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Howards End

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  81,219 ratings  ·  3,259 reviews
Howards End is a novel by E. M. Forster about social conventions, codes of conduct and relationships in turn-of-the-century England. A strong-willed and intelligent woman refuses to allow the pretensions of her husband's smug English family to ruin her life. Howards End is considered by some to be Forster's masterpiece. ...more
Paperback, 318 pages
Published January 29th 2018 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published 1910)
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Yesenia It is a beautiful book, beautifully written! And it makes you think about life, love, wealth, social inequality, family, art, relations, intimacy, con…moreIt is a beautiful book, beautifully written! And it makes you think about life, love, wealth, social inequality, family, art, relations, intimacy, connection!, without feeling heavy or pedagogical. And it makes you love the two heroines so much, that after you finish, you want to know more about what happened to them... The story might not be the most interesting thing--it is not meant to be, it is not a detective or adventure or suspense crime novel. If you read a book for original storylines, this might not be what you want. If you read a book to get lost in the lives of other people and away from your own, this is definitely what you want!(less)

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Diem
Aug 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My review is not a review of Howard's End as much as it is a review of the negative reviews.

Most of the criticism seems to be that the readers felt that this book had nothing to do with them. They weren't familiar with the places in England referenced in the book. It was too English. It wasn't universal. True on some counts. This book isn't about you. It isn't about now. It isn't directly relevant to today. It won't feed the soul of the egomaniac.

It is, however, a beautifully written book with a
...more
Jeffrey Keeten
***New mini-series begins showing on Starz in the U.S. April 2018.***

”Discussion keeps a house alive. It cannot stand by bricks and mortar alone.”

 photo Howards20End_zpssqdrkkh0.jpg

I’ve fallen in love with the Schlegel sisters twice now in separate decades. I plan to keep falling in love with them for many decades to come. They are vibrant defenders of knowledge, of books, of art, of travel, of feeling life in the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, and spleen on a daily basis. Margaret and Helen have a brother, Tibby, poor lad, wh
...more
Jim Fonseca
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
The title refers to a British country home, not a mansion like a Downton Abbey, but a small comfortable home with charm. (Although it seems that the story is set at about the same time as Downton Abbey.) The story revolves around two sisters who, on separate visits, fall in love with the home and in a very round-about way end up living in it.

The main there of the book is British class structure. The two sisters are ‘liberal,’ using modern terminology. They attend meetings of progressive women’s
...more
Diane
I loved this book so much that I will never be able to do it justice in this review. I finished it several months ago, but still I think of it often and have recommended it to numerous friends. While reading, I used countless post-its to mark beautiful and thoughtful passages.

Howard's End was one of the novels I took on my visit to England earlier this summer. I wanted to read English authors while I was there, and I'm so glad I did. The specialized reading completely enhanced the trip, and it w
...more
Sean Barrs
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Austen fans
Forster is the Jane Austen of the 20th century. He clearly read her novels and fell in love.

And this makes him rather unusual amongst his literary peers. He didn’t do anything new; he didn’t write with any particular passion or any attempt at breaking a literary boundary. His writing is relatively safe compared to the likes of Joyce or Woolf.

But in such safety a certain simple beauty can be found because Howard’s End is a novel about reconciliation; it’s about conflict and resolution; it’s
...more
Candi
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

"A place, as well as a person, may catch the glow. Don't you see that all this leads to comfort in the end? It is part of the battle against sameness. Differences--eternal differences, planted by God in a single family, so that there may always be colour; sorrow perhaps, but colour in the daily grey."

Howards End is the second book in my endeavor to re-read all of E.M. Forster’s major novels. Having read five of these in my late teens, I decided that it would be fun to approach them with
...more
Jaidee
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Forster completists but would recommend the Merchant Ivory film more than the book
Recommended to Jaidee by: my teenage self
2.5 "This Champagne has gone flat and don't tell me that Vanilla is from Madagascar" stars !!

Third Most Disappointing Read of 2019 Award

In my late teens I read all of Mr. Forster's books and although not my favorites I enjoyed them thoroughly. I wanted to re-read one at random and see what my forty-something self thought and felt. Alas, this particular reading of Howard's End did not hold up for me the way I had expected it too.

I want to to be clear though that I found parts of it sparkling
...more
Lisa
Oh, Forster is kind to the reader!

I was building up the kind of panic I felt on the last pages of Tess of the d'Urbervilles, when the overwhelming unfairness of the rigid English society came crashing down on the characters I had learned to love. I had invested so much time and feeling in Helen and Margaret, would I have to face their brutal expulsion and tragedy too? I am still mourning Tess, after all!

If Hardy wanted to show just how painful it all IS in reality, Forster offers an alternativ
...more
Jason Koivu
Feb 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, classics
I've read three of Forster's most well known novels, and yet, I don't feel I know them at all. Even this one, as I read it, was fading from memory. I don't mean to say that his work is forgettable, but with every Forster book I've read - amazing human portraits and elegant, occasionally profound turns of phrase - somehow they all flitter on out of my head. It's as if they were witty clouds: intelligent and incorporeal. Heck, I've even seen movie versions for a couple of them and I still don't re ...more
Paula
The joy I received from reading HOWARDS END again. Over the years I have always read the hard cover, but this time I decided on the audiobook. One of our bookclub members suggestion the book when choosing from “1001”. What an opportunity to try a different format.

This is a period piece. One where everyone has manners. A very beautifully done practical romance. A breathtaking adventure into the beauty of nature surrounding HOWARDS END. I shivered while reading this book...I almost broke down cryi
...more
Michael
This novel from 1910 has a lovely Shakespearean flavor of good intentions leading to unintended consequences. Urgent letters between sisters kicks off its engaging plot about the collision between two very different families. The younger sister Helen Schlegel, visiting the rural “Howard’s End” estate of the conservative, wealthy Wilcox family, writes to Margaret that she is love with and wants to marry one of their sons Paul (which grew out of a single impulsive kiss). Margaret urges her aunt to ...more
Karina
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The beginning started off slow but not boring. It was just trying to get into the plot but once it got into it was nice and flowing. Forster for being hardly into his 30s writing this amazing eye opening story is just incredible. His major understandings of society at that age are things people barely start to grasp in their 50s....

Howards End is the beginning of the story and the end to it. The house is more like a metaphor of all rich and poor dying but structures will always be standing and m
...more
Diane Barnes
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-reads, favorites
No good deed goes unpunished. That could be the unofficial theme of this novel.
I read this as a young adult, loved it, and decided to re-read it after seeing Jeffrey Keeten's excellent review a few months ago. And yes, I still love it, but for different reasons this time around. A much simplified plot synopsis gives us Meg Schlegel, a practical but plain lady of the middle class in England, who, with her sister and brother, live a comfortable life in London, espousing liberal causes and followi
...more
Cecily
Jun 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
"Only connect" is doubtless the most famous line from this book, and typical of Forster's knack for sprinkling unexpectedly modern-sounding phrases into his prose.

PLOT
This is the story of the Schlegel sisters: half German Edwardians living in London. They are intellectual and comfortably off, but more bohemian/Bloomsbury than establishment. They encounter the wealthier and more conservative Wilcoxes and the struggling clerk Leonard Bast. Their altruistic attempts at social engineering are someti
...more
Piyangie
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Howards End is Forster's attempt to explore the social, political, cultural and philosophical changes that were at force at the turn of the 20th century. Using three families - the Wilcoxes, the Schlegels and the Basts, he writes an intricate story expounding the changes that were slowly engulfing England during the Edwardian era.

The three families Forster has used for his story represents three sectors. The Wilcoxes are the solid, materialistic and practical imperialists. They are the rich u
...more
Laura
May 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, english-lit
Many critics consider this to be Forster’s masterpiece, and it is hard to imagine a more searing and poignant examination of the social, philosophic, and economic issues facing England during the fascinating window between Queen Victoria and World War I. Forster uses three families—the intellectual and impractical Schlegels, the materialistic and empire-building Wilcoxes (who drove through the bucolic Shropshire countryside and “spoke of Tariff Reform”), and the working class Basts—to explore th ...more
Aubrey
Reading this at the time I did is an event I can only describe as 'lucky', seeing as how both my reasoning and the circumstances hardly heralded how much I would love this work. The facts: Carson's The Beauty of the Husband: A Fictional Essay in 29 Tangos left me with a craving for something white and male and English, a rare beast these days that has made this the seventh work out of 45 read this year that fits that all too often ubiquitous combination of characteristics. I turned to the stacks ...more
Chrissie
What is delivered here is a commentary on British society at the turn of the 20th century, particularly in relation to class stratification. The story focuses upon three families—the wealthy Wilcox family of high standing and privilege, the Schlegels of the intellectual and progressive Bloomsbury set and finally the Basts of the working class who can barely make ends meet despite incessant hard work. One’s class both shapes and constricts a person. Moving from one class to another is fraught wit ...more
Gabrielle
“Howards End” is E.M. Forster’s statement on classism, and because he is E.M. Forster, it is the most elegant and romantic comment on the struggle of classes that you will ever read. It begins with a rich, old money family getting deeply upset by the idea of their youngest son getting entangled with a middle-class, bohemian half-German young woman…

The Schlegel sisters are from a comfortable but middle-class family, that cares about literature and art more than they do about money and status. The
...more
Teresa
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can I say about this book. I loved it!!!
I would never have picked it up normally but having seen it recently on BBC, a great adaptation by the way, I was interested in learning more. You know the type of stuff I mean, real feelings and inner thoughts that you can only guess at from the screen.
I really liked Margaret. She's a very strong character and the family depend on her totally. She's loyal and loving while still being quite a modern woman for her time.
She manages Henry very well. Kno
...more
Glenn Sumi
Howards End is a chatty, witty, philosophical novel about the state of England in the years leading up to the first world war.

There’s a sharp sense of place (Howards End, the estate, was modelled after Forster’s childhood home), and by focusing on three separate families, you certainly understand the social hierarchy of Edwardian England. The book’s famous epigraph (“Only connect...”) refers to the need for humans to empathize with others, cutting across boundaries of class, culture, geography a
...more
Duane
The Schlegel sisters seemed like characters plucked straight out of a Jane Austen book, or books. Some combination of Emma Woodhouse (Emma) and the Dashwood sisters (Sense and Sensibility). But the story and the style are entirely Forster's. The focus of the story is the social class differences in English society. The setting is Edwardian Era England, sandwiched tightly between the end of the Victorian Era and the beginning of World War I. Most of Forster's novels were published in this 1st dec ...more
~Bookishly~
Howards End was for the most part, a rather dull and irritating experience for me, and it took me longer to read, due to these reasons. I had been looking forward to my first E.M Forster book, having read some grand reviews about it, but to be perfectly honest, I was left very much bored.

The story began well enough, and I was fairly interested as to where it was going lead, but rather quickly, I realised that I was not going to bond with this book. The characters are not developed in the way one
...more
Roy Lotz
It is the little things one bungles at. The big, real ones are nothing when they come.

The last time I reviewed a novel by E.M. Forster, I wound up blubbering with praise; and now I find myself in similar circumstances. As with A Passage to India, I find Howards End exemplary in every respect: the themes, characterization, the prose, the pacing, the plot. I ought also to mention Forster’s versatility. Though rarely funny, Forster is capable of romantic lyricism, gritty realism, and flighty ph
...more
Barry Pierce
I started out liking this. I was even thinking this was going to be my first four-star novel of the year. However, as Howards End progressed I found myself caring less and less about what was going on. By the time I was 50% of the way through I was just waiting for it to finish. I felt the exact same way about Where Angels Fear to Tread. Maybe it's Forster's prose? I don't know. I think Forster and I are going to have a turbulent relationship. ...more
Apatt
Aug 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fave-classics
I vaguely remember seeing the film adaptation of Howards (no apostrophe-s!) End decades ago. I don’t remember much about the plot, I just vaguely (mis)remembered it as a story of some mad old biddy giving a house to Emma Thompson. I suppose if you must give away a house to someone Emma Thompson is not a bad choice, she is pretty cool. Anyway, after recently reading A Room with a View and The Machine Stops I have added E.M. Forster to my much coveted list of favorite classic authors (he missed ...more
Celia
Howards End is considered the masterpiece of Forster's career. It takes place in early 20th Century England. The story revolves around three families: the cultural idealism of the Schlegels, the pragmatic idealism of the Wilcoxes, and the poverty of the Basts.

This is an astounding, well-written book full of symbolism and shocking events. Forster exhibits a mastery of imagination in portraying the many ways and times these representatives of the three classes interact.

This is a book about the so
...more
Donna
Dec 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
It's difficult for me to judge this book on its own merit and not have it suffer in comparison to A Room with a View and Maurice, two books by Forster I recommend. But this book, while interesting at times and full of insights into human nature, as well as it being a meditation on a changing England at the beginning of the twentieth century, fell short for me. Most of the characters were unlikable or unsympathetic people who were either self-centered snobs or well meaning, but clueless about oth ...more
Alex
There are a million books about the inner lives of English people. Here is one of them.
E. G.
Aug 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Introduction
Suggestions for Further Reading
A Note on the Text


--Howards End

Explanatory Notes
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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
...more

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