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Encyclopedia > Howards End
Howards End
Author E. M. Forster
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre(s) Novel
Publisher Edward Arnold (London)
Publication date 1910
Media type Print Hardback
Pages 343 pp.

Howards End is a novel by E. M. Forster, first published in 1910, which tells a story of class struggle in turn-of-the-century England. The main theme is the difficulties, and also the benefits, of relationships between members of different social classes. Edward Morgan Forster, OM (January 1, 1879 – June 7, 1970), was an English novelist, short story writer, and essayist. ... For other uses, see Country (disambiguation). ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... This article is about the literary concept. ... A publisher is a person or entity which engages in the act of publishing. ... Edward Arnold (actor) Eddy Arnold (country singer) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Year 1910 (MCMX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday [1] of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Hardcover books A hardcover (or hardback or hardbound) is a book bound with rigid protective covers (typically of cardboard covered with cloth, heavy paper, or sometimes leather). ... ISBN redirects here. ... This article is about the literary concept. ... Edward Morgan Forster, OM (January 1, 1879 – June 7, 1970), was an English novelist, short story writer, and essayist. ... See also: 1909 in literature, other events of 1910, 1911 in literature, list of years in literature. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... Social class refers to the hierarchical distinctions between individuals or groups in societies or cultures. ...


Plot summary

The book is about three families in England at the beginning of the twentieth century. The three families represent different gradations of the Edwardian middle class: the Wilcoxes, who are rich capitalists with a fortune made in the Colonies; the half-German Schlegel siblings (Margaret, Tibby, and Helen), who represent the intellectual bourgeoisie and have a lot in common with the real-life Bloomsbury Group; and the Basts, a couple who are struggling members of the lower-middle class. The Schlegel sisters try to help the poor Basts and try to make the Wilcoxes less prejudiced. The motto of the book is "Only connect..." This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Bloomsbury Group or Bloomsbury Set or just Bloomsbury, as its adherents would generally refer to it, was an English group of artists and scholars that existed from around 1905 until around World War II. // History The group began as an informal socialwe have been great to society assembly of...

Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer.

The Schlegels frequently encounter the Wilcoxes. The youngest, Helen, is rejected by the younger Wilcox brother, Paul. The eldest, Margaret, becomes friends with his mother Ruth Wilcox. Ruth's most prized personal possession is her family house at Howards End. She wishes that Margaret could live there, as she feels that it might be in good hands with her. Ruth's own husband and children do not value the house and its rich history, because such abstractions, while being very dear to Margaret, are lost to them. As she is terminally ill, and Margaret and her family are about to be evicted from their London home by a developer, Ruth bequeaths the cottage to Margaret in a handwritten note found among her effects when she dies, causing great consternation among the Wilcoxes. Mrs Wilcox's widowed husband Henry and his children burn the note without telling Margaret about her inheritance. However, over the course of several years, Margaret becomes friends with Henry Wilcox and eventually marries him. The more free-spirited Margaret tries to get Henry to open up more, to little effect. Henry's elder son Charles and his wife try to keep Margaret from taking possession of Howards End.

Gradually, Margaret becomes aware of Henry's dismissive attitude towards the lower classes. On Henry's advice, Helen tells Leonard Bast to quit his promising bank job, because his company stands outside a protective group of companies and thus is vulnerable to failure. A few weeks later, Henry carelessly reverses his opinion, having entirely forgotten about Bast, but it is too late, and Bast has lost his tenuous hold on financial solvency. Bast lives with a troubled, "fallen" woman for whom he feels responsible and whom he eventually marries. It is later revealed that years earlier, when a teenager, she had been Henry's mistress in Cyprus, but he had then carelessly abandoned her, an expatriate English girl on foreign soil with no way to return home. Margaret confronts Henry about his ill-treatment, and he is ashamed of the affair but unrepentant about his harsh treatment of her. Because of Margaret's marriage into the Wilcoxes and situations such as these, the Schlegel sisters drift apart somewhat. Helen continues to try to help young Leonard Bast (perhaps in part out of guilt about having intervened in his life to begin with, as Leonard had not wanted it and Henry had explicitly stated beforehand that he advised no one) but it all goes terribly wrong; because of Bast's wife's connection with Henry, Henry will not countenance helping them. In a moment of pity for the poor, doomed Bast, Helen has an affair with him. Finding herself pregnant, Helen leaves England to travel through Germany to conceal her condition, but eventually returns to her sister. Margaret tries in vain to convince Henry that if he can countenance his own affair, he should forgive Helen hers. Henry's son, Charles, attacks Bast for the dishonor he has brought to Helen, and accidentally kills him when his weak heart gives out. The ensuing scandal and shock cause Henry to reevaluate his life and he begins to connect with others. He bequeaths Howards End to Margaret's nephew - Helen's son by Bast. Helen reconciles with her sister and Henry, and decides to raise her child at Howards End. Margaret is usually viewed as the heroine of the story because, in staying married to Henry despite the scandal, she acts as a uniting force, bringing all the characters peaceably together at Howards End. Henry is sometimes viewed as a hero because he triumphs over his inability to connect with the situations of others. In the end, the open-minded intellectuality of the Schlegels is reconciled or balanced with the practical economy of the Wilcoxes, each learning lessons from the other. Such an ending illustrates the changing nature of early twentieth century England, for the classes are growing ever closer as England moves towards a new identity in the post-industrial revolution era.

Film, TV or theatrical adaptations

A television adaptation of the novel was broadcast in 1970 with Leo Genn and Glenda Jackson. Year 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link shows full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Leo John Genn (August 9, 1905 – January 26, 1978) was an English actor on stage and in films. ... Glenda Jackson Glenda May Jackson, CBE, (born 9 May 1936) is a two-time Academy Award-winning British actress and politician, currently Labour Member of Parliament for the constituency of Hampstead and Highgate in the London Borough of Camden. ...

The 1992 film version starred Emma Thompson, Vanessa Redgrave, Helena Bonham Carter, Anthony Hopkins and Samuel West. Thompson won an Academy Award for her performance. Howards End is a 1991 (released in 1992) film adaptation of E.M. Forsters 1910 novel Howards End, a story of class struggle in turn-of-the-20th-century England. ... Emma Thompson (born 15 April 1959) is an Emmy-, BAFTA- and Academy Award-winning English actress, comedian, and screenwriter. ... Vanessa Redgrave, CBE (born 30 January 1937) is an Academy Award winning English actress and member of the Redgrave family, one of the enduring theatrical dynasties. ... Helena Bonham Carter (born May 26, 1966) is an Academy Award-nominated British actress, known for her roles in the films A Room with a View, Howards End, and Fight Club. ... For the composer, see Antony Hopkins. ... Samuel West, sometimes billed as Sam West, (born June 19, 1966) is a British actor, the son of Prunella Scales and Timothy West. ... Although he never won an Oscar for any of his movie performances, the comedian Bob Hope received two honorary Oscars for his contributions to cinema. ...

Zadie Smith's On Beauty is a modern retelling of and homage to Howards End. Zadie Smith (born October 27, 1975) is an English novelist. ... On Beauty is a 2005 novel by the British author Zadie Smith. ...

Location of Howards End

Forster based his description of Howards End on a house at Rooks Nest in Hertfordshire, his childhood home from 1883 to 1893. According to his description in an appendix to the novel, [1] Rooks Nest was a hamlet with a farm on the Weston Road just outside Stevenage. The house is marked on modern Ordnance Survey maps at grid reference TL244267. Since Forster's childhood, Stevenage has grown to meet the house but has not yet engulfed it. The British national grid reference system is a system of geographic grid references commonly used in Great Britain, different from using latitude or longitude. ...

External links

  • Howards End, available at Project Gutenberg.
  • Study guide with plot summary, analysis and background
  • A hypertextual, self-referential, complete edition of Howard's End
  1. ^ "Appendix: Rooknest" in Howards End, Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-018080-X

Coordinates: 51.92493° N 0.19234° W Project Gutenberg, abbreviated as PG, is a volunteer effort to digitize, archive and distribute cultural works. ... Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Howard's End, Constant Reader Discussion (11240 words)
The Wilcoxes are at the upper end of the scale and the Schlegels are in the middle, "the point of consciousness of the novel; upon them the story balances, touching and connecting the wealthier middle class and the depressed middle class." Interesting way of sort of diagramming it all out, I thought.
Topic: Howards End (43 of 74), Read 47 times Conf: CLASSICS CORNER From: Barbara Moors (bar647@aol.com) Date: Saturday, January 08, 2000 08:02 PM I had assumed that the Schlegel's fascination with Leonard's night-long walk had to do with the discussion of nature vs. mechanized progress that was going on at the time.
She needed to know that Howard's End existed, that while she may be moved from dull apartment to dull house and so forth, Howard's End was there.
Penguin Reading Guides | Howards End | E.M. Forster (2219 words)
It was as a university student at King's College that Forster was first inspired by the liberal humanism of philosopher George Moore, who advocated the contemplation of beauty and the cultivation of personal relations as a spiritual antidote to the rootless, mechanistic ethos of his age.
Ultimately, Howards End is the most optimistic expression of Forster's unique vision, a sensibility that transcends the temporal confines of his novel.
Images of water are repeatedly evoked in Howards End to suggest the dynamic ebb and flow of life, "progress," and the rush of time.
  More results at FactBites »



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