the Bloomsbury Group, a collective of intellectuals and peers, including Virginia Woolf, Benjamin Britten, Roger Fry, and John Maynard Keynes. The 1924 publication of A Passage to India firmly cemented Forster in the literary firmament as one of the most important writers of the twentieth century. It was the last novel Forster ever completed. Forster then turned his attention to teaching and criticism; his Clark Lectures, delivered at Cambridge in 1927, were gathered into a much-admired collection of essays on writing published as Aspects of the Novel. In 1946, Forster accepted a fellowship at Cambridge where he remained until his death in 1970. Forster’s other writings include The Hill of Devi, an account of his experience as secretary in the Indian state of Dewas Senior; Pharos and Pharillon, a group of essays about Alexandria originally published by Leonard and Virginia Woolf; Maurice, a novel on homosexual love; and The Life to Come, a collection of short stories.

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