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Forrest Reid (June 24, 1875 - January 4, 1947)

Forrest Reid (b. 24 June 1875, Belfast, Ireland; d. 4 January 1947, Warrenpoint, County Down) was an Irish novelist, literary critic and translator. He was, along with Hugh Walpole and J.M. Barrie, a leading pre-war British novelist of boyhood. He is still acclaimed as the greatest of Ulster novelists and was recognised with the award of the 1944 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel Young Tom.

Born in Belfast, he was the youngest son of a Protestant family of twelve, six of whom survived. His mother, his father's second wife, came from an aristocratic Shropshire family. Although proud of this ancestry, he found the strict Protestant ethics of his immediate family constricting. Reid was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, after which he was initially apprenticed into the Belfast tea-trade before going to Christ's College, Cambridge, where he read medieval and modern languages, and was influenced by the novelist E. M. Forster. Despite this he described his Cambridge experience as 'a rather blank interlude' in life. Graduating in 1908, he returned to Belfast to pursue a writing career; his first book, The Kingdom of Twilight, had been published in 1904. After graduation Forster continued to visit Reid, who was then settled back in Belfast. In 1952 Forster travelled to Belfast to unveil a plaque commemorating Forrest Reid's life (at 13 Ormiston Crescent).

As well as his fiction, Reid also translated poems from the Greek Anthology (Greek Authors (Faber, 1943)). His study of the work of W.B. Yeats (W.B. Yeats: A Critical Study (1915)) has been acclaimed as one of the best critical studies of that poet. He also wrote the definitive work on the English woodcut artists of the 1860s (Illustrators of the Sixties); his collection of original illustrations from that time are housed in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

He was a close friend of Walter de la Mare, whom he first met in 1913, and about whose fiction he published a perceptive book in 1929. Reid was also an influence on novelist Stephen Gilbert, and had good connections to the Bloomsbury Group of writers. Reid was a founding member of the Imperial Art League (later the Artists League of Great Britain). Reid was also a close friend of Arthur Greeves, the artist known to be C. S. Lewis's best friend. Greeves painted several of Reid's portraits, now all in the possession of the Royal Belfast Academical Institution.

He published articles in many magazines, including Uladh, the Westminster Review and the Ulster Review, and he reviewed books for the Manchester Guardian. Apostate, an autobiography, was published in 1926, and its sequel, Private Road, was published in 1940. He was a founder member of the Irish Academy of Letters.

Though his books are not necessarily well known today, he has been labelled 'the first Ulster novelist of European stature', and comparisons have been drawn between his own coming of age novel of Protestant Belfast, Following Darkness (1912), and James Joyce's seminal novel of growing up in Catholic Dublin, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1924). Reid's fiction, which often uses submerged narratives to explore male beauty and love, can be placed within the historical context of the emergence of a more explicit expression of homosexuality in English literature in the 20th century.

A 'Forrest Reid Collection' is held at the University of Exeter, consisting of first editions of all his works and books about Reid. Many of his original manuscripts are in the archives of the Belfast Central Library. Queen's University Belfast catalogued in 2008 a large collection of Forrest Reid documentary material it had recently acquired including many letters from E.M. Forster.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forrest_Reid

Further Readings:

The Garden God: A Tale of Two Boys (Valancourt Classics) by Forrest Reid
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Valancourt Books (July 16, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1934555045
ISBN-13: 978-1934555040
Amazon: The Garden God: A Tale of Two Boys (Valancourt Classics)

Fifteen year old Graham Iddesleigh dreams of a past life, where he frolicked in a garden with a young Greek god. However, his dreams threaten to come to an abrupt end when his father decides to send him away to school. But what is Graham's surprise when he meets a fellow schoolboy, Harold Brocklehurst, who is the very image of the Greek god of his dreams!

Graham falls deeply in love with his new friend, and the two boys spend an unforgettable summer together -- until a heartbreaking tragedy occurs, a tragedy that will change Graham's life forever.

The Garden God was first published in 1905, in the wake of the Oscar Wilde trial and other scandals, and risked controversy with its undercurrents of pederastic desire. Forrest Reid dedicated the novel to his idol, Henry James, who was outraged and never spoke to Reid again. This first ever scholarly edition of the novel includes a new introduction and notes by Michael Matthew Kaylor, who dismisses the traditional view of Reid as merely a provincial novelist and argues for his inclusion among the major Uranian writers such as Pater, Wilde, and Frederick Rolfe.

The Tom Barber Trilogy: Volume I: Uncle Stephen, The Retreat, and Young Tom by Forrest Reid and edited by Michael Matthew Kaylor
Hardcover: 656 pages
Publisher: Valancourt Books (August 13, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 193455586X
ISBN-13: 978-1934555866
Amazon: The Tom Barber Trilogy: Volume I: Uncle Stephen, The Retreat, and Young Tom

Forrest Reid (1875-1947), the Ulster novelist, spent his life in Belfast, in the north of Ireland, save for a period as an undergraduate at Christ's College, Cambridge, where he received a B.A. in 1908. He numbered among his many friends and acquaintances George William Russell (A. E.), E. M. Forster, Edmund Gosse, C. S. Lewis, and Walter de le Mare, as well as various Uranians such as Theo Bartholomew, Osbert Burdett, and Mark André Raffalovich.

Despite his sixteen novels, his two autobiographies, and a range of other works, despite being a founding member of the Irish Academy of Letters and an honorary Doctor of Letters of Queen's University in Belfast, despite his novel Young Tom being awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, Forrest Reid closely borders both oblivion and canonicity. However, this author, who has been aptly dubbed the "Arch-Priest of a Minor Cult," deserves reconsideration and perhaps a place in the pantheon of English letters.

The Tom Barber Trilogy - composed of the very distinct novels Uncle Stephen (1931), The Retreat; or, The Machinations of Henry (1936), and Young Tom; or, Very Mixed Company (1944) - is Forrest Reid's magnum opus. The present scholarly edition presents those three novels as clean texts (in Volume I), followed by a study of Forrest Reid and explanatory notes for the trilogy (in Volume II).

The Tom Barber Trilogy: Volume II: A Study of Forrest Reid & Explanatory Notes by Forrest Reid, edited by Michael Matthew Kaylor
Hardcover: 628 pages
Publisher: Valancourt Books (August 13, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1934555878
ISBN-13: 978-1934555873
Amazon: The Tom Barber Trilogy: Volume II: A Study of Forrest Reid & Explanatory Notes

Forrest Reid (1875-1947), the Ulster novelist, spent his life in Belfast, in the north of Ireland, save for a period as an undergraduate at Christ's College, Cambridge, where he received a B.A. in 1908. He numbered among his many friends and acquaintances George William Russell (A. E.), E. M. Forster, Edmund Gosse, C. S. Lewis, and Walter de le Mare, as well as various Uranians such as Theo Bartholomew, Osbert Burdett, and Mark André Raffalovich.

Despite his sixteen novels, his two autobiographies, and a range of other works, despite being a founding member of the Irish Academy of Letters and an honorary Doctor of Letters of Queen's University in Belfast, despite his novel Young Tom being awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, Forrest Reid closely borders both oblivion and canonicity. However, this author, who has been aptly dubbed the "Arch-Priest of a Minor Cult," deserves reconsideration and perhaps a place in the pantheon of English letters.

The Tom Barber Trilogy - composed of the very distinct novels Uncle Stephen (1931), The Retreat; or, The Machinations of Henry (1936), and Young Tom; or, Very Mixed Company (1944) - is Forrest Reid's magnum opus. The present scholarly edition presents those three novels as clean texts (in Volume I), followed by a study of Forrest Reid and explanatory notes for the trilogy (in Volume II).

A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E. M. Forster by Wendy Moffat
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Picador; Reprint edition (April 26, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312572891
ISBN-13: 978-0312572891
Amazon: A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E. M. Forster

A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice

Finalist for the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography

ALA Stonewall Honor Book

Finalist for James Tait Black Memorial Prize

E. M. Forster’s homosexuality was the central fact of his life. Between Wilde’s imprisonment and the Stonewall riots, Forster led a long, strange, and imaginative life as a gay man. He preserved a vast archive of his private life---a history of gay experience he believed would find its audience in a happier time. Seeing Forster’s life through the lens of his sexuality, Wendy Moffat’s biography offers us a dramatic new view---revealing his astuteness as a social critic, his political bravery, and his prophetic vision of gay intimacy. A Great Unrecorded History casts fresh light on one of the most beloved writers of the twentieth century.

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Tags: author: forrest reid, gay classics
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