- Hardcover: 160 pages
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; New Ed edition (15 Aug. 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0340512164
- ISBN-13: 978-0340512166
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 24.3 x 1.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,682,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Where Angels Fear to Tread Hardcover – 15 Aug 1991
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Where Angels Fear to Tread, Forster's first novel published when he was only twenty-six, contains all the mastery of dialogue, humour and character displayed in his later work.
From the Inside Flap
"Let her go to Italy!" he cried. "Let her meddle with what she doesn't understand! Look at this letter! The man who wrote it will marry her, or murder her, or do for her somehow. He's a bounder, but he's not an English bounder. He's mysterious and terrible. He's got a country behind him that's upset people from the beginning of the world."
When a young English widow takes off on the grand tour and along the way marries a penniless Italian, her in-laws are not amused. That the marriage should fail and poor Lilia die tragically are only to be expected. But that Lilia should have had a baby -- and that the baby should be raised as an Italian! -- are matters requiring immediate correction by Philip Herriton, his dour sister Harriet, and their well-meaning friend Miss Abbott.
In his first novel, E. M. Forster anticipated the themes of cultural collision and the sterility of the English middle class that he would develop in A Room with a View and A Passage to India. Where Angels Fear to Tread is an accomplished, harrowing, and malevolently funny book, in which familiar notions of vice and virtue collapse underfoot and the best intentions go mortally awry. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Saying that, there were aspects of Where Angels Fear to Tread which I did enjoy. The plot is good and the subject matter it deals with interesting. Lilia is a young widow, who lives with her in-laws in London. She has a daughter to whom she is not exactly a doting mother, and is struggling to find a position for herself in the world since her husband has died. The family recommends that she undertake some foreign travel, most notably in Italy, a favourite of her brother-in-law, Philip. She is accompanied by Caroline Abbott, a single lady and friend of the family, who is to act as a sort of chaperone. Having arrived in Italy, it is not long before Lilia informs her familt she has married one of the local "nobles." The in-laws are furious at this development and send Philip to Italy. He discovers that Lilia's new husband, Gino, is actually the son of the town dentist and hence of low rank. Philip wants to have the marriage annuled but it is too late - Lilia is pregnant. She later dies after giving birth to a son. The family in Englans are now faced with another problem - the boy will be raised as an Italian. They cannot tolerate this and so Philip is sent off again to persuade Gino to allow him to bring up the child in England. I wont give away the ending, but suffice to say it is heart renching.Read more ›
And yet there is more to it. It is a book about "us" and "the other". Philosophers have pondered on the issue for years and brought hefty volumes of studies but Forster can make it without unnecessary ado. This history of an English widow who did not fit in affluent suburb and, when sent abroad, married an Italian youth only to become the victim of his macho ways will certainly make you think. The second part - the unfortunate family rescue operation sent to save a baby from being brought up in wrong faith and wrong part of the world will also be food for thought. Have we changed really? Are we ready to accept that other people's ways may be as good as ours? Forster leaves these questions unanswered and the ending open - you have to fill in the blanks of the novel and the way you see the world.
The novel is a wonderful evocation of the minutiae of family bickering and arguments which are still relevant and highly recognisable today. (The bullying mother and slightly too weak, compliant son, for example). Analysis of the way that society represses the individual and the conflict between what you want to do and what society expects of you was to become a recurring theme in his novels.
His title is taken from Pope's 'An Essay on criticism' (1711), where the full line is `For fools rush in where angels fear to tread'. Indeed, most of the characters who people this perceptive novel appear foolish in the extreme, especially to our early twenty-first century eyes. For example, one could consider the headstrong and impulsive Lilia, packed off to Italy for a year with a chaperone by her husband's family in the hope that she will return 'not quite so vulgar' one of these rushing fools. Certainly her meeting and marriage of the unemployed (and son of a dentist, shock horror!Read more ›
`For a wonderful physical tie binds the parents to the children. (But) it doesn't bind us children to our parents. For if we could answer their love with equal love, life would lose much of its pathos and much of its squalor.'
The English family morals are based on `having' and `appearing', not on `being': `If Lilia was determined to disgrace us, she might have found a less repulsive way. A boy of medium height with a pretty face, the son of a dentist at Monteriano. May I surmise that he has not got a penny? May I surmise that his social position is nil?'
The Italian family morals are based on `this one desire to become the father of a man like himself ... his son should have sons like him, to people the earth. Falling in love was a mere physical triviality, like warm sun or cool water.'
The most attractive (`for all her goodness') English protagonist, Caroline, cannot even understand this desire, `though such a thing is more within the comprehension of women.'(!)
In this sense, the English upper-class is doomed.
A devastating portrait
This book is a devastating portrait of the English upper-class and, concomitantly of England's ruling elite.
The male protagonist, Philip, is the personification of the perfect dilettante: `No one save himself had been trivial.' In a murder attempt, stealing children and death by accident, he sees only `wonderful things that happened'.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My first EFM book,and l wasn't disappointed.After reading so many Hardy books I was surprised to read more tragedy,but it was so unpredictable. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
An excellent story , very descriptive of Italy and our view of it at that period in time . Also a brief glimpse of middle EnglandPublished 7 months ago by R818
Cover more creased than advised and overall not as clean as I would have liked. Maybe I'm just picky!Published on 1 May 2015 by Mrs S E Wild
I read this years ago and remember enjoying it. Also. having re-read ' Room with a View and Howard's End recently and enjoyed them all over again, thought I was pretty safe with... Read morePublished on 11 Nov. 2014 by hextol