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Howards End [Paperback]

E. M. Forster
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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Book Description

30 April 1992
This novel by the author of "Maurice" and "A Passage to India" deals with personal relationships and conflicting values and has been filmed, directed by James Ivory and starring Anthony Hopkins, Vanessa Redgrave, Emma Thompson, Prunella Scales, James Wilby, Helena Bonham Carter and Jemma Redgrave.

Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; Film & TV Tie-in ed edition (30 April 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140111603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140111606
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 13 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 432,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Howards End is a classic English novel . . . superb and wholly cherishable . . . one that admirers have no trouble reading over and over again --Alfred Kazin

Howards End is undoubtedly Forster's masterpiece; it develops to their full the themes and attitudes of [his] early books and throws back upon them a new and enhancing light --Critic Lionel Trilling --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

E. M. Forster is one of the great twentieth century authors. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite novel. 8 Aug 2001
Howard's End is a story of relationships, and the differences between people in the late victorian age.
The book's heroines are the two Schlegel sisters, Helen and Margaret - well-to-do women of independent means and philanthropic natures as they find their way through life in the comfort that comes with a steady annual income.
The introduction of the Wilcox family illustrates the vast differences in outlook and behaviour that people of the same class could encapsulate. Whereas the Schlegels hold 'Literature and Art' in the highest of esteem, the Wilcoxes live in a world of 'panic and emptiness' and 'telegrams and anger'.
The novel also shows Forster's views on a changing world - the distasteful motor cutting up the roads, creating dust and killing cats is the Wilcoxes pride and joy, preempting the prevalence of the car in later years and its effect on the world. The phenomenon of urban sprawl is also dealt with in the book, as Forster describes London creeping its way into the countryside. The characters who suffer from hayfever are those who belong to the city and the new order - they have discarded the old way of life in the country and have moved to the city, where money and cars and 'telegrams and anger' prevail.
The idea of the home is also very important in the novel. The Wilcoxes have a disregard for a 'home', seeing each as a device for living in. The Schlegels, and Mrs. Wilcox (who acts as a bridge between the two families) see a house as much more and apply sentimental value to houses and gardens.
Class is also dealt with in the case of Leonard Bast, a lowly clerk whose life is turned upside down by the arrival of these two wealthy families.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Quintessence Of Forster 28 Sep 2007
This was perhaps my first real introduction to literature, apart from "1984", the inevitable smart-schoolboy read, and "Sons And Lovers". As such it was a revelation - Forster's empathy, subtlety, lyricism and chracterisation are magnificent, while being oddly inobtrusive. There are no verbal pyrotechnics as you might find in DH Lawrence or Virginia Woolf, but a deeper vision of life that was wonderful to encounter at 15.

Forster's writing trajectory had led him to be able to write a "condition of England" novel - while his previous novels had perhaps erred on the side of social satire and comedy ("A Room With A View" and "Where Angels Fear To Tread"), or been a personal projection ("The Longest Journey"), "Howards End" is more the work of a professional novelist. It has a far greater scale than his previous novels, is in fact a great novel of London, and there is less of the mythology which appears overtly in his short stories and covertly in his previous fiction (especially "The Longest Journey").

The novel is almost entirely character driven - the plot, like life itself, is somewhat formless and inchoate. Two contrasting families, the cultured Schlegels and the financial-sector Wilcoxes, clash and mesh over the course of the novel. Their interactions, contrasts and enmeshings form the action of the novel. At the background Howards End, the house of Mrs Wilcox, stands as repository of all the values Forster cherishes, as the reconcilliation of all divisive opposites.

During the novel Margaret Schelegel and Mrs Wilcox become friends. But after an illness Mrs Wilcox dies, and Mr Wilcox, Henry, later marries Margaret, the elder and more empathetic of the Schlegel sisters. (Helen in contrast is more impetuous, less considered - poetry rather than prose).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Connect with Forster 1 Dec 2010
By Vickie
Forster's perhaps most renowned novel is a story abundant with connections, hence the characteristic 'just connect' which embellishes the book. Forster expertly examines class conflict in the connected characters of Helen Schlegal and Leonard Bast, their child crossing the border between the gaping middle classes, suggesting England's future offspring. The connection between the internal, (that is to say, culture and the arts,) and the external (business, directness, practicality,) is breached by the union of Margaret and Mr Wilcox. The ghostly, other worldly figure of Mrs Wilcox haunts this novel, her appearance in union with Howards End, the house which the plot revolves. These are only two examples of the assortment of connections within this book, and I urge anyone with a taste of the 20th Century novel to have a read. What I personally find interesting about Forster's novel is its date of publishing in 1910, only 4 years before 'the war to end all wars' and yet Forster appears almost oblivious to any tensions, indeed- the protagonists are half German. Compare this with Colegate's 'The Shooting Party,' and the reader sees a very different pre-war Britain, the dawn of war just on the horizon- due to the post-war publishing. This novel also displays Forster's distaste of the urbanised future of England, referring to the 'Motor' which appears to pollute with a 'cloud of dust' all it passes. The suggestion of urban sprawl also displays Forster's criticism of a more industrialised England, the author referring throughout to the retreating London through the country. Read this novel, it is didactic in the sense Forster appears to be urging readers to reconsider our own connections, the critical attitude to class conflict something which can appear relevant today with other prejudices.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A good Book Group read.
Its a while back but I know it went down well with our mature readers. Many remembered the film so were ready for the characterisation which Forster does so well. BJ Ratcliffe
Published 13 days ago by Barbara Ratcliffe
3.0 out of 5 stars Fine Fine Fine
No problems so far although I haven't starting reading this one yet.. Seems ok if a little bland looking. Not bad
Published 2 months ago by Ted
3.0 out of 5 stars I have reservations about this classic
I have re-read this classic after half a century. I can't remember what I thought about it on first reading, but I find it quite disappointing now. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ralph Blumenau
3.0 out of 5 stars This is said to be the best of E. M. Forster's novels, I think it...
Howards End is undoubtably a good book, if not a great one. As a picture on the early 20th C with a mixture of Middle Class and Lower Class characters I find it hard to reconcile... Read more
Published 3 months ago by H. M. Sykes
3.0 out of 5 stars Different edition to the one I ordered
I ordered the Penguin English Library Edition and ended up with a 'Great Family Reads' edition. Not massively impressed by this, given that my university tutor does specify which... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Isabel
5.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful book
It takes you into a world of grace and feelings which are no longer expressed today. It's a gentle & lovely read.
Published 5 months ago by C. Sidney-woollett
5.0 out of 5 stars Howards End is home to good literature
This is one of those classic famous English literature stories one hears about but unless you've seen the movie (which I haven't) can make assumptions about it, perhaps based in... Read more
Published 6 months ago by H. Tee
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully observed classic. Entertaining too!
This is a wonderfully written book about relationships (no, this is not an action packed book). The characters are, for the most part, either logical/materialistic/money and class... Read more
Published 6 months ago by BrynG
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the Film
Great novel. Book speedily delivered in new condition.Only half way through';Will be my holiday reading when I'm not cooking and washing up.
Published 6 months ago by joe horan
5.0 out of 5 stars Howards End
When my paperback copy of Howards End which was decades old fell to pieces in my hands I downloaded a new one right away with the immediacy of my Kindle. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Michael Murray
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