|Representing every phase of E. M. Forster's career as a writer, the fourteen stories in this book span six decades—from 1903 to 1957 or even later. Only two were published in his lifetime. Most of the other stories remained unpublished because of their overtly homosexual themes; instead they were shown to an appreciative circle of friends and fellow writers, including Christopher Isherwood, Siegfried Sassoon, Lytton Strachey, and T. E. Lawrence.
The stories differ widely in mood and setting. One is a cheerful political satire; another has, most unusually for Forster, a historical setting; others give serious and powerful expression to some of Forster's profoundest concerns.