Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
*Cambridge. City north of London that is the home of Cambridge University, one of England’s two great “ancient universities.” In the early twentieth century, the city had a mix of medieval and classical architecture. Cambridge was Forster’s alma mater, and he lived there for several years at the end of his life. Maurice attends Cambridge following attendance at his public school, Sunnington. Both Cambridge and Oxford were bastions of middle-and upper-class men, although each had a college for women. Cambridge is located on the River Cam, and the image of male undergraduates punting (propelling a flat-bottomed boat with a long pole) on the Cam is a familiar one in the English academic novel. The surrounding countryside is rural and provides an opportunity for Maurice and Clive to escape from the confines of their rooms within the college walls for their grand day out.
Penge. Country manor that is the home of the Durham family. Located in the west of England on the border between the counties of Wiltshire and Somerset, the house has been in the family for four generations. Penge is a symbol of the English gentry and their economic situation in the early twentieth century. The Durhams’ fortune has dwindled, needing to be replenished by a wealthy bride, and the estate is in a stage of “immobility” preceding decay. The house itself stands in the midst of a vast park, the former common lands of the village, and a wood. The estate also includes an array of indoor and outdoor servants, tenant farmers, and responsibilities for the squire. It is here that Maurice meets Alec, the estate’s under-gamekeeper.
The Greenwood. Edenic spot in a mythical England where Maurice believes he and Alec might live together in peace. Maurice connects his classical education, relating to the Greeks, with the English myth of Robin Hood and his merry band of men. Forster explained in his concluding “Terminal Note” that the image of the greenwood is necessary for Maurice and Alec to have a happy ending. The greenwood is a place of liberation, and as such it is related to Forster’s treatment of the English countryside in Howards End (1910) and, especially, the Cadbury Rings in The Longest Journey (1907).