Howards End (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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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:

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Howards End (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Overview

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:

  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593080228
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble
  • Publication date: 7/1/2003
  • Series: Barnes & Noble Classics Series
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 90,561
  • Product dimensions: 7.86 (w) x 5.30 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

Biography

Edward Morgan Forster was born in London in 1879, attended Tonbridge School as a day boy, and went on to King's College, Cambridge, in 1897. With King's he had a lifelong connection and was elected to an Honorary Fellowship in 1946. He declared that his life as a whole had not been dramatic, and he was unfailingly modest about his achievements. Interviewed by the BBC on his eightieth birthday, he said: "I have not written as much as I'd like to... I write for two reasons: partly to make money and partly to win the respect of people whom I respect... I had better add that I am quite sure I am not a great novelist." Eminent critics and the general public have judged otherwise and in his obituary The Times called him "one of the most esteemed English novelists of his time."

He wrote six novels, four of which appeared before the First World War, Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905), The Longest Journey (1907), A Room with a View (1908), and Howard's End (1910). An interval of fourteen years elapsed before he published A Passage to India. It won both the Prix Femina Vie Heureuse and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Maurice, his novel on a homosexual theme, finished in 1914, was published posthumously in 1971. He also published two volumes of short stories; two collections of essays; a critical work, Aspects of the Novel; The Hill of Devi, a fascinating record of two visits Forster made to the Indian State of Dewas Senior; two biographies; two books about Alexandria (where he worked for the Red Cross in the First World War); and, with Eric Crozier, the libretto for Britten's opera Billy Budd. He died in June 1970.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

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    1. Also Known As:
      Edward Morgan Forster
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 1, 1879
    2. Place of Birth:
      London
    1. Date of Death:
      June 7, 1970
    2. Place of Death:
      Coventry, England

Read an Excerpt

From Mary Gordon's Introduction to Howards End

Howards End is a novel for the likes of us. That is to say, for you and me: you because you have bought this particular book, and I because I am writing about it, and because I love it. You may be buying the book for a variety of reasons; you may be in a train station or an airport or browsing in a bookshop on a rainy day, hoping for many things: enlightenment, friendship, amorous adventure, cappuccino. You may want to chip away at that mountain of the canon you have not read. You may be buying it because you must, because you have been told by a teacher that Howards End is something you must read in order to pass a course. But however disparate all our motives are, whether our relationship to the book is, like mine, that of a loving old friend, or perhaps as yours may be, as a fearful or hopeful or wary stranger, Forster makes us a "we" with the novel's very first sentence: "One may as well begin with Helen's letters to her sister." We are part of a company; it is a formal one to be sure-the impersonal pronoun "one" is used, but the "we" is implied, because we are being shown something intimate, domestic-Helen's letters to her sister. We don't know Helen's last name, or anything about her, but we are immediately included in her private life. Yet the first sentence of her letter to Meg might serve as a warning to readers who are about to become one of the Howards End "we": "'It isn't going to be what we expected.'"

Edward Morgan Forster lived a life devoted to the ideas of decency, humaneness, the civilized private life in which the disparities of the human condition might be resolved by honesty and goodwill. At the same time, he was aware of the dark goblins that Helen, and Beethoven, found in the symphony that forms a meditation in the beginning of Howards End. Tragedy struck Forster's life early; his father died in l881, when he was only two; he was brought up by a mother and aunts, lived quietly with them until he was exiled to public school, a nightmare for him. Rescued by the University of Cambridge, he was taken up by a brilliant group of young men (among whom he was considered one of the least brilliant) who gathered around the philosopher G. E. Moore. Moore's ideas stressed the primacy of personal relations and the appreciation of beauty in a good life. The members of this group included Lytton Strachey, John Maynard Keynes, and a Liverpool Jew named Leonard Woolf who would marry Virginia, sister of another member, Toby Stephen. He studied the classics; traveled, particularly to Italy; sought minor employment. Between 1903 and 1910 he wrote four novels: A Room with a View, The Longest Journey, Where Angels Fear to Tread, and Howards End. He finished a novel about homosexuality, Maurice, in 1913, but did not publish it in his lifetime. There was, therefore, a publication lapse of fourteen years, and then in 1924 A Passage to India. And then no novels for the rest of his long life. He was made a member of King's College, Cambridge, and died there in 1970.

How to explain the early prodigiousness, followed by the long silence. Is it that the world he knew was erased by the trauma of World War I? Virginia Woolf assures us in her essay "Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown" that in December 1910, human nature changed. Did the change paralyze him? Or was it that he felt silenced by his inability to write honestly about homosexual life? Howards End was published just before Virginia Woolf's December 1910 sell-by date, so perhaps the assurance of the voice is the assurance of the full maturity of a way of life that knows itself about to be obsolete.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 69 )
Rating Distribution

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4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 66 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2012

    Save your 99 cents!

    A couple of typos are to be expected, but they are EVERYWHERE! Impossible to get through without losing patience. Don't buy!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Interesting

    I don't usually have an issue getting into books but reading this was a new experience. It was more like reading about the lives of three families in a casual way than an actual storyline. There is a lot of interaction between the characters and a lot of discussion about how society is changing. As far as classics go I feel like the time period it is taking place is no longer victorian but it is still before world war 1, I have not read a lot of books that take place in this time period. The whole time I read this book I didn't really like it, the relationships seemed trifling and were uninteresting to me, but now that I have finished I keep thinking about this book for some reason.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2012

    The book was not delivered

    I can not say anything about this book since it never reached me. ( tooo bad...

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2012

    E.M. Forster and Kazuo Ishiguro

    An previous reviewer mistakenly attributed "Remains of the Day" to E.M. Forster. While this work shares similarities with "Howards End", "Remains of the Day" was written by Kazuo Ishiguro, a Japanese-British author who was born in 1954. E.M. Forster lived 1879-1970.

    However, I still highly recommend "Remains of the Day" as well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2011

    Full version??? Hardly

    Seeing as how the story begins in Chapter 12, p 76, I don't see this as a "full version." I'm contacting B&N about this. Maybe a download error or glitch? I can't give a good rating w/o the actual full book. It's annoying.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2012

    A brilliant novel. One of my favorites.

    A brilliant novel. One of my favorites.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2012

    Xavier

    Helloooo?

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    So many typos!

    The typos made a challenging book even more difficult to read. The story was interesting enough, but the characters were difficult to relate to.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2011

    Good read

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  • Posted November 2, 2011

    Classic Literature at its best

    Perhaps E. M. Forster is not known as a classic author but he should be. This novel, along with his other famous one "Remains of the Day", give you an veritable new world to explore. The characters are well rounded and insightful. The locations are breathtaking and memorable. And the story itself is like a long walk on a beautiful day...something to be treasured.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2011

    Terrific

    Excellent read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 1, 2011

    A great classic novel

    This classic is a must read for ones who enjoy a good 'love story' with characters with flaws and unknown strengths that bring this story to an unexpected climax.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 6, 2011

    ANOTHER worthless sample

    B&N WHY do you offer samples that contain little or none of the story?
    I have had samples containing 1-2 paragraphs at least, this sample is 28 pages of the Table of Contents, timeline & an editorial.
    Absolutely none of the story. This is a big complaint I have regarding my Nook.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 8, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Not His Finest....

    Not his finest, but an interesting interplay between people with money - those who spend their time and money advancing the ideas and the arts and those who spend their money to preserve their way of life. Interestingly enough both seem to be equally detrimental in their dealings with the lower classes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2006

    Howards End (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

    I would suggest that while the books seems to be well written, the story deals mostly with relationships, and maybe somewhat classified as a 'chic' book. The men in this novel all seem to have character flaws that are glariingly weak and sad. It starts off with Paul Wilcox who appears at the very beginning and at the very end, but is mentioned throughout the novel and portrayed as a very weak individual. Tippy, Margaret's brother, really is an insignificat character in the story, but his character is always portrayed as immature and self centered and he cannot be relied upon in hard times. Leonard Bast is pathetically weak and has no backbone. Charles Wilcox is a self centerd bully. Henry Wilcox though he is at times descibed as 'kind' his kindness is somewhat superficial. It seems his lack of character is what leeds to his falling apart in the end. While the two sisters have falts, it weems to only make them more endering. If these tow women are of such high inellledtual and noble character, then why are they constantly inolved, by their own choosing, with such pitiful portraits of manhood. Tis is not the worst thing you can read, but it is nt the best either.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2006

    Howards End (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

    The novel seems to be will written. The main focus of the story is always on relationships and so makes it somewhat of a chick novel. None of the men in this novel seem to have any character and their flaws are always glaring and makes it hard to like them. Paul Wilcox is mentioned only brifly but is a Mama's boy and is easly manipulated by the opinion of others. His brother Charles Wilcox is a bully and somewhat of a dim bulb. Tippy Schliegal, Margaret and Helen's brother plays a minimal role but always appears to be immature and self absorbed and can never be counted on in a time of crisis. Leonard Bast whom the girls chose to help is weak and spineless and does not have the ability to make a good decision. Finally Henry Wilcox from the very first appears to be self absorbed and confused and it is never apparent why Margaret marries him in the first place. He is a man who cannot forgive others for the very things he has done. While the women have faults these faults are always shown in a more endearing light. Forster may not have taken sides in the struggle between different classes, but he certainly did in the struggle between genders. The property, Howards End belonged to the late Mrs Wilcox. In a suprise move, after her surprise death, in her will, Howards End is left to one of the Schlegels. None of the Wilcoxes really wanted Howards End, but they didn't want the Schlegels to have Howards End either. (Mostly the men). While it is not a complete waste of time, there are better books out there to read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2005

    Good literature, great history.

    This is an excellent read, and its focus on male/female relationships provides highly enlightening information about the era in which it was written.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2001

    Probably the Best Example of Great 20th Century British Literature

    'Howards End' is a glimpse of the interaction between the social classes in England. The characters could be real; they are even represented in the society in which we live today. The book captures your sympathy not only for the poor clerk L. Bast, but for the snobbish, but confused Mr. Wilcox, as well. The story is beautifully written, and it is very fast paced. I read it in a day.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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