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A Room with a View

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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  103,269 ratings  ·  3,093 reviews
'You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you.'

In this brilliant piece of social comedy Forster is concerned with one of his favourite themes: the 'undeveloped heart' of the English middle classes, who are here represented by a group of tourists and expatriates in Florence. The English abroad are observed with a sharply ironic eye, b

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Paperback, Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics Edition, 256 pages
Published 1990 by Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics (first published 1908)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Samadrita
Romantic comedy this is not. The rosiness of a woman stumbling upon convenient fantasy fulfillment by marrying into privilege and bourgeois wealth do not tinge the themes of this classic. Rather this aspires to the novelty of a sort of female bildungsroman. A woman who is roused into the acknowledgement of her desires and self through the unwitting intervention of men considered unworthy of being even good travel companions - how many male authors/poets/dramatists of Forster's generation have ca ...more
Carmen
Apr 28, 2015 Carmen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Carmen by: Joan
I'm a sucker for a sweet, kind-hearted, naïve and sheltered heroine. Especially when they slowly learn how to be brave. So this book was perfect for me to read.

Lucy Honeychurch (how's that for a name) is a sheltered young Englishwoman in 1908. She lives with her mother and little brother Freddy. She goes on an exciting travel-abroad trip with her stuffy older cousin. There she meets the Emersons - also English - old Mr. Emerson who is loving and honest to a fault. His outspoken ways are consider
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Diane Librarian
I was overjoyed to discover that this book I had liked when I was in high school was even more charming and lovely than I remembered.

I'm not sure what impelled me to suddenly reread this novel about a young Englishwoman, Lucy Honeychurch, whose life is transformed after she visits Italy, but I'm glad I did. Forster's language is so inviting and engaging that as soon as I started reading, I didn't want to put down the book.

The story opens at a hotel in Florence, and Lucy is being chaperoned by h
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Emily May
3.5
I am in a classics mood, but after my recent completion of War and Peace I decided to try something a little lighter and less than one tenth of the size. This is how I found my way towards E. M. Forster's 130 page novel about a woman who is forced to make a decision between marrying a wealthy man she will never love and a man of lower class who she knows she can be happy with. Funnily enough, I think it was this story's length that slightly let it down for me, had it been a longer book I'm su
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Ted
It was Phaethon who drove them to Fiesole that memorable day, a youth all irresponsibility and fire, recklessly urging his master's horse up the stony hill.




Fiesole, in the hills northeast of Firenze 9/2/2007


I read this lovely little novel about three months after taking the picture above. I was so thrilled that I had actually been in Florence, where a part of the story takes place. The "main event" of the Florence episode occurs when the English ladies take a chaperoned carriage ride into the hi
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April
This is the first book that I've just tipped over in love with in a long time.

Having seen the movie Howard's End, and knowing that E.M. Forster wrote in the late 19th/early 20th century, and having watched that episode of The Office where the Finer Things Club discussed this book, I fully expected it to be a dull, dry slog.

But it was not. It was a pleasure.

Lucy Honeychurch learns that the rules of society can--and sometimes should--be broken. She learns that she doesn't have to love a man just
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Henry Avila
The Pensione (pension) Bertolini, in Florence, Italy, has everything for the visiting tourists, Miss Lucy Honeychurch and her older, poorer cousin, Charlotte Bartlett, an overbearing chaperon, fine food (not really), wines, not too bad, this is Italy and a room with a view. Unfortunately not for the cousins, their promised accommodations went to Mr.Emerson and his quiet, gloomy son George. If you can't trust the Signora Bertolini, the Italian owner of this establishment , more English than one i ...more
Madeline
What happens in Florence, stays in Florence.

Unless this is the early 1900's and you're visiting the city with your annoying spinster cousin, then you kiss some boy in a field of violets for like two seconds and nobody ever lets you forget it. Jeez, people.

This is a brief, sweet little novel about Lucy Honeychurch (winner of the prestigious award for Most Adorable Name Ever), who goes to Florence with previously-mentioned spinster cousin. Despite lack of A ROOM WITH A VIEW, Lucy has a very nice
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Aubrey
I don't deal with romance much. It's a trait that's bled over from real life experiences into my tastes for a very long time, but it wasn't until recently that I started vivisecting it for more credible reasons than "I don't like chick flicks/soap operas/other degenerating names for lovey dovey things that females are supposed to like". If there's one thing I've learned, it's that something is always wrong at the heart of things whenever the word "female" is incorporated into an instinctive disl ...more
Apatt
A couple of days before I started to read this book I have just read and reviewed E.M. Forster’s The Machine Stops an excellent science fiction short story first published in 1909 which is very well written, clever and prescient. Forster is of course not known for his sci-fi as he wrote only the one story (as far as I know). However, he is known for several classic novels including A Passage to India, Howards End and Where Angels Fear to Tread. All of which have been adapted into films. A Room w ...more
Jason Koivu
Youth, love and time on your hands...whatever does one do with it all? What an upper class English lady of the early 20th century does with it is the basis for E.M. Forster's A Room with a View.

I expected more of a Death in Venice kind of languishing prose, but instead it felt, for the most part, more akin to Austen...except when it slipped into a borderline Bronte-esque melodrama. There was the snobbish principles and philosophy du jour as well as serious melancholy to be had in plenty, but to
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Ann
Oct 26, 2008 Ann rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Austen or Montgomery or Alcott
Recommended to Ann by: Katie!
What a beautiful story!
I really didn't know what to expect—would this be a character story, a philosophical one, a romance? It ended up being a lovely mix of all three. The story centers around Lucy, a young woman who realizes, for the first time, that she has ideas of her own. In other words, it's about Lucy learning how to make decisions for herself, and learning what she truly wants out of life.
The book is full of delightful characters and beautiful passages. Yet, Forster isn't above seeing t
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Maggie
Mar 11, 2008 Maggie rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jane Austen fans
I find comedies of manners and WASP dramas about one's place in society so tiring... last night we finally got a true plot development and I woke up a bit. I'm such a bad "girl" reader this way. Cue some action, PLEASE.

UPDATE: I can't keep reading this. Taking it off the bedside table. I am such a bad girl!
Mosca
Jan 11, 2013 Mosca rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cynical romantics
Recommended to Mosca by: E.M. Forster
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4 1/2 stars.

At first glance this book is simply a romance. At second glance is it a manifesto about romance? And if this is simply a romance, why does this old cynic love it so much?

But upon closer inspection there is more than one protagonist whose journey is being witnessed. And tonight, I can think of at least three characters who have grown significantly, in spite of themselves.

There appear at least two others who have changed significantly in ways that are left
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Steven
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katherine
The film adaptation of A Room with a View from the 80's has always been close to my heart. My Mom showed it to me as a teenager, and ever since then I've watched it every year. I nearly thought I wouldn't even try reading the book, the movie was so perfect to me, but I'm so so so happy I did. Reading this novel brought me even further into the world I became so enraptured with as a young adult.

By finally reading the novel, the contrasts were finally made clear in each part. Light is a major inf
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Greg
The best. A masterpiece. Mr Emerson is a legend. E. M. Forster set the bar.

Expansive Review.

'could literature influence life?' asks A Room with a View.

England created a colony in North America, then left them to get on with it, leaving in place the foundational structures, like the rule of law, all explained by Niall Ferguson in the Reith Lectures http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01jmx0p The colony becomes the USA. George Orwell, with his uncanny prescience, predicted that the USA, being so inde
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Regina
Reading this book as an adult had a much stronger effect on me than as a teenager. I am in awe of how many issues were addressed in this book, albeit subtlely . But remaining a truly funning and enjoyable read. Each page was a treat for mind.

A major theme running through "Room with a View" is the rigid social hierarchy and structure of Edwardian England society. Room was published in 1909, a society and world on the brink of major change. Political issues are hinted at in the book - unrest in I
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Jill
I have not been known to spend my money on particularly pragmatic things. There was an heirloom apple tree native only to New England that I absolutely had to plant in my Midwestern garden. The old-tymey homemade ice cream maker that I vowed to use every summer, which ended up meaning one summer, the very summer I received it, used it, and stored it. But one day, with any extra cash lying about, I would love to sponsor a study at a statistical research institute about love triangles. Mostly abou ...more
Donna
From the very first page, this book launches the reader into comedy and mayhem, but as the pages keep turning, it becomes clear that the author means to do more than entertain. He means to enlighten. He uses humor to poke fun at society during the Edwardian period, with all the quibbling over rules and views on a woman's place, one step behind a man's so he may protect and guide her. Everyone needs to know their place and remain there, never crossing a line. It's the snobs versus the snubbed. It ...more
Courtney
I don't plan to go into great detail about the storyline, because I'm a firm believer that a story can only be truly reviewed by a person's impression of the story. I think it would be a waste of time to go over the plot again...that's what the title page of the book is for.

This was 1 of the 7 books I had to read in my last semester of college: Women In Literature. I had heard about this book and had seen the movie with Helena Boham Carter a few years ago, but I simply never got around to readi
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Trevor
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura
Forster’s most delightful novel chronicles the awakening of Lucy Honeychurch, whose sojourn in Italy broadens her views, and ultimately her life, far beyond anyone’s expectations—not least of all her own! Forster draws the characters with precision, humor, and depth, from the spinsterish cousin Charlotte Bartlett to the priggish fiancé Cecil Vyse (“He was mediaeval. Like a Gothic statue.”). Many laugh-out-loud moments as Forster satirizes an Edwardian middle class desperately clinging to the las ...more
Giovanna
3.75

Lucy Honeychurch, una ragazza inglese attenta attenta alle convezioni della sua epoca, si trova improvvisamente a dover fare i conti con qualcosa di nuovo: i propri sentimenti. Ciò accade quando, durante un viaggio in Italia incontra George Emerson, un ragazzo che poco si conforma ai valori della borghesia dell'epoca. Forster così contrappone la mentalità della borghesia inglese, chiusa, fredda, puritana, alla mentalità mediterranea, più aperta e gioiosa, che risveglierà in Lucy nuove aspira
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Pollopicu
It's hard for me to believe this is considered a romance novel. It seemed like most of the time there were at least half a dozen people guarding Lucy's virtue. I don't understand how an author can take a character from one extreme to the next.
Up until the last chapter it was about Lucy Honeychurch asserting her independence as a young lady. She didn't seem at all interested in finding romance. She just wanted independence from her family. Lucy's character was flaky. She becomes engaged to Cecil,
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Jo
I went into this book not really knowing what to expect, or to be more honest, I think I went into it expecting a romance. I had seen the movie when I was 11 or 12, so I had a vague recollection of passionate kisses in the bushes (that makes it sound so errotic, but it is really not at all--I wish it were.)

I have to say, I was slightly disappointed. It is a victorian-type novel that starts out in Italy with various characters, the main one being the love-interest, Lucy. She and the other charac
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Thomas
This is the romance that Forster had to write: the one that he could get published and sell lots of, without abandoning his progressive principles. Bourgeois girl attempts to pick a suitor who isn't evil; learns how to self-advocate.

However, it's boring. That, and the author is swinging outside of his wheelhouse.

"Maurice," on the other hand, is the romance that Forster was born to write: he tackles classism and homophobia square-on. The book resolves exactly as it should, and he doesn't pull any
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Capsguy
Certainly a different take than my first foray into Forster (The Machine Stops). I was expecting the stereotypical English romance novel, and was surprised at where this actually went. An excellent study into social conflicts at the time, a relatively complicated topic, and yet Forster managed to use relatively simple prose (but still retaining its beauty) to paint Lucy's internal struggle for the love between two men.

I'm not the biggest fan of novels dedicated to tales of love, especially when
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Jenna
Every so often, when I am facing a particularly difficult crisis in my life, one of the classic novels I read as a child rises to the surface of my mind, and I am comforted by the memory of the wisdom that novel instilled in me. Such was the case today with A Room With a View. Forster had a tendency to be a bit of a tiresome moralizer such that, even though I am inclined to agree with the moral and political views with which he stuffed his more "serious" novels Howard's End and A Passage to Indi ...more
David
I'm about halfway through this book. For such a slim volume it is shocking how long it is taking me to finish this. It's so boring! Don't tell me I'm not a sophisticated reader: I appreciate and love plenty of books wherein "nothing happens." Take a look at Henry James, nothing hardly ever happens- the climax of action is someone not doing anything, or glancing, or sneezing, and then pages upon pages ensure analyzing that nothing/glance/sneeze until the protagonist realizes that life is unaltera ...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
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Edward Morgan Forster, generally published as E.M. Forster, was an novelist, essayist, and short story writer. He is known best for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class difference and hypocrisy in early 20th-century British society. His humanistic impulse toward understanding and sympathy may be aptly summed up in the epigraph to his 1910 novel Howards End: "Only connect".

He had five
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More about E.M. Forster...
Howards End A Passage to India Maurice Where Angels Fear to Tread The Machine Stops

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“It isn't possible to love and part. You will wish that it was. You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. I know by experience that the poets are right: love is eternal.” 3652 likes
“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.” 242 likes
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