This is an early draft of E M Forster’s novel A Room with a View. The novel was published in 1908, but Forster had begun writing the story at least five years before, creating several versions. He named these drafts the ‘Lucy’ and ‘New Lucy’ novels. These versions differed considerably from the final text of A Room with a View. The ‘Lucy’ draft, for instance, was entirely set in Italy, while in the final version the action was set in both Italy and England, dividing the novel into two clear parts.

An unhappy ending for Lucy and George?

This fragment, corresponding to the ‘New Lucy draft’, shows that Forster considered the possibility of a tragic ending for A Room with a View. In this alternative ending George dies in a bicycle accident on the same day that he and Lucy were planning to elope against the wishes of Lucy’s family.