Dorking, 1929. Near Fine.
Typed letter signed. 7in. by 9in. Typed in black ink to recto of a single sheet of cream Station Gomshall letterhead, signed in black ink and with one small addition to the text in Forster's hand. A near fine letter with one horizontal and one vertical folding crease, pencilled "X" to the upper margin, else very clean with bright ink. This letter is addressed to Denis Saurat, a writer and professor in the Department of French at King's College London, in reference to an upcoming lecture to be given by the French writer and translator Charles Mauron. In a previous letter, Forster had requested that Saurat invite Mauron to give a lecture during an upcoming trip to England in which he was already scheduled to lecture at Oxford and Cambridge. In this letter, Forster expresses his reluctance to give an introductory speech for Mauron's lecture, as he does not consider himself an expert on the subject of Mauron's work. Forster suggests that Roger Fry or Logan Pearsall Smith would be more appropriate choices for an introductory speech. Charles Mauron and E.M. Forster had a long-standing friendship that began with an introduction by their mutual friend, painter Roger Fry. Mauron's first translation project was in 1925, when, after losing most of his eyesight in a chemical accident, he began translating Forster's A Passage to India (1924) with Fry's guidance. Forster and Mauron first met in person in 1927 and remained close friends even after Roger Fry's death, continuing their correspondence until Mauron's death in 1966. Through his connection to Fry and Forster, Mauron became part of the Bloomsbury group's extended circle. He translated works by many of the group's core members, though he remains most well-known for his translations of Forster's novels. Denis Saurat was an acquaintance of Forster during his tenure at King's College London. Though they were not part of the same literary circles at the time this letter was written, in the 1940s, Saurat and Forster both went on to serve as presidents of PEN International, an organization dedicated to forming peaceful connections between writers from all over the world.