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Howards End by E.M. Forster

Howards End (original 1910; edition 2000)

by E.M. Forster, David Lodge

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7,549116836 (3.98)473
Howard's End is a charming country house in Hertfordshire which becomes the object of an inheritance dispute between the Wilcox family and the Schlegel sisters. Through romantic entanglements, disappearing wills, and sudden tragedy, the conflict over the house emerges as a symbolic struggle for England's very future. A clear, vibrant portrait of life in Edwardian England, Howard's End deals with personal relationships and conflicting values.… (more)
Title:Howards End
Authors:E.M. Forster
Other authors:David Lodge
Info:Penguin Classics (2000), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Howards End by E. M. Forster (1910)

  1. 30
    A Room with a View by E. M. Forster (sturlington)
    sturlington: Where A Room with a View is comedy, Howards End is tragedy.
  2. 32
    On Beauty by Zadie Smith (GCPLreader)
    GCPLreader: contemporary novel is an homage to Howard's End
  3. 00
    North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Another Margaret who extends her sympathy across social strata.
  4. 00
    The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy (Limelite)
1910s (3)
My TBR (98)
Modernism (122)

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English (108)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  All languages (111)
Showing 1-5 of 108 (next | show all)
Howards End by E.M. Forster I don't know what you would make of this if you weren't English.
In some ways it would be like watching an English film with subtitles that were written by someone who doesn't have English as a first language. Almost everything is hidden. Hidden behind class, social protocol and innuendo. It is in code. But it's a code that you have to know from birth.
It is a very slow book that you know will end badly but have a good finish.
I haven't seen the film so had no preconceptions. After I read the book I watched the trailer for the film on YouTube. My version was a bit seedier than the movie.
About half way through I didn't know if I liked it or not so I checked out the reviews on Amazon. I saw that I was not alone but persevered anyway.
I imagine that Mr Forster had no idea that his novel would still be read in a much faster age even though he predicted that age in this novel. And so it reads slowly, surely, reliably to the action packed ending. If you are planning to read this I'd recommend treating it as if you were listening to your nana telling a story.
Towards the end I started to see the parallels with England today and on one level how so very little has changed in Pomgolia. Today I read how a multinational company in England with a terrible history of industrial relations wants unions to be liable for unlimited amounts of cash to cover losses of profit in the event of strikes. Here is rich Henry, still with us, still unable to see his own hypocrisy. The said multinational recently moved it's head office from England to Switzerland to avoid paying round 150,000,000 pounds in tax. Poor Henry, poor England.
What surprises me about the English is how the inequality of class is so enshrined in their culture. Like someone that has had cancer for so long that they confuse their sickness with normality.
It was pointed out that of the two mayoral candidates Ken Livingston and Boris Johnson, that the England that Ken Livingston grew up in, one of free education, trade unions and quality health care had all but disappeared whereas Boris Johnson 's England of privilege and wealth had only got better. Given that no one chooses which family they are born into this is not a statement about those two individuals. Rather a statement about the power of wealth and privilege. As Pink Floyd say, "But if you ask for a raise it's no surprise that they're giving none away." ( )
1 vote Ken-Me-Old-Mate | Sep 24, 2020 |
I'll have to reread this this summer. I couldn't give it enough attention during this past busy week, but I could tell it was good and beautifully written. ( )
  littlebookjockey | Sep 15, 2020 |
She could not explain in so many words, but she felt that those who prepare for all the emergencies of life beforehand may equip themselves at the expense of joy. ( )
  SolangePark | Jul 11, 2020 |
I enjoyed E.M. Forster's novel "Howards End," which is about two sisters, Margaret and Helen, who have rather romantic ideals and are surrounded by hard-knock life sort of folks. The titular Howards End is actually a house that they each are connected to as their stories unfold.

The novel isn't near as successful as Forster's "A Room With A View," which has a similar theme and feel, but is still a fun read nevertheless. ( )
  amerynth | Jul 10, 2020 |
This novel is beautifully written and, for a book written before World War I, surprisingly relevant to today's political and social climate. The central conflict seems to be between Margaret's ideals and how these manifest in real life. She is intellectual, well-educated, and has a strong will, which makes it disappointing to see her make choices that seem counter to these aspects of herself. I felt so irritated with her for some of the mistakes I saw her making, but in the end, she seems to come to a place of compromise that is better for (nearly) everyone involved than what would have been available had she dug in her heels from the beginning.

The novel seemed to be gearing up for a grand confrontation and dramatic decisions, and so at first this compromise ending was unsatisfying to me. But upon reflection, I decided that the ending is all the more realistic for the lack of fireworks. Gradually I saw that the decisions Margaret made that were so frustrating to me were frustrating because they're the kinds of decisions I think anyone makes who has ideals and also lives in the world. It's more satisfying to read about people bucking convention, throwing off everything they once valued and making a clean breast of it as a shiny, new person, but it's not realistic. We can make external changes, but we don't really become new people, or if we do, it's a slow metamorphosis, and one we can't govern ourselves, contrary to the promises of self-help books, talk shows, and websites selling fitness programs.

Compromise doesn't give the dopamine release that I crave, and it doesn't feed the desire I still feel despite my constant efforts to the contrary to see punished people I think have done wrong, but it provides a much more loving and sustainable model for change than the dramatic ending. Only connect.

Some quotes that spoke to me:

p.25: "It is the vice of a vulgar mind to be thrilled by bigness, to think that a thousand square miles are a thousand times more wonderful than one square mile, and that a million square miles are almost the same as heaven."

p. 52: "I'm tired of these rich people who pretend to be poor, and think it shows a nice mind to ignore the piles of money that keep their feet above the waves."

p.91: "Actual life is full of false clues and signposts that lead nowhere. With infinite effort we nerve ourselves for a crisis that never comes. The most successful career must show a waste of strength that might have moved mountains, and the most unsuccessful is not that of the man who is taken unprepared, but of him who has prepared and is never taken...Life is indeed dangerous, but not in the way morality would have us believe. It is indeed unmanageable, but the essence of it is not a battle. It is unmanageable because it is a romance, and its essence is romantic beauty."

p. 128: "The feudal ownership of land did bring dignity, whereas the modern ownership of movables is reducing us again to a nomadic horde. We are reverting to the civilization of luggage, and historians in the future will note how the middle classes accreted possessions without taking root in the earth, and may find in this the secret to their imaginative poverty."

p.132: "I don't believe in suiting my conversation to my company. One can doubtless hit upon some medium of exchange that seems to do well enough, but it's no more like the real thing than money is like food. There's no nourishment in it." ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Jun 28, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 108 (next | show all)
"The season's great novel"
added by GYKM | editDaily Mail
"A fine novel"
added by GYKM | editGraphic
"My impression is that the writer is a woman of a quality of mind comparable to that of the Findlater sisters or to May Sinclair."
added by GYKM | editChicago Tribune
"A story of remarkably queer people"
added by GYKM | editWestern Mail

» Add other authors (38 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Forster, E. M.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hynes, SamuelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ivory, JamesIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klett, ElizabethNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lodge, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pascual, ToniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennanen, EilaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pessarrodona, MartaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Petherbridge, EdwardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Only Connect . . ."
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Idea for another novel shaping, and may do well to write it down.
One may as well begin with Helen’s letters to her sister.
Theatres and discussion societies attracted her less and less. She began to ‘miss’ new movements, and to spend her spare time re-reading or thinking . . . she had outgrown stimulants, and was passing from words to things. It was doubtless a pity not to keep up with Wedekind or John, but some closing of the gates is inevitable after thirty, if the mind itself is to become a creative power.
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.
Margaret greeted her lord with peculiar tenderness on the morrow. Mature as he was, she might yet be able to help him to the building of the rainbow bridge that should connect the prose in us with the passion. Without it we are meaningless fragments, half monk, half beasts, unconnected arches that have never joined into a man. With it love is born, and alights on the highest curve, glowing against the grey, sober against the fire. Happy the man who sees from either aspect the glory of these outspread wings. The roads of his soul lie clear, and he and his friends shall find easy-going.
The train sped northward, under innumerable tunnels. It was only an hour’s journey, but Mrs. Munt had to raise and lower the window again and again. She passed through the South Welwyn Tunnel, saw light for a moment, and entered the North Welwyn Tunnel, of tragic fame. She traversed the immense viaduct, whose arches span untroubled meadows and the dreamy flow of Tewin Water. She skirted the parks of politicians. At times the Great North Road accompanied her, more suggestive of infinity than any railway, awakening, after a nap of a hundred years, to such life as is conferred by the stench of motor-cars, and to such culture as is implied by the advertisements of antibilious pills. To history, to tragedy, to the past, to the future, Mrs. Munt remained equally indifferent; hers but to concentrate on the end of her journey.
They were both at their best when serving on committees. They did not make the mistake of handling human affairs in the bulk, but disposed of them item by item, sharply. ... It is the best—perhaps the only—way of dodging emotion.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Howard's End is a charming country house in Hertfordshire which becomes the object of an inheritance dispute between the Wilcox family and the Schlegel sisters. Through romantic entanglements, disappearing wills, and sudden tragedy, the conflict over the house emerges as a symbolic struggle for England's very future. A clear, vibrant portrait of life in Edwardian England, Howard's End deals with personal relationships and conflicting values.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014118213X, 0141199407

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