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Howards End

E. M. Forster

Book Overview: 

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…”

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Margaret, getting more and more excited, and taking a chair without invitation. "How perfectly extraordinary! I can see that you have. You felt as I do; Helen mustn't meet him again."

"I did think it best."

"Now why?"

"That's a most difficult question," said Mrs. Wilcox, smiling, and a little losing her expression of annoyance. "I think you put it best in your letter—it was an instinct, which may be wrong."

"It wasn't that your son still—"

"Oh no; he often—my Paul is very young, you see."

"Then what was it?"

She repeated: "An instinct which may be wrong."

"In other words, they belong to types that can fall in love, but couldn't live together. That's dreadfully probable. I'm afraid that in nine cases out of ten Nature pulls one way and human nature another."

"These are indeed 'other words,'" said Mrs. Wilcox. "I had nothing so coherent in my head. I was m. . . Read More

Community Reviews

After I was totally bowled over by A Room with a View - I felt compelled to follow up with another from E.M. Forster, so why not Howard’s End? Why not indeed – I am so glad I did as I met – Margaret (Meg) Schlegel, but more about her later.

This book was right up my Strasse.

On reflection, as this was

The title refers to a British country home, not a mansion like a Downton Abbey, but a small comfortable home with charm. (Although it seems that the story is set at about the same time as Downton Abbey.) The story revolves around two sisters who, on separate visits, fall in love with the home and in

Forster is the Jane Austen of the 20th century. He clearly read her novels and fell in love.

And this makes him rather unusual amongst his literary peers. He didn’t do anything new; he didn’t write with any particular passion or any attempt at breaking a literary boundary. His writing is relativ

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”Discussion keeps a house alive. It cannot stand by bricks and mortar alone.”

I’ve fallen in love with the Schlegel sisters twice now in separate decades. I plan to keep falling in love with them for many decades to come. They a

3.5 stars

"A place, as well as a person, may catch the glow. Don't you see that all this leads to comfort in the end? It is part of the battle against sameness. Differences--eternal differences, planted by God in a single family, so that there may always be colour; sorrow perhaps, but colour in the d

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