Howards End , a novel by E. M. *Forster, published 1910, deals with personal relationships and conflicting values.
On the one hand are the Schlegel sisters, Margaret and Helen, and their brother Tibby, who care about civilized living, music, literature, and conversation with their friends; on the other, the Wilcoxes, Henry and his children Charles, Paul, and Evie, who are concerned with the business side of life and distrust emotions and imagination. Helen Schlegel is drawn to the Wilcox family, falls briefly in and out of love with Paul Wilcox, and thereafter reacts away from them.
Margaret becomes more deeply involved. She is stimulated by the very differences of their way of life and acknowledges the debt of intellectuals to the men of affairs who guarantee stability, whose virtues of 'neatness, decision and obedience ... keep the soul from becoming sloppy'. She marries Henry Wilcox, to the consternation of both families, and her love and steadiness of purpose are tested by the ensuing strains and misunderstandings. Her marriage cracks but does not break. In the end, torn between her sister and her husband, she succeeds in bridging the mistrust that divides them. Howards End, where the story begins and ends, is the house that belonged to Henry Wilcox's first wife, and is a symbol of human dignity and endurance.
(Text from Drabble, Margaret. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. Oxford, New York: OUP, 1998.; © Margaret Drabble and Oxford University Press 1985, 1995; cited here by permission of Oxford University Press.)
Howards End (1992) was directed by James Ivory, adaption for film by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. Cast overview, first billed only: Vanessa Redgrave - Ruth Wilcox, Helena Bonham Carter - Helen Schlegel, Joseph Bennett (III) - Paul Wilcox, Emma Thompson - Margaret Schlegel, Prunella Scales - Aunt Juley, Adrian Ross Magenty - Tibby Schlegel, Jo Kendall - Annie, Anthony Hopkins - Henry J. Wilcox, James Wilby - Charles J. Wilcox, Jemma Redgrave - Evie Wilcox, Ian Latimer - Station Master, Samuel West - Leonard Bast, Mary Nash (II) - Pianist, Siegbert Prawer - Man Asking a Question, Susie Lindeman - Dolly Wilcox, ....; runtime: 142 min.; country: Japan / UK; language: English; colour: colour (Technicolor); sound: 70 mm 6-Track / Dolby; certification: Argentina:Atp, Australia:G, Finland:K-8, France:U, Germany:6, Norway:11, Spain:13, Sweden:11, UK:PG, USA:PG.
Yarrow, Alexandra. "Sympathy in the Novels of E.M. Forster." Aspects of E.M. Forster. Ed. Heiko Zimmermann. 20 Apr. 2002 <http://emforster.de/pdfs/yarrow.pdf> (to be viewed with Adobe's Acrobat Reader).
Looking closely at Howards End and A Passage to India, Yarrow's essay explores different kinds of sympathy in Forster's writings. Sympathy here means the relation of the British and Indian in the British Empire, the other and the ones of the own sort and the inner and outer self. Yarrow's approach unites both the post-colonial and the gender studies point of view. Furthermore, it places Forster into a literary tradition of sympathy.
E-text: Howards End (Free, unabridged) at the University of Michigan.
Essay: Hoffman, Michael J. "'Whose books once influenced mine': The Relationship between E.M. Forster's Howards End and Virginia Woolf's The Waves."
Review: "New novels - Howard's [sic!] End: A Novel of Quality" (26 Feb 1910, The Guardian) at The Guardian's homepage.
Text: Howards End (Becky Bradley and Claire Gunnels)
Biographical sketch, character list, plot, historical context and information on finding more secondary literature.
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