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A Room with a View (1908)

by E. M. Forster

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
9,801193571 (3.93)1 / 687
This Edwardian social comedy explores love and prim propriety among an eccentric cast of characters assembled in an Italian pensione and in a corner of Surrey, England. A charming young English woman, Lucy Honeychurch, faints into the arms of a fellow Britisher when she witnesses a murder in a Florentine piazza. Attracted to this man, George Emerson--who is entirely unsuitable and whose father just may be a Socialist--Lucy is soon at war with the snobbery of her class and her own conflicting desires. Back in England she is courted by a more acceptable, if stifling, suitor, and soon realizes she must make a startling decision that will decide the course of her future: she is forced to choose between convention and passion.… (more)
Recently added byNicky24, private library, Debgood3541, bookwyrmqueen, Rennie80, Joanna65, CocoBib
Legacy LibrariesH.D., T. E. Lawrence
  1. 30
    Howards End by E. M. Forster (sturlington)
    sturlington: Where A Room with a View is comedy, Howards End is tragedy.
  2. 31
    The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim (SylviaC)
  3. 31
    Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons (upster)
    upster: It's refreshing and fun
  4. 10
    The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe (StarryNightElf)
    StarryNightElf: Two ladies travel in Europe during the Edwardian Era.
  5. 21
    Merchant Ivory's English Landscape by John Pym (carlym)
    carlym: [Merchant Ivory's English Landscape] includes quite a few photos from the movie version of [A Room with a View].
  6. 00
    Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan (nicole_a_davis)
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» See also 687 mentions

English (185)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  Hebrew (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (193)
Showing 1-5 of 185 (next | show all)
Reread-Started as a 5-star, and absolutely remains a 5-star. I have only one nit to pick, and for me that is pretty amazing. Said nit: Why does Cecil suddenly become human, and not just human but certifiably humble, after Lucy shares her reasons for ending the engagement? Okay, back to work. I do not doubt that I will be thinking about this issue all day despite back-to-back meetings that actually require my focused participation. Full rtf

Back for the review --

It is easy to forget E.M. Forster was a radical, but he most definitely was. He hung out with Virginia Woolf, he was (obliquely) public about being a homosexual at a time when that was a dangerous choice, he championed gender equality, and he rejected the strictures of upper crust British life in theory if not always in practice. His chafing under societal pressures is so central not just to this book, but to his next, the beautiful Howard's End, and the frustrating and touching Maurice. When I read this in my 20's I don't think I realized how revolutionary some of this was. That may be in part because discussion about the rights of workers and women gets mashed up with overly romantic somewhat nauseating messaging about how love is the answer to all things. Anyway, reading this many years later I was astonished by how ahead of its time much of this was. George says that the future must be one in which men and women are equal. This is really quite shocking. More shocking though is the subtle way in which Forster conveys Mr. Beebe's homosexuality, and hints at Cecil's in the early part of the last century. Most shocking perhaps is Lucy's rejection of money and family to run off and find passion with a socialist aesthete. Could anything have been a more clear rejection of the tenets of 1920's British mores? And Forster makes the reader feel good about all this, casting the horrid Charlotte and the effete Cecil as the exemplars of things proper and English and casting the sweet, shy, depressive George and his loving and defiantly innocent father as the exemplars of modern thinking. How could anyone root for Charlotte and Cecil in that matchup?

I know this is primarily a love story, passion over propriety and all that. I love a love story, but honestly reading this as just a love story it doesn't really do it for me. There is, literally, not a single conversation or interaction between George and Lucy that would indicate why he loves her. It is hormones. At least Cecil loved her for her music. George thought her beautiful most definitely and in need of his protection (to save her from ugliness like the blood covered postcards) but they never exchange any other information. Lucy loves him in part for his awkward decency shown in the ceding of his rooms and their view and the postcard incident, and for his honesty and spontaneity in expressing his feelings, and hormones too. There is something there, but George, no. There is not a lot to root for when boiled down to romance. Luckily the book is so much more than that. It is a wonderful and witty slice of life, it is a call for a new day in England, it is an ode to Forster's beloved Italy, and it is a coming of age story (as regards Lucy.) A joy to (re)read. But yeah, I still don't get how the scales fell from Cecil's eyes. I really want to understand that better. ( )
1 vote Narshkite | Sep 23, 2021 |
This was moderately interesting to read for the historical setting. I also appreciated that Forster was strong in his belief that women could lead independent lives. I did not care for the writing and felt some of it was unclear. I liked many of his literary references. ( )
  suesbooks | Sep 22, 2021 |
nice ( )
  jooniper | Sep 10, 2021 |
This has been on my TBR for so long, I think I was expecting a lot more from it. It's kind of like the time I read The Professor, and I was expecting more from a Bronte, but it just wasn't there. I feel like a film version of this would be much more entertaining (I'm sure there is one, but I haven't looked). I might revisit/reread in summer, to see if I enjoy it more the second time. ( )
  SarahRita | Aug 11, 2021 |
Lucy, a young English woman, travels to Florence Italy, accompanied by an older cousin. The people she meets there at the Pension Bertolini begin to open her eyes to the ways of the world, including romantic inclinations. A study in the repressed morals of Edwardian England. I ended up liking this novel but not nearly as much as I did Howard's End. ( )
  msf59 | Jul 13, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 185 (next | show all)
E M Forsters romantext präglas av en oerhört njutbar balans mellan utsagt och outsagt, mellan ytlig elegans och underförstådda referenser till en betydligt dunklare verklighet.
 

» Add other authors (48 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Forster, E. M.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crossley, StevenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davidson, FrederickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ekman, MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harte, Glynn BoydIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shallenberg, KaraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simpson, MonaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stallybrass, OliverEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, CandaceEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
"The Signora had no business to do it," said Miss Bartlett, "no business at all. She promised us south rooms with a view close together, instead of which here are north rooms, looking into a courtyard, and a long way apart. Oh, Lucy!"
A Room with a View was published in 1908. (Appendix)
Quotations
She joined the vast armies of the benighted, who follow neither the heart nor the brain, and march to their destiny by catch-words.
If Miss Honeychurch ever takes to live as she plays [piano], it will be very exciting both for us and for her.
She was like a woman of Leonardo da Vinci, whom we love not so much for herself as for the things that she will not tell us.
There is a certain amount of kindness, just as there is a certain amount of light,” he continued in measured tones. “We cast a shadow on something wherever we stand, and it is no good moving from place to place to save things; because the shadow always follows. Choose a place where you won’t do harm—yes, choose a place where you won’t do very much harm, and stand in it for all you are worth, facing the sunshine.”
It makes a difference, doesn’t it, whether we fence ourselves in, or whether we are fenced out by the barriers of others?
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This Edwardian social comedy explores love and prim propriety among an eccentric cast of characters assembled in an Italian pensione and in a corner of Surrey, England. A charming young English woman, Lucy Honeychurch, faints into the arms of a fellow Britisher when she witnesses a murder in a Florentine piazza. Attracted to this man, George Emerson--who is entirely unsuitable and whose father just may be a Socialist--Lucy is soon at war with the snobbery of her class and her own conflicting desires. Back in England she is courted by a more acceptable, if stifling, suitor, and soon realizes she must make a startling decision that will decide the course of her future: she is forced to choose between convention and passion.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141183292, 0241951488, 0141199822

Feral House

An edition of this book was published by Feral House.

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Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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