'Only connect.' is the idea at the heart of this book, a heartbreaking and provocative tale of three families at the beginning of the twentieth century: the rich Wilcoxes, the gentle, idealistic Schlegels and the lower-middle class Basts. As the Schlegel sisters try desperately to help the Basts and educate the close-minded Wilcoxes, the families are drawn together in love, lies, and death.
Frequently cited as E. M. Forster's finest work, Howards End brilliantly explores class warfare, conflict and the English character.
Review by John Purcell
I believe E.M. Forster has suffered from having had his novels turned into films. The films now take their place. However the depths of Howards End cannot be explored on screen.
I first read Howards End when I was eighteen. It surprises me when I think of it, because it is such an intelligent and mature work and I was such a fool. But it did stun me. I remember that. So much so that I declared it the best book ever written.
I have now read Howards End many times and am close to understanding what E.M. Forster is trying to teach me about love. I am not there yet. On my last reading I sensed his meaning but could not wrestle it into thought. It is something dark but not frightening. A hard truth that will help me become a better person. Or so I believe. I will read it again soon and hopefully I will finally grasp it.
Howards End is one of those rare things, a novel for adults.
About the Author
Edward Morgan Forster was born in London in 1879. A pacifist and conscientious objector during the First World War, he volunteered instead for the International Red Cross, which took him to Alexandria. During his lifetime he travelled through Europe, Egypt and India, wrote six novels, two volumes of short stories, two collections of essays, two biographies and a libretto for Britten's opera Billy Budd, declined a knighthood, was made a member of the Order of Merit, and died at the age of ninety-one. Where Angels Fear to Tread and A Room with a View are also published in the Penguin English Library.
Series: The Penguin English Library
Number Of Pages: 392
Published: 28th June 2012
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 13.0
Weight (kg): 0.28
Edition Number: 1