Sky Arts explores lives of Rudyard Kipling and E.M. Forster in new documentaries

A pair of new documentaries will delve into the lives of two of England’s most famous writers next week.

E.M. Forster: His Longest Journey will explore the story of E.M. Forster, the acclaimed author of A Passage to India, A Room with a View and Howards End.

Featuring interviews with actress Helena Bonham Carter, period drama director James Ivory and Professor Wendy Moffat, the one-hour documentary focuses on how the writer’s 1907 book The Longest Journey reflected Forster’s own life, his development as a writer and the recognition of his homosexuality.

The documentary’s producer and director Adrian Munsey revealed: “I lived on the floor above him in Kings College, Cambridge and often said good morning to him, but it was when I admitted to him that The Longest Journey was the best book I had ever read that our connection became real.

“We went for a drink to discuss the book. There were a number of other coincidences as I lived in the same college room that he had lived in 70 years earlier. I remain inspired by him to this day.”

Born in London in 1879, Edward Morgan Forster was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 16 different years prior to his death in 1970.

E.M. Forster: His Longest Journey will air on Sky Arts on Monday 7th October.

Later in the week, Rudyard Kipling: A Secret Life explores the private life and devastating powerful secrets of much-loved The Jungle Book author Rudyard Kipling.

The writer of If and Just So Stories was born in India in 1865, but the stories of the family tragedies that influenced him remain largely untold.

Kipling experienced terrible neglect at the hands of his supposed carers following his separation from his parents as a young boy, and later lost of two of his three children when his son died in World War I and his daughter suddenly died from pneumonia after a sea voyage to New York.

Supported by The Kipling Society and featuring contributions from respected Kipling biographers, the documentary reveals how these life-changing events and subsequent grief affected Kipling and his writing, as well as looking at his influence on writers like T.S. Eliot and Siegfried Sassoon.

Rudyard Kipling: A Secret Life will air on Sky Arts on Wednesday 9th October.