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 Most of the other stories remained unpublished because of their overtly homosexual themes; instead they were shown to an appreciative circle of friends and fellow writers, including Christopher Isherwood,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.
Have we been as ready for Forster's honesty as we thought we were? His greatness surely had root in his capacity to treat all human relationships seriously and truthfully. . . . And of course, the best realized of the homosexual stories dovetail perfectly into the best of all his work. Even the earliest and most ephemeral of them will be recognized as the frailer embodiments of the same passionate convictions that made for the moral iron of his novels.--Eudora Welty