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Forster E M (2017 Most Popular Book Lists)

$8.04
1. Selected Stories (Penguin Twentieth-Century
$8.20
2. The Life to Come: And Other Stories
$5.01
3. Aspects of the Novel
$17.10
4. A Great Unrecorded History: A
5. The Longest Journey
$17.95
6. Howards End
$6.97
7. Maurice: A Novel
$6.66
8. Where Angels Fear to Tread (Penguin
9. A Room with a View
$11.20
10. Concerning E. M. Forster
$18.95
11. A Passage to India (Penguin Modern
$0.75
12. Howards End: Centennial Edition
$4.05
13. A Room with a View and Howards
$3.03
14. Howards End (Barnes & Noble
 
15. The Novels of E. M. Forster :
$7.94
16. The Longest Journey (Penguin Classics)
17. Where Angels Fear to Tread
18. Works of E. M. Forster. Howards
$9.00
19. Howards End (Norton Critical Editions)
$8.79
20. A Passage to India (Penguin Classics)

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1. Selected Stories (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)
by E. M. Forster
Paperback: 224 Pages (2001-03-01)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$8.04
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0141186194
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****
Although he is best known for his novels-several of which have been made into popular movies-E.M. Forster also published stories. This volume, which collects those stories published during Forster's lifetime, provides an opportunity for readers to discover these less familiar works. Rich in irony and alive with sharp observations on the surprises life holds, the stories often feature violent events, discomforting coincidences, and other disruptive happenings that throw the characters' perceptions and beliefs off balance.

In their keen Introduction, David Leavitt and Mark Mitchell discuss Forster's place in both the short-story tradition and in the tradition of gay literature. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars The Short Fiction Of E. M. Forster
Edward Morgan Forster (January 1st, 1879 - June 7th, 1970) is best known for novels like "A Room with a View", "Howards End", and "A Passage to India".For a different side of Forster, one can look at his shorter works, and "Selected Stories" contains the short fiction of Forster's which was published in his lifetime.It differs greatly from his novels, as most of the stories contain fantasy elements, and one could easily stand as a foundation of science fiction.At the same time, these works are rather uneven.The earlier ones in general tend to be better and more direct, the later ones are more abstract and more difficult for the reader to follow.

All in all there are twelve works included in this collection, all of which would be considered either short stories or novelettes.Forster pulls from Greek mythology in a number of these stories.He also uses Christian theology as he pursues a secular humanist agenda for some of them.Only one of the stories appears to be completely devoid of some kind of fantasy or futuristic element.The stories included are:

"The Story of a Panic" - a novelette which was first published in March of 1904 in the "Independent Review".Inspired by a recent vacation in Italy, Forster sets the scene in Rovello.The story is narrated by Mr. Tytler, who is relating incidents which took place eight years in the past.In the story, Mr. Tytler and a party of tourists, including Eustace, a moody boy of fourteen go on a picnic in a secluded valley.There they encounter the spirit of Pan in the wind and flee in terror leaving Eustace behind.Eustace is invigorated by the experience and starts to behave in a manner which the adults try to prevent.

"The Other Side of the Hedge" - a short story which was first published in November of 1904 in the "Independent Review".This story is a bit heavy handed in its message about people being too consumed with trying to meet their goals.The story is about a man who progresses along the road with his pedometer until he becomes too tired to continue, and then he is lured by a light to try to make his way through the hedge which runs along the side of the road.

"The Celestial Omnibus" - a short story which was first published in January of 1908 in the Albany Review.In this story a young boy has discovered a wondrous omnibus which takes him to a land where the great characters of literature are alive.Adults don't believe in its existence, but he does manage to get Mr. Bons, a pompous adult who tries to correct the boy's literary references along the way.The story is a harsh comment on those who ruin the enjoyment of experiencing great literature for the first time, by trying to limit one's imagination.

"Other Kingdom" - a novelette first published in July of 1901 in the "English Review".This is a story which borrows greatly from Greek mythology, and in particular the story of Daphne.In this case the setting is England, and the Other Kingdom Copse which Harcourt Worters gives to Evelyn Beaumont as an engagement gift.But Harcourt has certain demands for what should be done with the woods, and becomes jealous of his ward, Jack Ford, for whom Evelyn appears to be developing feelings.

"The Curate's Friend" - a short story published in "Pall Mall Magazine" in October of 1907.Forster again goes to Greek mythology in this story where a clergyman, Harry, discovers a faun living in Wiltshire.The faun is invisible to the clergyman's secular friends, who mistake Harry's conversations with the faun for clowning around.The faun causes Harry some distress by allowing Emily, whom Harry has feelings for, to fall for another.

"The Road from Colonus" - a short story which was first published in the "Independent Review" in June of 1904.Forster once again goes to Greek mythology for the story of Oedipus, though in this case the man who would be Oedipus, Mr. Lucas is forced from Colonus.Some have suggested that this story is a veiled reference to Lord Byron's death.

"The Machine Stops" - a novelette which was first published in November of 1909 in "The Oxford and Cambridge Review".It is the one science fiction story in this collection, and what a story it is.One can only assume that writers like Huxley and Orwell referred to it in part for its dystopian future, where machines, or in particular "the machine" has taken over the lives of men.Some would say that Forster has predicted the internet as well in this wonderful piece.

"The Point of It" - a short story which was first published in November of 1911 in the "English Review".This is one of Forster's stories which has moved away from a more direct story line.The key characters of the story are Harold and Michael, who some have suggested are T. E. Lawrence and Forster.Harold's life is one of purpose and action, while Michael, after pushing Harold perhaps to his death, is respectable, but not particularly exciting.

"Mr. Andrews" - a short story which was first published in 1911.In this story Forster's secular humanism is apparent in the story of a Christian, Mr. Andrews, who meets a Muslim on his way to heaven.He fears that the Muslim will not be allowed to enter, and so he asks not if he (Mr. Andrews) may enter, but rather if his friend may.The Muslim does likewise, and both are allowed in, but neither finds what they expect, and they realize that heaven should be more than what they expected.

"Co-Ordination" - a short story which was first published in 1912.A confusing story in which the efforts at a school are directed towards teaching about Napoleon.From history to music he is the focus.In the music area the students are learning to play Beethoven's Eroica Symphony.At the same time, Beethoven and Napoleon become aware of the efforts of the students and teachers, and attempt to reward them.Forster appears to be making a comment about this type of planned teaching among other things.

"The Story of the Siren" - a short story which was first published in 1920.Forster returns to mythology and the Siren for an unusual story about a man who tells a tale of his brother seeing the Siren and how it changed his life.This story deals with the repressive force of Christianity, and is set against pagan ideas of the peasants.

"The Eternal Moment" - a novelette which was first published in June of 1905 in "The Independent Review".One can only believe that this story was put at the end of the collection because unlike the rest of the stories there is no element of fantasy in it.It is the story of a woman who returns to the scene of her best moment in life, only to find that it has changed, both the area as well as the significant people who were there.The moment is eternal though, because it will forever be with her.

Due to the uneven nature of the stories, I cannot give this collection more than three stars.However, stories like "The Machine Stops", and "The Road from Colonus" are well worth reading, and a few of the others are decent as well.

1-0 out of 5 stars Dissapointed
Having read his novella, "the machine stops", and of course, the books "howard's end", and "a passage to india", I ordered this.Omigosh, dreadful...what a wast of time.Self indulgent, pedantic, written it seems to wallow in personal sociopolitical issues. while one might empathize, it just goes to show you----every painter who has done a great work doesn't always produce a masterpiece, so every writer whose written stellar works of wide appeal, can write terribly as well!don't bother with this one. ... Read more


2. The Life to Come: And Other Stories
by E. M. Forster
Paperback: 264 Pages (1987-08-17)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.20
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0393304426
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****
Representing every phase of E. M. Forster's career as a writer, the fourteen stories in this book span six decades—from 1903 to 1957 or even later.Only two were published in his lifetime. Most of the other stories remained unpublished because of their overtly homosexual themes; instead they were shown to an appreciative circle of friends and fellow writers, including Christopher Isherwood, Siegfried Sassoon, Lytton Strachey, and T. E. Lawrence.

The stories differ widely in mood and setting. One is a cheerful political satire; another has, most unusually for Forster, a historical setting; others give serious and powerful expression to some of Forster's profoundest concerns. . ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Life To Come
Forster was really at his height as astory teller and I'm grateful that these break-through stories were finally publishedHow sad that they weren't published while he was still alive.

5-0 out of 5 stars Do NOT dismiss the non-homosexual stories out of hand!
There are 4 or 5 of these. I think "Ansell," (1903)--the first story in the book--is one of the best, short as it is. "The Helping Hand" is also very entertaining...though it doesn't leave ripples and waves, like the first one. One would suppose that these stories, (apparently)submitted to publishers and (apparently) rejected)--would be genuinely poor pickins'--but some are really good. Since Forster wasn't interested in heterosexual romance, he intelligently wrote about other things, quirky things, odd happenings, and so on.

And while it's true that most of the homosexual stories are dark, and some very affecting ("Dr. Woolacott," "Arthur Snatchfold," "The Other Boat" "The Life to Come"--why didn't he stop this one after the first part? It would have been so funny!), the hilarious "The Obelisk" is one of my favorite stories ever.

But first, of course, you must read Maurice, A Passage to India, and Howard's End. None of the short stories are as good as his novels.

"I want to love a strong young man of the lower classes and be loved by him and even hurt by him. That is my ticket, and then I have wanted to write respectable novels"....(personal memorandum, 1935)

"I should have been a more famous writer if I had written or rather published more, but sex has prevented the latter." (Diary, 31 December 1964)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Forster
This is a fine set of short stories by Forster at a very reasonable price."The Life to Come" was one of many short stories dealing with homosexuality that Forster didn't publish in his lifetime, sharing them only with a small circle of friends.Like many gay authors, he developed a lack of sympathy for straight characters which dramatically cut his production of novels.At the end of his life, Forster sorted through some of these stories, noting that they were now, "publishable, but worth it?"He realized that times were changing quickly and homosexuality was no longer the scandal it once was.Nonetheless, these are stories by a great literary figure, writing about things that actually mattered to him.If you love Forster, you'll love this collection.

4-0 out of 5 stars Early gems from the master
There is a real dichotomy between Forster's novel "Maurice" and the homosexual stories collected in "The Life to Come."The novel, while it does focus on the trials and tribulations of a gay man coming to terms with his sexuality, ends on an optimistic note.By contrast the stories collected in "The Life to Come," especially "The Other Boat," "Arthur Snatchfold" and the title piece, reflect the author's own obsession with the negative consequences of exposure and perfectly illustrate his reticence to coming out either personally or professionally.This is a man who witnessed the grossly indecent prosecution of both Oscar Wilde and Alan Turing, is it any wonder he was reticent?Don't miss these early gifts from the master. ... Read more


3. Aspects of the Novel
by E.M. Forster
Paperback: 192 Pages (1956-09-14)
list price: US$13.00 -- used & new: US$5.01
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0156091801
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****

Forster’s lively, informed originality and wit have made this book a classic. Avoiding the chronological approach of what he calls “pseudoscholarship,” he freely examines aspects all English-language novels have in common: story, people, plot, fantasy, prophecy, pattern, and rhythm. Index.
Amazon.com Review
There are all kinds of books out there purporting to explain that odd phenomenon the novel. Sometimes it's hard to know whom they're are for, exactly. Enthusiastic readers? Fellow academics? Would-be writers? Aspects of the Novel, E.M. Forster's 1927 treatise on the "fictitious prose work over 50,000 words" is, it turns out, for anyone with the faintest interest in how fiction is made. Open at random, and find your attention utterly sandbagged.

Forster's book is not really a book at all; rather, it's a collection of lectures delivered at Cambridge University on subjects as parboiled as "People," "The Plot," and "The Story." It has an unpretentious verbalimmediacy thanks to its spoken origin and is written in the key ofAplogetic Mumble: "Those who dislike Dickens have an excellent case. Heought to be bad." Such gentle provocations litter these pages. How can you not read on? Forster's critical writing is so ridiculously plainspoken, so happily commonsensical, that we often forget to be intimidated by the rhetorical landscapes he so ably leads us through. As he himself points out in the introductory note, "Since the novel is itself often colloquial it may possibly withhold some of its secrets from the graver and grander streams of criticism, and may reveal them to backwaters and shallows."

And Forster does paddle into some unlikely eddies here. For instance, he seems none too gung ho about love in the novel: "And lastly, love. I am using this celebrated word in its widest and dullest sense. Let me be very dry and brief about sex in the first place." He really means in the first place. Like the narrator of a '50s hygiene film, Forster continues, dry and brief as anything, "Some years after a human being is born, certain changes occur in it..." One feels here the same-sexer having the last laugh, heartily.

Forster's brand of humanism has fallen from fashion in literary studies, yet it endures in fiction itself. Readers still love this author, even if they come to him by way of the multiplex. The durability of hiswork is, of course, the greatest raison d'ĂŞtre this book could have. It should have been titled How to Write Novels People Will Still Read in a Hundred Years. --Claire Dederer ... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

4-0 out of 5 stars Reading this is like conversing about literature and philosophy in an Oxford pub
For the first 30 pages, I was surprisingly annoyed with Forster. But for the rest of the book, I wished I were sitting in an Oxford pub with him, having a lively exchange of ideas. I certainly don't agree with all of his opinions (such as when he completely disregards novelists' sociocultural situations--though he describes his idea beautifully: "Empires fall, votes are accorded, but to those people writing in the circular room it is the feel of the pen between their fingers that matters most"), and some of his ideas I began by disparaging but came to understand only in light of later ideas (such as when he describes story as a "low, atavistic form"). But almost without exception, his ideas were fascinating and had merit. That plus his conversational tone (the book is actually a series of transcribed lectures) are what made me wish I were good-naturedly debating with him over drinks.

One of his most interesting ideas was that the difference between real people and characters in fiction is that we can never fully understand the secret inner life of our fellow human beings but fictional characters can be fully known to us. He says that the characters we feel are most "real" are not those who most closely resemble real people but those whom the author most fully knows. Not that the author will always explain everything about the character in the novel, of course, but he/she will express enough that the character will give readers a convincing surprise. He wrote a brilliant few pages in which he praises Jane Austen for her characters' convincing responses to every situation (which is exactly what I love about her).

There are a great many more ideas in the book than that one I mentioned above. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes to philosophize about fiction, truth, humanity, art, etc. And, if you're interested, meet me for a drink and we'll have a good conversation about it.

4-0 out of 5 stars One to Re-Read
This is the kind of book that humbles a reader.I had always heard great things about this book, that anyone interested in learning profound truths about what makes a good novel and how a novel works needs to read this.I must say that I found the text challenging and had a difficult time grasping the points E.M. Forster was making.I got the parts about the story and the plot fairly well.However, the sections on fantasy, prophecy, pattern and rhythm were somewhat more difficult to digest.Perhaps one needs to read a few more novels, or read them with more attention, to fully comprehend all of Forster's points - the traditional once-over of high school and college literature gruel will not do.I will probably re-read this after reading some of the works Forster uses as examples to get more out of this book, which has been hailed as a classic on the novel.

5-0 out of 5 stars Aspects of the Novel is novelistic not academic
Of course, I allow myself the luxury of re-reading this masterpiece every year and have been so doing since 1988. Why? To hone my skills as a writer and for the pleasure of reading a real novelist comment on the real novel. The real novel is not a tidy piece of art. Forbid it almighty gods. Oh no, it is a piece of organized chaos like War and Peace. And so it follows that the real discussion of the art of the novel need not be a tidy organized piece of art. Each time I have read this work I get something new and important out of it. That says more about it than it does about me for that is the mark of a real classic - benefits of re-reading. The distinction of story from plot is interesting and real: A story is the narration of events in time and a plot explains the events or gives reasons for them. The King dies and then the Queen dies. That's a story. The King dies and then the Queen dies of grief. That's the plot as it explains why the Queen died. The discussion of character is somewhat dated but classical. You should know it if you are writing fiction. Characters are round or flat according to Forster. Round characters can surprise us in convincing ways. Flat characters don't surprise us. But what of characters that surprise us but not in a convincing way? They are according to Forster flat characters who are pretentding to be round. If he were able to revise this appraisal, Forster might say characters are flat or round and everything in between according to the needs of the novel at that particular time and place. Besides the advice about what novels should do and be, the Aspects also includes a great deal of philosophical advice: "If human nature does alter it will be because individuals manage to look at themselves in a new way. Here and there people - a very few people, but a few novelists are among them - are trying to do this. Every institution and vested interest is against such as search: organized religion, the state, ..." The discussion of rhythm in fiction is excellent and significant and probably would be replace by a discussion of scene and summary in modern writing schools. I see no discussion of realistic presentation (based on detailed description) or discussion on psychological realism or moral realism based on plot and actions. So the novel has progressed the way Forster hoped it would and that implies that humanitiy has progressed as well. For humanity's greatest hope is in the novel for it is the novel (not painting and certainly not music) that shows us our inner life. If we don't know what's wrong there is little hope for correction. And if we don't know what's right there is no hope period.

4-0 out of 5 stars Aspects of the Novel by E. M. Forster
E. M. Forster was a great author of perfectly constructed English novels. He was responsible for the layered romance of A Room with a View and the pitch-perfect caste battles of Howards End. In short, he knows how to write, so any lecture from him detailing the countless pieces that make a novel work is quite a gift. In Aspects of the Novel, Forster looks at the different parts with a keen intellectual eye, briefly explaining on how they work when done well and then referencing famous works of the past to show them in action. The book succeeds atbeing very challenging yet accessible, and worth many re-readings. It did not seem so much a guide on how to write better per se, but rather an appreciation/homage for the great writers that Forster admired. It was interesting to see an acclaimed writer drop the disguise, and talk about what he enjoyed as a reader- the usefulness of flat and round characters, the differentiation between plot and story, and the subconscious sense of music when reading a finely constructed work all stuck out for me. Unfortunately for me, I have not read many of the works he cited yet, but the brief synopses and the copied text he cited gives you a good idea of how they operate in relation to that lecture's theme. While not as easily digestible as other lit analysis books (i.e. Reading Like a Writer), it is still regarded as a gold standard and should be read by everyone patient enough to appreciate it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Aspects of the Novel is a series of classic lectures on the topic by the great novelist E.M. Forster
In the spring of 1927 at Cambridge the Clark Lectures were delivered by Edward Morgan Forster (1879-1970). Forster is well known for his Edwardian age classics "A Room With a View"; "Howard's End"; "Maurice" and a plethora of essays. He would later write "A Passage to India" which is, in my opinion, his finest effort in fiction.
In the Clark lectures we see Forster waxing eloquently about the glories of the English novel. Forster posits the belief that a novel is a work of prose fiction containing over 50,000 words. He believes that the English novel does not delve as deeply into the human soul as do such continental works by masters such as Tolstoy, Dostoevksi, Proust and Hugo.
Each of the lectures deals with one aspect of what is an essential ingredient in the making of a novel. Those topics are:
Story-Without a good story to tell the novel is doomed to failure.
Plot: A plot is what explains the action in the story. What is it that motivates the characters to act as they do. Plots are vital.
People: Fictional characters are either round or flat. Flat characters abound in the vast fictional universe created by Charles Dickens. Round characters are found is such novelists as Jane Austen and George Eliot. These round characters grow, change and adapt themselves to life. Emma by Eliot or Ishamel by Melville are richly drawn as compared with a wooden stick such as David Copperfield by Dickens. A good novel is often a mixture of both round and flat characters. Hemingway could draw rounded male characters but was weak in rounding out his female ones. Virginia Woolf could depict both male and female rounded characters. This discussion of character in fiction was the most valuable chapter to this reviewer.
Forster discusses the use of fantasy and prophetic statements in novels. Many novelists such as Dostoevski and Melville had the ability to dream big dreams and make pronouncements about the human predicament.
Forster's book is a sine qua non in literary criticism even though the lectures were delivered so long ago. The man's obvious love of the novel is palpable. As long as there is paper there will be novels. These basic tips on how to read and relish novels is a valuable resource for the common reader. ... Read more


4. A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E. M. Forster
by Wendy Moffat
Hardcover: 416 Pages (2010-05-11)
list price: US$32.50 -- used & new: US$17.10
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0374166781
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****

A REVELATORY LOOK AT THE INTIMATE LIFE OF THE GREAT AUTHOR—AND HOW IT SHAPED HIS MOST BE LOVED WORKS

With the posthumous publication of his long-suppressed novel Maurice in 1970, E. M. Forster came out as a homosexual— though that revelation made barely a ripple in his literary reputation. As Wendy Moffat persuasively argues in A Great Unrecorded History, Forster’s homosexuality was the central fact of his life. Between Wilde’s imprisonment and the Stonewall riots, Forster led a long, strange, and imaginative life as a gay man. He preserved a vast archive of his private life—a history of gay experience he believed would find its audience in a happier time.

A Great Unrecorded History is a biography of the heart. Moffat’s decade of detective work—including first-time interviews with Forster’s friends—has resulted in the first book to integrate Forster’s public and private lives. Seeing his life through the lens of his sexuality offers us a radically new view—revealing his astuteness as a social critic, his political bravery, and his prophetic vision of gay intimacy. A Great Unrecorded History invites us to see Forster— and modern gay history—from a completely new angle.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars A terrific read and re-creation of a fascinating era and writer
I have long been intrigued by the movies based on Forster's novels, but I somehow had missed getting around to the actual books.Ms. Moffat's masterful and engrossing biography, of which I have now read over half, gives a tremendous feeling for Forster and his wide circle of literary and musical friends - Virginia Woolf, Isherwood, Britten, etc., - and the evolving times.I am stopping en route to read each novel as it is created, developed and discussed, so I am finally immersed, and very pleasurably, in getting acquainted with this wonderful output. I will certainly keep going later with Forster's lectures on "Aspects of the Novel" and a couple of the Kindle recommended studies of Forster which I've already downloaded. Five stars and thanks to Ms. Moffat and to E.M.

2-0 out of 5 stars Sex and more sex...
I already knew a lot about E. M. Forster.I am a rare book dealer and have handled a number of his first editions and his letters over the years. I have read Lago and Firbank's two volume Selected Letters. Also Das's E. M. Forster's India, P. N. Furbank's biography of Forster, and used B. J. Kirkpatrick's Bibliography of E. M. Forster. Moffat is arrogantly on a first name relationship with the late author from the get go.She calls him Morgan throughout.She proceeds in some 400 plus pages to relate nearly everything the man did or wrote to his latent and then very active homosexuality. She almost revels in her attempts to shock...It doesn't work.Reminds me of when you are better off not knowing everything about an author you admire.Same thing happened to me on learning of the dark sides of T. H. White and Roald Dahl. This book probably should have remained a dissertation.Be forewarned - this is an unending detailed relation of every sex act she could dig up from his private papers.Disappointing in the extreme. Adds little...

4-0 out of 5 stars Sexuality as Lens for Considering Forster's Life & Work
Moffat opens this biography by arguing that Forster felt his life could only be viewed from the perspective of his sexuality. This sets the stage for a book that explores Forster's life from multiple perspectives of his gay experience. Sex and Forster's lovers make up only a small part of this narrative. It becomes clear that coming to terms with his sexuality gave Forster access to a world of colleagues and life experiences that, otherwise, he only would have known obliquely and abstractly. The early chapters repeatedly refer to Forster's posthumous "Maurice" and how it drew from his experience and evolved as manuscript. Later chapters briefly return to the manuscript, in terms of how it brought together important colleagues in Forster's life. Moffat weaves together a variety of early and mid-20th century figures whose lives intersected with Forster's, including many important gay figures from literature and the arts. The meek, awkward Forster was, in some ways, an odd choice to be at the center of that world. He was a generation older and far more conservative than many of the men who drew him into their circles. yet, he was respected for his body of work and his humanist viewpoint.

Some aspects of Forster's life are better sketched than others, hence, 4 stars instead of 5. For example, the reader never really knows how Forster supported himself for the last 40+ years of his life, although the last couple decades apparently were quite comfortable. The attention to Forster's later years varies and his 50s, perhaps his happiest decade, pass quite quickly. The dynamics of his relationship with Bob Buckingham, and later, Buckingham's family is treated somewhat inconsistently and the middle years of the relationship are quite vague. Forster integrated Buckingham and Buckingham's wife into his social set, but the reactions of his literary friends and the Buckinghams are never really described. Forster is described as losing his empathy for women after he began to come out as a gay man, but this is not entirely convincing. He remained attentive to his mother and continued a variety of friendships with women. Under different circumstances and sexualities, the boy who never fit with other boys but finally found his peer group may have lost his need to heavily represent women in his work and his thinking. The evolution of Forster's thought, his exposure to foreign ways of thinking, and his adoption of a secular form of humanism is never fully explored or integrated. It is clear that acquired a set of ideals that were sorely tested I different spheres, particularly his romantic ideas about working class men. Finally, Moffat doesn't really explain how the Buckinghams' sexually whitewashed narrative came to be the dominant one in public descriptions of Forster in the initial years after his life.

Moffat convincingly presents a world in which the trials of Oscar Wilde silenced Forster in a way that they couldn't affect younger gay colleagues. At the same time, she notes the limitations of early relaxation of laws against homosexuality in the UK. She also notes the role of WWII and its more relaxed social codes on post-war movements for gay rights. She notes parallel, though obviously different circumstances for African-Americans, but oddly ignores the parallel for women in the US and Western Europe.

Overall, the book is a satisfying read and it has made me more interested in looking at the other writers who populated his world.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great new insights into Forster's life
I've always loved Forster and this is the first biography that made me feel like I had an intimate glimpse into his interior life. I highly recommend!

Craig Seymour, author of All I Could Bare: My Life in the Strip Clubs of Gay Washington, D.C.

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful biography of EM Forster
This fascinating, especially well written life of the great English writer E.M. Forster is splendid. Its complete account of Forster's homosexuality and its signal importance to him and the picture of gay and literary English life makes this book an original one. For the Forster devotee, it is a must. It illuminates his work subtly. For the reader who doesn't know Forster, it is a telling story of art, love and friendship and the resources and recourses of a banned sexuality. There is nothing reductive about this book. It opens the subject up. It will make you want to read Forster, which is a real pleasure. ... Read more


5. The Longest Journey
by E. M. (Edward Morgan) Forster
Kindle Edition: Pages (2009-10-04)
list price: US$1.99
Asin: B002RKRUOA
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Editorial Review

*****
This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more


6. Howards End
by E. M. Forster
Paperback: 352 Pages (2010-04-06)
list price: US$32.75 -- used & new: US$17.95
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 1140418041
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****
This book an EXACT reproduction of the original book published before 1923. This IS NOT an OCR'd book with strange characters, introduced typographical errors, and jumbled words.This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.Amazon.com Review
Margaret Schlegel, engaged to the much older, widowed HenryWilcox, meets her intended the morning after accepting his proposaland realizes that he is a man who has lived without introspection ortrue self-knowledge. As she contemplates the state of Wilcox's soul,her remedy for what ails him has become one of the most oft-quotedpassages in literature:

Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Onlyconnect the prose and the passion and both will be exalted, and humanlove will be seen at its height. Live in fragments nolonger.
Like all of Forster's work, Howards End concerns itself withclass, nationality, economic status, and how each of these affectspersonal relationships. It follows the intertwined fortunes of theSchlegel sisters, Margaret and Helen, and the Wilcox family over thecourse of several years. The Schlegels are intellectuals, devotees ofart and literature. The Wilcoxes, on the other hand, can't be botheredwith the life of the mind or the heart, leading, instead, outer livesof "telegrams and anger" that foster "such virtues as neatness,decision, and obedience, virtues of the second rank, no doubt, butthey have formed our civilization." Helen, after a brief flirtationwith one of the Wilcox sons, has developed an antipathy for thefamily; Margaret, however, forms a brief but intense friendship withMrs. Wilcox, which is cut short by the older woman's death. When herfamily discovers a scrap of paper requesting that Henry give theirhome, Howards End, to Margaret, it precipitates a spiritual crisisamong them that will take years to resolve.

Forster's 1910 novel begins as a collection of seemingly unrelatedevents--Helen's impulsive engagement to Paul Wilcox; a chance meetingbetween the Schlegel sisters and an impoverished clerk named LeonardBast at a concert; a casual conversation between the sisters and HenryWilcox in London one night. But as it moves along, these disparatethreads gradually knit into a tightly woven fabric of tragicmisunderstandings, impulsive actions, and irreparable consequences,and, eventually, connection. Though set in the early years of the 20thcentury, Howards End seems even more suited to our ownfragmented era of e-mails and anger. For readers living in such anage, the exhortation to "only connect" resonates ever moreprofoundly. --Alix Wilber ... Read more

Customer Reviews (72)

4-0 out of 5 stars More Difficult to Follow and Less Satisfying
I greatly enjoyed A Passage to India and A Room With a View.Howard's End shares many of their assets - character development, period description, adventure, surprises, cultural and political awareness.However, many of the events seemed disconnected or irrelevant.None of the characters were especially lovable or heroic.The author highlights the difficulties of finding meaning (or a place) in life for a wide variety of individuals.Perhaps the disruption of the historical comforts of a settled social structure is the main message of this 1910 work. Like the other two novels, this work focuses on the frustrations of making meaningful connections with others during a time of change.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not a vibrant portrait
`Howards End' is not E.M. Forster's best work and it should not be used as compulsory reading in schools. It is not a vibrant portrait of Edwardian English society. The characters are not wonderful. The novel is rather a boring confrontation of types (not characters), like the cold, cheating plutocrat, the independent suffragette, the bowing servant, the unemployed downtrodden or the germanophile.
`Having a mistress' or `unwelcome' engagements do not stir scandalous remarks today. They are cheered in popular newspapers with big headlines.

Technically, the novel is far from flawless. One example: the introduction, the interventions and the final act of the poor family (the Basts) are clumsy, artificial and improbable, and that all the more in a novel about `property', where Leonard Bast is an insurance clerk.

The overall atmosphere is too sentimental with many overreactions and a lot of superficial dialogues.
This is not a good introduction to E. M. Forster's work. A far better one is `Where Angels Fear to Tread.'
Only for E.M. Forster fans.

4-0 out of 5 stars Spirit of that time
Speaking as one who wasn't there, I know, but...it seems to me that Howard's End captures perhaps more than any other book the spirit of the early 20th century. It deals with the morality, the intellectual revival and awakening of women and the community, the development of feminism, social mobility, the changing world and neo-imperialism. All these issues are approached through following 3 families over a period of years and life-changing events: the Schlegels, the Wilcoxes and the Basts. The theme for the novel, and one of its protagonist's motto is "only connect", and indeed by the end of the novel the three famiies have made an enduring connection. The lives of the characters, the time spirit and the detail make it an enjoyable read.

5-0 out of 5 stars super fast shipping! thanks!
just started on the book but am enjoying it immensely. i found out about it through a film review class i was taking last semester. so far, a great read.

5-0 out of 5 stars such a beautiful and worthy dilemma
The stories of the two vastly differenct families that represent the disparities in the rapidly modernizing English society--Intellect vs. materialism, idealism vs. pragmatism, art/literature vs. buiness/wealth, and the issues about genders, relationships/marriages, death, fate, and social/economic classes.Yet the inquiries, raised by the Schlegels sisters, particularly by the more pensive one of the two, margaret, and the manner and eloquence in which she asks these questions deeply moved me both intellectually and emotionally as well.I think that she asks all the fundamental questions that are still relevant to all the thinking persons in our time, and her desire of "connecting" resonates throughout the book. The writing is beautiful, funny, and poignant. This is absolutely a lovely, lovely book. ... Read more


7. Maurice: A Novel
by E. M. Forster
Paperback: 256 Pages (2005-12-17)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$6.97
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0393310329
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****
Written during 1913 and 1914, Maurice deals with the then unmentionable subject of homosexuality. More unusual, it concerns a relationship that ends happily. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (49)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
Howards End is very good and all, but if you want Forster's heart, seek it here. This book seems not to have been written, but rather *felt* directly onto the page. The reading experience was, for me, likewise emotional: I suffered along with Maurice, my heart leapt with his, and caught in my throat as his heart caught in his throat. A beautiful novel that argues (very persuasively--this is Forster, after all) for the necessity of freedom to life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thank you, EM Forster...
"Howards End" is my favorite book of all time, but the final chapter of "Maurice" contains, perhaps, the most beautiful prose I've ever read. Longing, regret, sorrow, resolve: it's all there.

2-0 out of 5 stars Buy the Penguin edition instead
Buy the Penguin edition instead. This copy by W.W. Norton is more expensive and has no explanatory notes.I am very sorry to not have purchased the Penguin edition.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fabulous Book
This passionate and compassionate treatment of an ever-current topic benefits greatly from the keen eye and ear of the towering E.M. Forster.Right up there with Howard's End and A Passage to India; I would recommend it highly to Mr. Forster's fans and those of early 20th century modern British lit in general.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good read
How sad that this book couldn't be published during the era it was intended as a commentary on. Nevertheless I enjoyed following poor, stupid Maurice through a tale of ultimately coming to terms with himself. Back then you weren't just gay, you were depraved or ill to have such thoughts or preform such acts, and Maurice's inner turmoil regarding this viewpoint--from a man that seems to understand little but at the same time feels everything keenly--is particularly engaging. ... Read more


8. Where Angels Fear to Tread (Penguin Classics)
by E. M. Forster
Paperback: 192 Pages (2008-02-26)
list price: US$13.00 -- used & new: US$6.66
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Asin: 0141441453
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****
A wonderful story of questioning, disillusionment, and conversion, Where Angels Fear to Tread tells the story of a prim English family’s encounter with the foreign land of Italy. When attractive, impulsive English widow Lilia marries Gino, a dashing and highly unsuitable Italian twelve years her junior, her snobbish former in-laws make no attempts to hide their disapproval. But their expedition to face the uncouth foreigner takes an unexpected turn when they return to Italy under tragic circumstances intending to rescue Lilia and Gino’s baby. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fundamental human clashes
E.M. Forster's novel has the same theme as `Daisy Miller' by H. James (the cultural clash between the vitality of Italy and Western upper-class morals). But what a difference a book makes! James's book doesn't reach the ankles of Forster's one, which is a profound meditation on society and man.

Parents/children clash
`For a wonderful physical tie binds the parents to the children. (But) it doesn't bind us children to our parents. For if we could answer their love with equal love, life would lose much of its pathos and much of its squalor.'

Culture-vitality clash
The English family morals are based on `having' and `appearing', not on `being': `If Lilia was determined to disgrace us, she might have found a less repulsive way. A boy of medium height with a pretty face, the son of a dentist at Monteriano. May I surmise that he has not got a penny? May I surmise that his social position is nil?'
The Italian family morals are based on `this one desire to become the father of a man like himself ... his son should have sons like him, to people the earth. Falling in love was a mere physical triviality, like warm sun or cool water.'
The most attractive (`for all her goodness') English protagonist, Caroline, cannot even understand this desire, `though such a thing is more within the comprehension of women.'(!)
In this sense, the English upper-class is doomed.

A devastating portrait
This book is a devastating portrait of the English upper-class and, concomitantly of England's ruling elite.
The male protagonist, Philip, is the personification of the perfect dilettante: `No one save himself had been trivial.' In a murder attempt, stealing children and death by accident, he sees only `wonderful things that happened'.
The female protagonist, Harriet, is a staunch defender of English family `morals'. She steals and kills (the future) in an arrogant, defiant and unrepentant manner.
But the novel contains

A stiff warning
`The passion they (the dead) have aroused lives after them, well-nigh impossible to destroy.'

E.M. Forster wrote an unforgettable masterpiece.

1-0 out of 5 stars Kindle version: serious formatting errors
It's free, so I can't really complain.BUT: each sentence ends this way: ".�"I don't know about any of you, but this is completely annoying and distracting while trying to read the book.

3-0 out of 5 stars gobbledegook text in download
When I downloaded this book I was faced with strange symbols and letters in front of every paragraph and between sentences.Very distracting, to say the least.Since my aging eyes have produced floaters which I've learned to ignore, I guess I'll get used to this as well.You get what you pay for.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Forster's Best Novel
I'm a late-comer to E.M. Forster.I read Howards End earlier this year and found it to be one of the best--if not the best--novel that I've ever read.Impressed by it, I decided to go back and read all of Forster's novels in the order that they were written (or maybe published).As a writer and would-be novelist, I find this method instructive for me.It allows me to see how a novelist's skills develop over time.

If I had read "Where Angels Fear to Tread" first, before any other Forster novel, I would not have been very impressed with him.The plot shifts at various points making it awkward:I started by thinking that the novel would be following the actions of one character (i.e., Lilia).In the fifth chapter, things change and the main character seems to be someone else (Mrs. Herriton, maybe).However, I quickly changed my mind and saw two other characters as possible heros (i.e., Phillip or Caroline).It wasn't until I was almost finished with the book and rethought through the story that I saw the plot.I never really determined who is the hero of the story--it seems to have multiple main protagonists, who also act as antagonists.Of course, maybe this is just ground-breaking art on Forster's part and I'm too ignorant to appreciate it.

On a positive side, I can see the gentle and smooth writing style of Forster forming right from the beginning in this novel.His style isn't as polished as it is in Howards End, but it's there.As a person who lives in Italy, I also appreciated the references to the Italian culture of his time, in the early part of the 20th century.I saw similarities to today, as well as older cultural ways of Italians then.

So, if you've never read a Forster novel, I recommend that you don't allow yourself to be tempted to sample his works with this, his shortest novel.Instead, put the time and read one of his later novels.You'll be thoroughly impressed if you do.Come back later and read this one for a sense completeness.At that point you can enjoy this novel all the better.

4-0 out of 5 stars Where Angels Fear to Tread
forster is always extraordinary, this is one of his lesser known novellas but well worth reading for all the forster reasons.it was made into a film some time ago, the book is better. ... Read more


9. A Room with a View
by E. M. (Edward Morgan) Forster
Kindle Edition: Pages (2009-10-04)
list price: US$1.99
Asin: B002RKT052
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****
This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

1-0 out of 5 stars this rating is for the Kindle edition, not book itself
The book itself gets 5 stars from me.

This Kindle edition is atrocious - it is missing entire passages. I think it is only sections involving quotes from another work; I stopped reading because I didn't want to spoil the pleasure in re-reading this wonderful book.

Same problem with the Kindle edition of Howards' End, btw. In that case, actual narrative seemed to be missing.

3-0 out of 5 stars Vague and hard to relate to
The thing I liked about this book is that it gives you a glimpse of the way people thought/acted/lived/interacted at the time it was written ( I can't seem to find exactly what year? ).

Mostly I didn't like it because things were alluded to rather than explained. I couldn't understand some of the characters actions and motives.

I almost felt like parts were left out - and this could be possible from what I have heard about some of the Kindle book versions.A couple of times the book skips over large blocks of time and lands us at a later point without filling in any details (like was there a wedding or what?)
I did make it through the whole thing but I don't think it enriched my life in any way,lol.

2-0 out of 5 stars movie is better
this reads just like the movie. you really don't get anything more by reading it. boring!

3-0 out of 5 stars A Modern Romance
Forster has a knack for making the ordinary extraordinary. He turned a country house into a magestic palace in Howards End and did the same for the everyday lives of countryfolk in A Room with a View. A quick read that is full of surprises, this book deals with a number of Modernist issues that were slightly ahead of their time. ... Read more


10. Concerning E. M. Forster
by Frank Kermode
Paperback: 192 Pages (2010-11-23)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$11.20
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0374532389
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****

A major reassessment of the great English novelist

This impressive new book by the celebrated British critic Frank Kermode examines hitherto neglected aspects of the novelist E. M. Forster’s life and work. Kermode is interested to see how it was that this apparently shy, reclusive man should have claimed and kept such a central position in the English writing of his time, even though for decades he composed no fiction and he was not close to any of his great contemporaries—Henry James, Ford Madox Ford, Joseph Conrad, James Joyce.

Concerning E. M. Forster has at its core the Clark Lectures that Kermode gave at Cambridge University in 2007 on the subject of Forster, eighty years after Forster himself gave those lectures, which became Aspects of the Novel. Kermode reappraised the influence and meaning of that great work, assessed the significance of Forster’s profound musicality (Britten thought him the most musical of all writers), and offered a brilliant interpretation of Forster’s greatest work, A Passage to India. But there is more to Concerning E. M. Forster than that. Thinking about Forster vis-àvis other great modern writers, noting his interest in Proust and Gide and his lack of curiosity about American fiction, and observing that Forster was closest to the people who shared not his literary interests or artistic vocation but, rather, his homosexuality, Kermode’s book offers a wise, original, and persuasive new portrait not just of Forster but of twentieth-century English letters.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Loving E. M. Forster
If you are a fan of E. M. Forster, you will enjoy this book.Frank Kermode gives his own critique of Forster's Aspects of a Novel and adds his thoughts on Forster's novels, especially Passage to India.He obviously enjoys Forster's works, but can still step away enough to relate some criticism.Kermode has an easy writing style, scholarly but not overshadowed with pretension.For lovers of Forster, this book will broaden your appreciation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Aspects of Forster
Not since Lionel Trilling has such an eminent critic weighed in on EM Forster. The first half of the book consists of the three Clark Lectures Kermode gave at Cambridge, Forster's alma mater, and are clearly meant as formal pieces, each touching upon a different Forsterian topic. The first concerns Forster's series of Clark lectures that were also collected into a book: "Aspects of the Novel". The second explores musicality of Forster, both in his prose (his leitmotifs, strongly influenced by Wagner), his writing about music (the Beethoven in "Howard's End", the opera in "Where Angels Fear to Tread", the piano piece in "A Room With A View") as well as his collaboration with Britten. Finally Kermode touches on what he feels is Forster's masterpiece, "A Passage To India" and how hard he worked to be vague yet believable in order to create the sense of mystery and the unknowable at the heart of that novel.

The second half is a freely flowing (and truth be told at times mildly repetitive) discourse of topics of interest to Kermode about Forster and allows him to be a bit more critical,exploring the strengths as well as the perceived weaknesses (e.g. Forster's condescension to a character such as Leonard Bast). This part is less carefully argued but in a way even richer, as it lets Kermode have free reign over what interests him: Edward Carpenter's influence, the role of Bloomsbury and Forster's relationship with Virginia Woolf,Forster's strengths and limitations as a literary critic, etc.

The whole book is unbelievably stimulating, like having a conversation with an amazingly learned man (which Kermode obviously is) about a writer you both love, even if your own is unstinting and his comes with reservations. Not a page is turned without some insight, some intriguing fact or some well argued opinion to keep youinterested. Literary criticism rarely comes this good from start to finish and fans of Forster especially will place this volume alongside their Trilling as work that has become essential to their conversation about this wonderful writer and humane man. ... Read more


11. A Passage to India (Penguin Modern Classics)
by E. M. Forster
Paperback: 368 Pages (2000-05-25)
list price: US$18.60 -- used & new: US$18.95
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0141183101
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****
After a mysterious accident during their visit to the caves, Dr Assiz is accused of assaulting Adela Quested, a naive young Englishwoman. As he is brought to trial, the fragile structure of Anglo-Indian relations collapses and the racism inherent in colonialism is exposed in all its ugliness. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars East and West Can Never Meet?
Almost a century after the book's publication the most crucial problems it discussed are as current as they were during Forster's life. The impossibility of communicating across the divide of culture, religion, and race, seems to be even more alive then when he saw it. The value of the novel lies not so much in representing it but in the fact that Forster offers a way out - personal contact.
The story takes us to India of the 1920s - we follow the path of a young Englishwoman who goes to marry a British official but wants to know "the real India". This she never achieves but she gets to know something by far more important - herself. Her inept attempts at connecting with India and Indians make other characters of the novel learn more about themselves, force them out of safe shells in which they lived. The lesson is painful but at least for some of the characters opens the door to a better life.
There is little chance people will suddenly like Muslims, Pakistanis, gays, lesbians, Moroccans, Turkish, Kurds etc etc - there is a chance (a very slim chance, Forster would be quick to add) that a specific American and a specific Muslim, a Turk and a Kurd, an Israeli and a Palestinian can be friends. The world may not want it, the people that surround them may not want it but the results depend on us alone. If we do not try we only have ourselves to blame.

1-0 out of 5 stars A passage to India
I would really have liked to give this book a good review---but I have yet to recieve it in the mail. Ordered on 4/30/08 and still nothing as of 6/18/08.Some folks you order from should not be in business. ... Read more


12. Howards End: Centennial Edition (Signet Classics)
by E. M. Forster
Paperback: 336 Pages (2007-11-06)
list price: US$4.95 -- used & new: US$0.75
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0451530462
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****
ONE OF FORSTER'S BEST

In Forster's most popular novel, he tracks British society's class warfare, as seen by members of three different castes-the wealthy Wilcoxes, the cultured and emancipated Schlegal sisters, and poor, young Leonard Bast. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Homecomings.
Most of us connect the notion of "home" or "childhood home" with one particular place, that innocent paradise we have since had to give up and keep searching for forever after. In Ruth Wilcox's world, Howards End is that place; the countryside house where she was born, where her family often returns to spend their vacations, and which, everyone assumes, will pass on to her children when she is dead.

But will it really? Unbeknownst to Ruth's family, the issue is put into question when Ruth forms a friendship with her neighbor-to-be Margaret Schlegel, like Ruth herself from a middle class background but nevertheless separated from Ruth's world by several layers of society and politics: That of the Wilcox is epitomized by pater familias/businessman Henry - rich, conservative and without any sympathy whatsoever for those less fortunate than themselves ("It's all part of the battle of life ... The poor are poor; one is sorry for them, but there it is," Henry Wilcox once comments); while the Schlegels, on the other hand, have just enough income to lead a comfortable life, were brought up by their Aunt Juley, support suffrage (women's right to vote) and surround themselves with actors, "blue-stockings" (feminists), intellectuals and other members of the avantgarde. Further complexity is added when Margaret's sister Helen brings to the Schlegel home Leonard Bast, a poor but idealistic young clerk who loves music, literature and astronomy - and with him, his working class wife Jacky, the embarrassment of having to interact with her, and the even more embarrassing revelation which she has in store for Henry Wilcox; eventually leaving her disillusioned husband to comment that "books aren't real," and that in fact they and music "are for the rich so they don't feel bad after dinner."

An allegory on the question who will ultimately inherit England - the likes of the Wilcox, the Schlegels, or the Basts - E.M. Forster's novel is one of the early 20th century's finest pieces of literature; a masterpiece of social study and character study alike, in which the author brings his protagonists and their environment to life with empathy and a fine eye for detail. The story's strongest character is undoubtedly Margaret Schlegel, a young woman "filled with ... a profound vivacity, a continual and sincere response to all that she encounter[s] in her path through life," as Forster describes her, and whose friendship with Ruth Wilcox, even at the beginning, already brings the two families back together again after Helen has endangered their as-yet tentaive acquaintance by engaging in a near-scandalous affair with Ruth's younger son Paul.

Ultimately, Margaret and Ruth become so close that Ruth eventually decides to give Meg "something worth [her] friendship" - none other than Howards End, a wish that has her panicking family scramble most ungentlemanly for every reason in the book to invalidate the codicil setting forth that bestowal, from its lacking date and signature to the testatrix's state of mind, the ambiguity of the writing's content, the question why Meg should want the house in the first place since she already has one, and the fact that the writing is only in pencil, which "never counts," as Dolly, wife of the Wilcox' elder son Charles is quick to point out, only to be reprimanded by her father in law "from out of his fortress" (Forster) not to "interfere with what you do not understand." And so it is that Meg will only see the house (and be instantly mistaken for Ruth because she has "her way of walking around the house," as the housekeeper explains) when she and her siblings have to look for a new home and Henry Wilcox, who has started to court her after Ruth's death, suggests that the Schlegel's furniture be temporarily stored there - a fateful decision. And while Meg and Henry slowly and painfully learn to adjust to each other, the complexity of their families' relations, and their interactions with the Basts, finally come crashing down on them in a dramatic conclusion.

Also recommended:
Great Novels and Short Stories of E. M. Forster
E. M. Forster: A Life (A Harvest Book)
Howards End - The Merchant Ivory Collection
A Room with a View (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Where Angels Fear to Tread
Brideshead Revisited
The W. Somerset Maugham Reader: Novels, Stories, Travel Writing ... Read more


13. A Room with a View and Howards End (Signet Classics)
by E. M. Forster
Paperback: 464 Pages (1986-02-04)
list price: US$7.95 -- used & new: US$4.05
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0451521412
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****
'To me,' D. H. Lawerence once wrote to E. M. forster, 'you are the last Englishman.' Indeed, Forster's novels offer contemporary readers clear, vibrant portraits of life in Edwardian England. Published in 1908 to both critical and popular acclaim, A Room with a View is a whimsical comedy of manners that owes more to Jane Austen that perhaps any other of his works. The central character is a muddled young girl named Lucy Honeychurch, who runs away from the man who stirs her emotions, remaining engaged to a rich snob. Forster considered it his 'nicest' novel, and today it remains probably his most well liked. Its moral is utterly simple. Throw away your etiquette book and listen to your heart. But it was Forster's next book, Howards End, a story about who would inhabit a charming old country house (and who, in a larger sense, would inherit England), that earned him recognition as a major writer. Centered around the conflict between the wealthy, materialistic Wilcox family and the cultured, idealistic Schlegel sisters-and informed by Forester's famous dictum 'Only connect'-it is full of tenderness towards favorite characters. 'Howards End is a classic English novel . . . superb and wholly cherishable . . . one that admirers have no trouble reading over and over again,' said Alfred Kazin. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars best story ever
Actually I have more than one edition of both of these stories. Room With A View is totally wonderful but I have to say that I read the book, watched the movie and then read the book again. After I had watched the new version of the movie I had to go back and watch the old one (Merchant and Ivory) to clear the newer out of my head-though some may prefer that one. Howards End is probably a better,more substantial story but RWAV is so perfectly balanced and beautiful. I like both. Also just finished reading Where Angels Fear to Tread and it is kind of wacky! The author was just learning how he wanted to write on that one. The movie would be pretty funny.

1-0 out of 5 stars Missing pages
Warning: the copy of the Signet edition of Room with a View and Howards End that I recieved was missing pages 51-82 of Howards End.

5-0 out of 5 stars No wonder Forster was in the Bloomsbury Group!
These have to be the best books which Forster wrote- witty, satirical and enjoyable. The message of 'only connect' and the portrayal of 'the undeveloped heart' of the English middle classes are brought to the fore.With symbolism, excellent characterisation and enthralling plots, these'bildungsroman' show Forster to be an erudite and consummate writer.

5-0 out of 5 stars Magnificent, Beautiful and wonderful
Forget Dickens, forget Austen, for the most English of authors EdwardMorgan Forster was , to me, the most gifted English author of all time. Hewrote in wonderful sentences with Beautiful words. 'Room with a View'starts at an English Guest house in Florenece. Lucy Honeychurch and hercousin Charlotte are among the guests, and are given a room with a view bythe Impulsive Emmersons, George and his father. Lucy is the centralcharacter, and shortly witnesses a murder, but is immediately comforted byGeorge Emmerson who later kisses her on on outing to the hills. The storythen returns to England and the Emmersoms have taken residence near LucyHoneychurch's house.This is not only a wonderful love story, but a firstrate tale of Social comedy. 'Howard's End' is in the same vein. It startswith the words ' Only Connect' which everyone should adhear to.The Wilcoxesare pragmatic, stoic, and Enlgish to the Backbone. The Schelegl's areHalf-German, Cultural and artistic. So what happens when suchoppositesmeet? Helen Schlegel falls for Paul Wilcox, but it is her sister Margaret'srelationship with both Mr and Mrs Wilcox which is the heart of this book inwhich you will find that opposites do attract.Forster also wrote onlythree other novels - ' Whre Angels fear to tread', 'The Longest Journay'and 'A Passage to India'. A lesser known work is 'Maurice' , a tale ofhomosexuality which could be his own. 'Where Angels..' , 'A Room..' and'Howard's End' were made into top rate films by Mercahnt Ivory. ' APassage..' was the last film David Lean ever made. But it is the book wherethe ture beauty of Forster shines. ... Read more


14. Howards End (Barnes & Noble Classics)
by E.M. Forster
Paperback: 334 Pages (2003-06-01)
list price: US$6.95 -- used & new: US$3.03
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 1593080220
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****

Howards End, by E. M. Forster, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.

 
Considered by many to be E. M. Forster’s greatest novel, Howards End is a beautifully subtle tale of two very different families brought together by an unusual event. The Schlegels are intellectuals, devotees of art and literature. The Wilcoxes are practical and materialistic, leading lives of “telegrams and anger.” When the elder Mrs. Wilcox dies and her family discovers she has left their country home—Howards End—to one of the Schlegel sisters, a crisis between the two families is precipitated that takes years to resolve.

Written in 1910, Howards End is a symbolic exploration of the social, economic, and intellectual forces at work in England in the years preceding World War I, a time when vast social changes were occurring. In the Schlegels and the Wilcoxes, Forster perfectly embodies the competing idealism and materialism of the upper classes, while the conflict over the ownership of Howards End represents the struggle for possession of the country’s future. As critic Lionel Trilling once noted, the novel asks, “Who shall inherit England?”

Forster refuses to take sides in this conflict. Instead he poses one of the book’s central questions: In a changing modern society, what should be the relation between the inner and outer life, between the world of the intellect and the world of business? Can they ever, as Forster urges, “only connect”?

Mary Gordon is a McIntosh Professor of English at Barnard College. Her best-selling novels include Final Payments, The Company of Women, and Spending. She has also published a memoir, a book of novellas, a collection of stories, and two books of essays. Her most recent work is a biography of Joan of Arc.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

2-0 out of 5 stars Flat as a pancake.
EM Forester was a gay, upper middle class Oxbridge graduate that lived in the Edwardian era.That is blatantly obvious in every word of his writing.This book, its story, and the characters make no emotional connection to the reader.I was thoroughly bored the entire time I was reading this.Also the redeemable characters are destroyed in the story and the "heroes" are horrible people.I could barely stand it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Was and still is British snobbery of the poor "common folk"
This novel and all novels by E.M. Forster are still immensely popular in the UK. Not surprising to me as I have many Brits in my family. They are all class obsessed as the characters and narrator of this 100 year old story.
I know my review won't be liked among E.M. Forster lovers, however, allow me to write some derogatory and disturbing passages written in this novel that are the voice of the "narrator."
"We are not concerned with the very poor. They are unthinkable, and only to be approached by the statistician or the poet. This story deals with gentlefolk, or with those who are obliged to pretend that they are gentlefolk. The boy, Leonard Bast, stood at the extreme verge of gentility...He knew he was poor, and would admit it :he would have died sooner than confess any inferiority to the rich. This may be splendid of him. But he was inferior to most rich people, there is not the least doubt of it. He was not as courteous as the average rich man, nor as intelligent, nor as healthy, nor as lovable." pg 43.

Now Leonard was a bit over paranoid upon first meeting Meg and Helen, however, in the neighborhood he lived in crime of all sorts was rampant. One couldn't trust anyone...that was the intelligent thing to do. Leonard knew about the constellations of the stars and planets. He was more well read than the average man in his class. Mr.Wilcox couldn't make a wise decision on purchasing real estate to save his life. He knew his son Charles held a great aversion to both Margaret and Helen, yet he sent him to Howards End to evict them both the next morning with the words "don't use violence." So he knew his son's temperament well enough to tell him that. What a glorious, moronic, wealthy, fool Henry Wilcox is.
This book flows well and is a nice read, yet I find it rather silly at times.
Did I mention Meg told Helen she didn't love Henry, yet she would marry him anyway (and get on with the business of loving him--an active love that would produce feelings of love, and of course in Forster's world, it happened). pg 161.
Charles must pay for the manslaughter of Leonard Bast at the cost of 3 years in prison. Lennard's son via Helen will get restitution by one day inheriting Howards End. Nothing is mentioned about restitution paid to Leonard's widow. It seemed like neither the Schlegels, or Wilcoxs felt no legal responsibility towards Jacky.
Also Meg and Helen held such a hatred towards Jacky, yet Forster failed to flesh out her character enough for the reader to determine why she should be so despised. The reader needs more information to understand Meg and Helen's strong opinions about her such as Jacky's greed. No evidence of it.
This book flows well and is a nice read, yet I find it pretentious, contradictary, unlogical plots, and is shamelessly prejudice and excuses the British Empire's actions in their atrocities involving West Africa and their treatment of Africans in the rubber plantation business. Foster mentions men like Wilcox buying up forests for a few bottles of gin. In truth it was less than that. I can forgive it a little since it was written in 1910. Only a little. One still had to be in the dark to turn their backs on HOW men like Henry were gaining new wealth. Therfore I think Meg was not the "forward thinking humanitarian" so many readers want to believe she is. She is a bored middle class snob "obliged to pretend that they are gentlefolk," like Leonard is poor "obliged to pretend that they are gentlefolk." Leonard was a plaything to the Schlegels--a project--taken less seriously by Meg. Helen's jealously of Meg getting married fueled her hatred of Henry. Thus giving her a reason to drag Leonard and Jacky to his daughter's wedding to embarras Henry and her sister....not to really help the Basts. She knew she could have gone there the day after. Well, than Henry's secret comes to the surface. It should not of been a surprise to Leonard (what was he thinking? Did he really expect to get a job from Henry once he spotted Jacky, or visa versa.) (Unlogical plot). After the sexual encounter with Leonard the night of Evie's wedding, Helen never personaly checked up on the Basts again. Leaving a task to her brother to send a check for 100 pounds to Leonard with a promise of another for 5000 pounds to follow, only to be rejected by Leonard. Helen runs away to Germany pregnant wanting to be unnoticed and left alone by family until her 8th month when she returns to England because she wants her books. Books? I think Forster should have stuck with the reason of a very ill Aunt Juley

Joseph Conrad wrote "Heart of Darkness" about British officers in West Africa. Mister Kurtz is based on a real person.

The best to all whom enjoyed it more than I did.

5-0 out of 5 stars Homecomings.
Most of us connect the notion of "home" or "childhood home" with one particular place, that innocent paradise we have since had to give up and keep searching for forever after. In Ruth Wilcox's world, Howards End is that place; the countryside house where she was born, where her family often returns to spend their vacations, and which, everyone assumes, will pass on to her children when she is dead.

But will it really? Unbeknownst to Ruth's family, the issue is put into question when Ruth forms a friendship with her neighbor-to-be Margaret Schlegel, like Ruth herself from a middle class background but nevertheless separated from Ruth's world by several layers of society and politics: That of the Wilcox is epitomized by pater familias/businessman Henry - rich, conservative and without any sympathy whatsoever for those less fortunate than themselves ("It's all part of the battle of life ... The poor are poor; one is sorry for them, but there it is," Henry Wilcox once comments); while the Schlegels, on the other hand, have just enough income to lead a comfortable life, were brought up by their Aunt Juley, support suffrage (women's right to vote) and surround themselves with actors, "blue-stockings" (feminists), intellectuals and other members of the avantgarde. Further complexity is added when Margaret's sister Helen brings to the Schlegel home Leonard Bast, a poor but idealistic young clerk who loves music, literature and astronomy - and with him, his working class wife Jacky, the embarrassment of having to interact with her, and the even more embarrassing revelation which she has in store for Henry Wilcox; eventually leaving her disillusioned husband to comment that "books aren't real," and that in fact they and music "are for the rich so they don't feel bad after dinner."

An allegory on the question who will ultimately inherit England - the likes of the Wilcox, the Schlegels, or the Basts - E.M. Forster's novel is one of the early 20th century's finest pieces of literature; a masterpiece of social study and character study alike, in which the author brings his protagonists and their environment to life with empathy and a fine eye for detail. The story's strongest character is undoubtedly Margaret Schlegel, a young woman "filled with ... a profound vivacity, a continual and sincere response to all that she encounter[s] in her path through life," as Forster describes her, and whose friendship with Ruth Wilcox, even at the beginning, already brings the two families back together again after Helen has endangered their as-yet tentaive acquaintance by engaging in a near-scandalous affair with Ruth's younger son Paul.

Ultimately, Margaret and Ruth become so close that Ruth eventually decides to give Meg "something worth [her] friendship" - none other than Howards End, a wish that has her panicking family scramble most ungentlemanly for every reason in the book to invalidate the codicil setting forth that bestowal, from its lacking date and signature to the testatrix's state of mind, the ambiguity of the writing's content, the question why Meg should want the house in the first place since she already has one, and the fact that the writing is only in pencil, which "never counts," as Dolly, wife of the Wilcox' elder son Charles is quick to point out, only to be reprimanded by her father in law "from out of his fortress" (Forster) not to "interfere with what you do not understand." And so it is that Meg will only see the house (and be instantly mistaken for Ruth because she has "her way of walking around the house," as the housekeeper explains) when she and her siblings have to look for a new home and Henry Wilcox, who has started to court her after Ruth's death, suggests that the Schlegel's furniture be temporarily stored there - a fateful decision. And while Meg and Henry slowly and painfully learn to adjust to each other, the complexity of their families' relations, and their interactions with the Basts, finally come crashing down on them in a dramatic conclusion.

Also recommended:
Great Novels and Short Stories of E. M. Forster
E. M. Forster: A Life (A Harvest Book)
Howards End - The Merchant Ivory Collection
A Room with a View (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Where Angels Fear to Tread
Brideshead Revisited
The W. Somerset Maugham Reader: Novels, Stories, Travel Writing

5-0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites
Howards End is one of my favorite books, and every couple of years I pull it down off the shelf to reacquaint myself with it. It's one of those books that has become an old friend over the years.

The story revolves around the Schlegels, Wilcoxes and Basts, three families whose lives interconnect over the course of several years and not necessarily always for the better, and at the center of the story is always the country home, Howards End. The book is an amazing study of class distinctions; passion versus intellect; constraint versus action; wealth versus poverty.

The Schlegel sisters, Margaret and Helen, are passionate for life; they want to experience as much as they can from it. The Wilcoxes come from a more conservative stock, more it tune with their wealth and possessions than anything else. After a hastily announced (as just as hastily broken) engagement between the youngest Wilcox son, Paul, and Helen, the families find themselves at odds, until an unlikely friendship forms between Mrs. Wilcox and Margaret Schlegel. Upon Mrs. Wilcox's death, she leaves Howards End to Margaret, but the Wilcoxes as a whole do not feel that Mrs. Wilcox was in her right frame of mind and never let Margaret know of Mrs. Wilcox's bequest. In amidst these settings we are also introduced to Leonard Bast, who lives on the brink of poverty and feels that through education and enlightenment he might better his life and that of his fiancée, Jacky.

There are so many subtle nuances to this story, I have a hard time getting it all down. Forster has created an amazing story that is poignant in its telling and staggering in it depth. No matter how many times I read Howards End, I am always amazed at the intricacies of the story and feel that I take something new away with each reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars A+ Novel
I'm only 100 pages into it but so far this book is amazing. I have fallen in love with the art of language. E.M. Forster has created a stunning, and though provoking tale. A classic to study and enjoy again and again. ... Read more


15. The Novels of E. M. Forster : Where Angels Fear to Tread; Maurice; A Room with a View; The Longest Journey; A Passage to India; Howards End
by E. M. Forster
 Paperback: Pages (1234)

Asin: B00403Z4A4
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16. The Longest Journey (Penguin Classics)
by E. M. Forster
Paperback: 416 Pages (2006-10-31)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$7.94
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0141441488
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
E. M. Forster once described The Longest Journey as the book "I am most glad to have written."An introspective novel of manners at once comic and tragic, it tells of a sensitive and intelligent young man with an intense imagination and a certain amount of literary talent. He sets out full of hope to become a writer, but gives up his aspirations for those of the conventional world, gradually sinking into a life of petty conformity and bitter disappointments. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Best Loved though Not The Best
Edward Morgan Forster expressed his special partiality for this particular book regretting that it was never as popular as "The Room with a View". It seems, however, that his readers knew better choosing either the lighter Italian novels or later works such as "Howards End" or "A Passage to India".
Forster's partiality is comprehensible when we try to read the book through his biography. On the one hand he is able to reveal here his long-term infatuation with a fellow student and go back to his university adventures. On the other hand he uses his craft to draw for himself a life he would have had he decided to become straight. The image is far from pleasant - becoming straight means being imprisoned in a hapless marriage for which the hero has to pay with his academic career. It is an unhappy life which ends in an accidental death.
This is an important novel in Forster's oeuvre and if you were attracted by others you should by all means proceed to "The Longest Journey". Still, a modern reader will gasp many a time while reading the novel. It wouldn't be fair to reveal too much but just let me draw your attention to one fact. Forster apparently finds dealing with his cast of characters a bit too much so they disappear one by one... as a result of sudden deaths. When Gerald is "broken" on a football pitch you gasp, but when you have drowning, heart attack, deathly cold and train accident and so on you can't help smiling.

5-0 out of 5 stars Painful
Forster's The Longest Journey is painfully bad: painfully awkward, painfully closeted, painfully dated, painfully class-conscious, painfully defiant of the norms of story-telling, painfully sententious at times and preachy. It's also painfully true.

It's a "college" novel, like many others depicting the lives of its characters fatally determined by the inherently contingent friendships one forms in the nursery of one's college circle. I read it first in 1962, when I was living in painful intimacy with my "peers" in a painfully cloistered House at a painfully famous university. I suppose I had to write a painfully trivial paper about it. Now I've read it again, and I find that, seen backwards through the telescope of years, it's uproariously funny. I don't remember having that impression the first time. I imagine I found it more serious when I was living in it.

I wonder why novels of the early 20th C seem so much more dated and mawkish at times than, for instance, Trollope or Fielding or Smollett? Perhaps it's the embarrassment that teenagers feel about their parents when those parents claim to have been young once and reveal the turmoils that only the current generation can take seriously. Anyway, I suspect that many readers will underrate this novel because of that uneasiness. All I can say is, if you're not reading it for homework, nobody will make you enjoy it. But if you give it a chance, you may find that it's painfully moving and beautiful. ... Read more


17. Where Angels Fear to Tread
by E. M. Forster
Kindle Edition: Pages (2010-03-16)
list price: US$1.00
Asin: B003COP3SU
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Editorial Review

*****

An excerpt:

Chapter 1

They were all at Charing Cross to see Lilia off--Philip, Harriet, Irma, Mrs. Herriton herself. Even Mrs. Theobald, squired by Mr. Kingcroft, had braved the journey from Yorkshire to bid her only daughter good-bye. Miss Abbott was likewise attended by numerous relatives, and the sight of so many people talking at once and saying such different things caused Lilia to break into ungovernable peals of laughter.

"Quite an ovation," she cried, sprawling out of her first-class carriage. "They'll take us for royalty. Oh, Mr. Kingcroft, get us foot-warmers."

The good-natured young man hurried away, and Philip, taking his place, flooded her with a final stream of advice and injunctions--where to stop, how to learn Italian, when to use mosquito-nets, what pictures to look at. "Remember," he concluded, "that it is only by going off the track that you get to know the country. See the little towns--Gubbio, Pienza, Cortona, San Gemignano, Monteriano. And don't, let me beg you, go with that awful tourist idea that Italy's only a museum of antiquities and art. Love and understand the Italians, for the people are more marvellous than the land."

... Read more

18. Works of E. M. Forster. Howards End, The Longest Journey, A Room With A View, Where Angels Fear to Tread and The Machine Stops (mobi)
by E. M. Forster
Kindle Edition: Pages (2009-01-16)
list price: US$2.99
Asin: B001PVGPWA
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****

Table of Contents

Howards End
The Longest Journey
The Machine Stops
A Room With A View
Where Angels Fear to Tread

Appendix
E. M. Forster Biography

... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A marvelous read
Works of E. M. Forster. Howards End, The Longest Journey, A Room With A View, Where Angels Fear to Tread and The Machine Stops. Published by MobileReference (mobi).

E. M. Forster uses a quiet, simple style that lets the reader be moved by his rather sudden plot revelations. I have always been a fan of Forster. His ability to understand the way that society and humanity works has always managed to astonish me.

5-0 out of 5 stars Delightful!
Works of E. M. Forster. Howards End, The Longest Journey, A Room With A View, Where Angels Fear to Tread and The Machine Stops. Published by MobileReference (mobi).

Forster writes gently and calmly, but with a passion for life and love welling up beneath the surface. Highly recommended! ... Read more


19. Howards End (Norton Critical Editions)
by E. M. Forster
Paperback: 496 Pages (1998-01-17)
-- used & new: US$9.00
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0393970116
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
"Only Connect," Forster's key aphorism, informs this novel about an English country house, Howards End, and its influence on the lives of the wealthy and materialistic Wilcoxes; the cultured, idealistic Schlegel sisters; and the poor bank clerk Leonard Bast. Bringing together people from different classes and nations by way of sympathetic insight and understanding, Howards End eloquently addresses the question "Who shall inherit England?"

About the Series: Each Norton Critical Edition includes an authoritative text, contextual and source materials, and a wide range of interpretations-from contemporary perspectives to the most current critical theory-as well as a bibliography and, in most cases, a chronology of the author's life and work. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant multifaceted "english" novel
"Howard's End" is a typical "English" novel that takes the tried and true form established by such authors as the Brontes and Austen, and subverts it in subtle and intrinsically 20th Century ways. There is romance, heartache, a house in the country, a clash of the classes, and large quirky families with characters both loveable and deplorable.Yet while Forster includes all the standard elements in "Howard's End" (named after the aforementioned house in the country- a typical English author move), the themes and tone of this story takes the tradition in a new and thought-provoking direction.
The title refers to a house in the country owned by the wealthy and, in many ways, out of touch Wilcoxes.Early in the novel, the Wilcoxes cross paths with a pair of intellectual, forward thinking sisters, and despite having nothing in common with each other, the sisters and Wilcoxes begin a series of encounters that lead to the eventual collision of their personal lives.On the fringes of the action, yet existing at the very core of the novel and its themes, lurk the Basts, a lower working class couple who's very lives and livelihoods are essentially dependent on the actions of both the Wilcoxes (the rich aristocracy) and the sisters (the compassionate liberals looking out for the poor).These three sets of typically English characters collide and interact in a series of coincidences that never seem forced (thanks to the brilliance of Forster), and move the plot in what, when all is said and done, turns out to be an inevitability.
Completed in 1910, "Howard's End" is very much a book of the 20th century. Themes of socialism and class struggle, while never explicit, underlie the actions and dilemmas of the characters.Forster's writing is brilliant, and the conversations between the "bleeding heart liberal" sisters and the cold hearted business oriented Wilcoxes capture the "english novel" vibe so dead-on that at times Forster can almost be accussed of mocking them both.In a lesser author's hands, this novel could have been nothing more than farce, but Forster walks that fine line between satire and homage and produces a masterpiece that in many ways signals the end of the "English aristocracy" and its stranglehold on English fiction.
This is a complex, worthwhile read!

5-0 out of 5 stars Homecomings.
Most of us connect the notion of "home" or "childhood home" with one particular place, that innocent paradise we have since had to give up and keep searching for forever after. In Ruth Wilcox's world, Howards End is that place; the countryside house where she was born, where her family often returns to spend their vacations, and which, everyone assumes, will pass on to her children when she is dead.

But will it really? Unbeknownst to Ruth's family, the issue is put into question when Ruth forms a friendship with her neighbor-to-be Margaret Schlegel, like Ruth herself from a middle class background but nevertheless separated from Ruth's world by several layers of society and politics: That of the Wilcox is epitomized by pater familias/businessman Henry - rich, conservative and without any sympathy whatsoever for those less fortunate than themselves ("It's all part of the battle of life ... The poor are poor; one is sorry for them, but there it is," Henry Wilcox once comments); while the Schlegels, on the other hand, have just enough income to lead a comfortable life, were brought up by their Aunt Juley, support suffrage (women's right to vote) and surround themselves with actors, "blue-stockings" (feminists), intellectuals and other members of the avantgarde. Further complexity is added when Margaret's sister Helen brings to the Schlegel home Leonard Bast, a poor but idealistic young clerk who loves music, literature and astronomy - and with him, his working class wife Jacky, the embarrassment of having to interact with her, and the even more embarrassing revelation which she has in store for Henry Wilcox; eventually leaving her disillusioned husband to comment that "books aren't real," and that in fact they and music "are for the rich so they don't feel bad after dinner."

An allegory on the question who will ultimately inherit England - the likes of the Wilcox, the Schlegels, or the Basts - E.M. Forster's novel is one of the early 20th century's finest pieces of literature; a masterpiece of social study and character study alike, in which the author brings his protagonists and their environment to life with empathy and a fine eye for detail. The story's strongest character is undoubtedly Margaret Schlegel, a young woman "filled with ... a profound vivacity, a continual and sincere response to all that she encounter[s] in her path through life," as Forster describes her, and whose friendship with Ruth Wilcox, even at the beginning, already brings the two families back together again after Helen has endangered their as-yet tentaive acquaintance by engaging in a near-scandalous affair with Ruth's younger son Paul.

Ultimately, Margaret and Ruth become so close that Ruth eventually decides to give Meg "something worth [her] friendship" - none other than Howards End, a wish that has her panicking family scramble most ungentlemanly for every reason in the book to invalidate the codicil setting forth that bestowal, from its lacking date and signature to the testatrix's state of mind, the ambiguity of the writing's content, the question why Meg should want the house in the first place since she already has one, and the fact that the writing is only in pencil, which "never counts," as Dolly, wife of the Wilcox' elder son Charles is quick to point out, only to be reprimanded by her father in law "from out of his fortress" (Forster) not to "interfere with what you do not understand." And so it is that Meg will only see the house (and be instantly mistaken for Ruth because she has "her way of walking around the house," as the housekeeper explains) when she and her siblings have to look for a new home and Henry Wilcox, who has started to court her after Ruth's death, suggests that the Schlegel's furniture be temporarily stored there - a fateful decision. And while Meg and Henry slowly and painfully learn to adjust to each other, the complexity of their families' relations, and their interactions with the Basts, finally come crashing down on them in a dramatic conclusion.

Also recommended:
Great Novels and Short Stories of E. M. Forster
E. M. Forster: A Life (A Harvest Book)
Howards End - The Merchant Ivory Collection
A Room with a View (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Where Angels Fear to Tread
Brideshead Revisited
The W. Somerset Maugham Reader: Novels, Stories, Travel Writing

5-0 out of 5 stars Homecomings.
Most of us connect the notion of "home" or "childhood home" with one particular place, that innocent paradise we have since had to give up and keep searching for forever after. In Ruth Wilcox's world, Howards End is that place; the countryside house where she was born, where her family often returns to spend their vacations, and which, everyone assumes, will pass on to her children when she is dead.

But will it really? Unbeknownst to Ruth's family, the issue is put into question when Ruth forms a friendship with her neighbor-to-be Margaret Schlegel, like Ruth herself from a middle class background but nevertheless separated from Ruth's world by several layers of society and politics: That of the Wilcox is epitomized by pater familias/businessman Henry - rich, conservative and without any sympathy whatsoever for those less fortunate than themselves ("It's all part of the battle of life ... The poor are poor; one is sorry for them, but there it is," Henry Wilcox once comments); while the Schlegels, on the other hand, have just enough income to lead a comfortable life, were brought up by their Aunt Juley, support suffrage (women's right to vote) and surround themselves with actors, "blue-stockings" (feminists), intellectuals and other members of the avantgarde. Further complexity is added when Margaret's sister Helen brings to the Schlegel home Leonard Bast, a poor but idealistic young clerk who loves music, literature and astronomy - and with him, his working class wife Jacky, the embarrassment of having to interact with her, and the even more embarrassing revelation which she has in store for Henry Wilcox; eventually leaving her disillusioned husband to comment that "books aren't real," and that in fact they and music "are for the rich so they don't feel bad after dinner."

An allegory on the question who will ultimately inherit England - the likes of the Wilcox, the Schlegels, or the Basts - E.M. Forster's novel is one of the early 20th century's finest pieces of literature; a masterpiece of social study and character study alike, in which the author brings his protagonists and their environment to life with empathy and a fine eye for detail. The story's strongest character is undoubtedly Margaret Schlegel, a young woman "filled with ... a profound vivacity, a continual and sincere response to all that she encounter[s] in her path through life," as Forster describes her, and whose friendship with Ruth Wilcox, even at the beginning, already brings the two families back together again after Helen has endangered their as-yet tentaive acquaintance by engaging in a near-scandalous affair with Ruth's younger son Paul.

Ultimately, Margaret and Ruth become so close that Ruth eventually decides to give Meg "something worth [her] friendship" - none other than Howards End, a wish that has her panicking family scramble most ungentlemanly for every reason in the book to invalidate the codicil setting forth that bestowal, from its lacking date and signature to the testatrix's state of mind, the ambiguity of the writing's content, the question why Meg should want the house in the first place since she already has one, and the fact that the writing is only in pencil, which "never counts," as Dolly, wife of the Wilcox' elder son Charles is quick to point out, only to be reprimanded by her father in law "from out of his fortress" (Forster) not to "interfere with what you do not understand." And so it is that Meg will only see the house (and be instantly mistaken for Ruth because she has "her way of walking around the house," as the housekeeper explains) when she and her siblings have to look for a new home and Henry Wilcox, who has started to court her after Ruth's death, suggests that the Schlegel's furniture be temporarily stored there - a fateful decision. And while Meg and Henry slowly and painfully learn to adjust to each other, the complexity of their families' relations, and their interactions with the Basts, finally come crashing down on them in a dramatic conclusion.

Also recommended:
Great Novels and Short Stories of E. M. Forster
E. M. Forster: A Life (A Harvest Book)
Howards End - The Merchant Ivory Collection
A Room with a View (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Where Angels Fear to Tread
Brideshead Revisited
The W. Somerset Maugham Reader: Novels, Stories, Travel Writing

5-0 out of 5 stars Lessons in Connection
E.M. Forster's novel is a wonderful allegorical masterpiece which deals with the need (or consequences of failure) to connect. Exploring the tumultuous interactions of the Wilcoxes, Schelgels and Basts, Forster is compassionate with his characters as they explore the question: "who will inherit England."

A masterpiece, magical and elegant in style.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Connect the prose and the passion...both will be exalted."
In this 1910 story of Edwardian England, Forster illustrates the conflicts between the superior attitudes of the aristocracy and a developing feeling of obligation toward the "lower" classes which World War I will soon bring into sharp relief. Margaret and Helen Schlegel are intellectual and sensitive to the arts, with compassionate hearts for those less fortunate.

When Margaret, at age twenty-nine, is affianced to a much older widower, Henry Wilcox, this conflict of attitudes is brought to the fore. Henry, insensitive and believing himself actually entitled to his family's privileges, is cold and reserved, though Margaret believes that "Henry must be forgiven and made better by love."

Helen, her sister, a 21-year-old with an enthusiasm for the life of the imagination, has no sympathy for Henry's staid pronouncements and failure to pay attention to the people "below him" who are dependent upon his whims. When a young clerk finds himself out of his bank job as a result of something Henry has said, Henry refuses his wife's entreaties to give the destitute Leonard a job.

Immensely sympathetic to the economic position of the poor and women, Forster illustrates their financial dependence on others. Margaret, who secures the reader's total sympathy, must try to educate a close-minded dolt like Henry, but she achieves only limited success. Later, his belief that Helen reflects negatively upon himself and his family inspires a disaster with far-reaching consequences.

Filled with incisive observations and great wit, the novel follows the narrative pattern of a melodrama, but Forster's sensitivity to both sides--the practical and conservative values of Henry vs. the emotional and idealistic sides of Margaret and Helen--elevates the novel above the tawdry.With the action centered around the Wilcox home at Howard's End, the reader realizes that the estate is a microcosm for the conflicts of the nation.

This edition, thoroughly annotated, is the definitive critical edition containing resource material and an explication of references.Comprehensive background material for the period, critical analysis of Forster's themes, and careful notes throughout this novel provide a wealth of research materials for the literary critic and historian.Mary Whipple
... Read more


20. A Passage to India (Penguin Classics)
by E. M. Forster
Paperback: 416 Pages (2005-07-28)
list price: US$18.60 -- used & new: US$8.79
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 014144116X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****
When Adela and her elderly companion Mrs Moore arrive in the Indian town of Chandrapore, they quickly feel trapped by its insular and prejudiced British community. Determined to explore the real India', they seek the guidance of the charming and mercurial Dr Aziz, a cultivated Indian Muslim. But a mysterious incident occurs while they are exploring the Marabar caves with Aziz, and the well-respected doctor soon finds himself at the centre of a scandal that rouses violent passions among both the British and their Indian subjects. A masterly portrait of a society in the grip of imperialism, A Passage to India compellingly depicts the fate of individuals caught between the great political and cultural conflicts of the modern world. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

3-0 out of 5 stars Frustrating
In the 1920s, British officials were living in India, in an insular community in which they could enjoy the comforts of British life while dictating proper rules and justice to the inferior Indians.Problems abounded from both sides, naturally.

The British officials feared they were not well respected enough.They didn't make an effort to get to know individual Indians, and stereotypes ruled their thinking.

The Indians were resentful of the occupation, but unwilling or unable to do much about it.

Into this touchy atmosphere a young British woman and her older female escort materialize.The young woman is the potential fiance of a British official, and has come to India to decide if she truly wishes to marry him.The older woman is the official's mother.

As newcomers, the women are fascinated by India; it is far more interesting than the British community plunked down in the middle of it.They don't understand conventions, don't understand why they can't mix socially with Indians, don't understand the rules that the other British seem to take for granted.As a result, they end up going on an outing with a friendly and eager-to-please Indian doctor.

While on the outing, something strange and frightening occurs.The British community use the opportunity to villainize the Indian host, and it appears that the tenuous peace and harmony between Indians and British might be lost.

The themes of this book and its overall story are though-provoking and well written.I had a very difficult time with the characters, though, who seemed completely unreal.Aziz, despite being a doctor, seemed so weak and childlike, unable to take a stand or make up his mind about things.I couldn't figure out Adele's motivation at all, either for being in the country in the first place, since she seemed to have no feelings for Ronny, or for letting herself be steamrolled into accusations she didn't mean.I could see clearly, being able to peek into the thoughts of both the Indians and the British, the misunderstandings that occurred throughout much of the book, but I wish I'd been able to gain more insight into what actually motivated these characters, and get a deeper sense of who they were as individuals.

5-0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary
This was a great book that successfully displayed the relationship between the British settlers in India and the natives (around the turn of the century).

5-0 out of 5 stars Herb's review
This book was for my wife for a class. It is fully footnoted and will be of great help for her in the class.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best classics
This book is amazing. First of all, it's a good thing we have artifacts like this from the past. It gives an incredible view into the mind of liberal humanists/Orientalists. It is also a cool view of India from a homo-social view. Really cool.

5-0 out of 5 stars East and West Can Never Meet?
Almost a century after the book's publication the most crucial problems it discussed are as current as they were during Forster's life. The impossibility of communicating across the divide of culture, religion, and race, seems to be even more alive then when he saw it. The value of the novel lies not so much in representing it but in the fact that Forster offers a way out - personal contact.
The story takes us to India of the 1920s - we follow the path of a young Englishwoman who goes to marry a British official but wants to know "the real India". This she never achieves but she gets to know something by far more important - herself. Her inept attempts at connecting with India and Indians make other characters of the novel learn more about themselves, force them out of safe shells in which they lived. The lesson is painful but at least for some of the characters opens the door to a better life.
There is little chance people will suddenly like Muslims, Pakistanis, gays, lesbians, Moroccans, Turkish, Kurds etc etc - there is a chance (a very slim chance, Forster would be quick to add) that a specific American and a specific Muslim, a Turk and a Kurd, an Israeli and a Palestinian can be friends. The world may not want it, the people that surround them may not want it but the results depend on us alone. If we do not try we only have ourselves to blame. ... Read more


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