Howards End (1910) is a novel by English author E.M. Forster. Inspired by his interactions with the famous Bloomsbury Group of writers and intellectuals, as well as by his personal experience growing up with a large inheritance on the family estate of Rooks Nest, Howards End has been recognized as one of the finest novels ever written in English.
The story loosely follows the lives of three families: the Wilcoxes, whose wealth derives from the exploitation of British colonies; the Basts, an impoverished couple; and the Schlegels, half-German sisters who find themselves set between the vastly opposing classes of their peers. Much of the novel is set on the Wilcox estate, known as Howards End, a symbol of fortune and a reminder of the generational implications of hoarded wealth. When Ruth Wilcox moves to London, she befriends her neighbor Margaret Schlegel. On her deathbed, and in secret, Ruth leaves a note instructing that Howards End be left to Margaret in her will, bypassing her family entirely. When her son Henry, a widower, finds out, he destroys the note, ensuring that the estate remains within the family. Years later, when the two meet again, Henry proposes to Margaret, bringing the Wilcox and Schlegel families closer together. But when her sister Helen brings the struggling Leonard and Jacky Bast to a party at Howards End, Henry, who recognizes Jacky as a former mistress, believes he is being set up, and breaks off the engagement. Although they reconcile, Margaret is driven apart from her sisters, who resent the Wilcoxes and distrust Henry. But when Helen becomes pregnant by Leonard, and a tragic event destroys several lives, the families are brought together once more, and both Margaret and Henry are forced to choose between the fortune they stand to gain and the love they stand to lose.
E.M. Forster’s Howards End is a masterpiece, a brilliant study of family, wealth, romance, and secrecy that captures the depravity of the English aristocracy without losing what sets it apart—an undeterred sense of humanity.
With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of E.M. Forster’s Howards End is a classic of English literature reimagined for modern readers.
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