E.M. Forster's Where Angels Fear to Tread is amongst the greatest twentieth-century literary explorations of vice, virtue and the nature of prejudice, edited with notes by Oliver Stallybrass and an introduction by Ruth Padel in Penguin Classics.
On travelling to Italy with her friend Caroline Abbott, the impulsive English widow Lilia Herriton outrages her dead husband's family by meeting and quickly becoming engaged to Gino, a dashing but deeply unsuitable Italian man twelve years her junior. Infuriated, her ex-brother-in-law Philip sets off from England to her new home in the Tuscan town of Monteriano - but, finding himself unable to persuade Lilia to leave her handsome, uncouth new lover, returns to England without her. When Lilia's marriage leads to sudden tragedy, however, Philip and Caroline feel compelled to return once more to Italy, where they are forced to examine their own lives.
This edition reproduces the Abinger text, and also includes further reading, notes, a chronology, an introduction by Ruth Padel discussing division and culture clash in the novel and an appendix detailing an exchange about the novel between Forster and the poet R.C. Trevelyan.
E. M. Forster (1879-1970) was a noted English author and critic and a member of the Bloomsbury group. His first novel, Where Angels Fear To Tread appeared in 1905. The Longest Journey appeared in 1907, followed by A Room With A View (1908), based partly on the material from extended holidays in Italy with his mother. Howards End (1910) was a story that centered on an English country house and dealt with the clash between two families, one interested in art and literature, the other only in business. Maurice was revised several times during his life, and finally published posthumously in 1971.
If you enjoyed Where Angels Fear to Tread, you might enjoy Forster's A Room With a View, also available in Penguin Classics.