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Where is Forster Country? PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 28 August 2007

From the north end of Stevenage High Street you can walk from the Bowling Green, up the tree-lined Avenue to St. Nicholas Church. Wandering through the church yard is a path, follow the path until you find the modern sculpture inscribed "Only Connect". Past the sculpture the path emerges into a vista of gently undulating fields and hedges. The view is of the last remaining farmland within the borough of Stevenage. This is the Forster Country.

E.M. Forster (1879-1970) was the author of Where Angels Fear to Tread, The Longest Journey, A Room with a View, Howards End, A Passage to India and Maurice, as well as short stories, essays and other work. From 1883 to 1893 he lived at "Rooks Nest" a house past St. Nicholas church on the old winding road to Weston. It is now in a cul-de-sac section. It was memories of his time here that formed the setting for Howards End published in 1910.  The house had originally been owned by the Howard family.

The story of Forster's childhood at "Rooks Nest" and his later associations with Stevenage and its countryside are described in Forster Country by Margaret Ashby, published by Flaunden Press, 1991, ISBN 0951824201, price £14.95. Enquiries about purchase posted on the Contact Us page of the website will be forwarded to the author.

The sculpture, "Only Connect" takes its name from the subtitle of Forster's Howards End. As well as marking the entrance to the Forster Country, it also commemorates the year 1994 when the land was first included in the Green Belt boundary.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 02 April 2013 )
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