A Room with a View (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) [NOOK Book]

Overview



A Room with a View, 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 ...
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A Room with a View (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Overview



A Room with a View, 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.

 

A charming tale of the battle between bourgeois repression and radical romanticism, E. M. Forster’s third novel has long been the most popular of his early works. A young girl, Lucy Honeychurch, and her chaperon—products of proper Edwardian England—visit a tempestuous, passionate Italy. Their “room with a view” allows them to look into a world far different from their own, a world unconcerned with convention, unfettered by social rituals, and unafraid of emotion. Soon Lucy finds herself bound to an obviously “unsuitable” man, the melancholic George Emerson, whose improper advances she dare not publicize. Back home, her friend and mentor Charlotte Bartlett and her mother, try to manipulate her into marriage with the more “appropriate” but smotheringly dull Cecil Vyse, whose surname suggests the imprisoning effect he would have on Lucy’s spirit.

A colorful gallery of characters, including George’s riotously funny father, Lucy’s sullen brother, the novelist Eleanor Lavish, and the reverend Mr. Beebe, line up on either side, and A Room with a View unfolds as a delightfully satiric comedy of manners and an immensely satisfying love story.

Radhika Jones is a freelance writer and a Ph.D. candidate in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781411433069
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble
  • Publication date: 6/1/2009
  • Series: Barnes & Noble Classics Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 78,945
  • File size: 816 KB

Meet the Author

Radhika Jones is a freelance writer and a Ph.D. candidate in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.

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 Radhika Jones’s Introduction to A Room with a View

Lucy comes of age, as Forster himself did, at a time of sea changes in Britain and the world: the ebb of British imperial power, the end of the Victorian era, the onset of the modern age, and the portents of a world war. It is a moment of epic transition signaled from the novel’s first page, when Forster turns our eye to the “portraits of the late Queen and the late Poet Laureate” that grace the dining room of the Pension Bertolini, reminding those present that the era of Victoria and Tennyson has passed irrevocably into history. But like those portraits, the historical transitions at work in A Room with a View act chiefly as backdrops for the deeply personal issues with which Lucy struggles. After all, Lucy is no revolutionary; she moves within the parameters of what is possible for a girl of her age and situation. What social boldness she has comes in spurts, often uncertain ones. She expresses herself most effectively in indirect ways, and not in words but in music, sitting at the piano. Confident in Beethoven, she is nevertheless hesitant without her Baedeker; her artistic connection to music does not manifest itself outside that medium. It is tempting to accept Mr. Beebe’s assertion that “if Miss Honeychurch ever takes to live as she plays, it will be very exciting—both for us and for her” as a formula for the novel, but Forster leaves us in doubt as to whether Lucy ever fulfills that potential; indeed, whether she ever could. The ending that awaited most literary heroines of the Victorian era—marriage—will be her ending too. Where she finds room to distinguish herself, to inhabit the freedoms of this age of transition, is in the manner of man she will marry, and that is where the energies of the novel are focused.

A Room with a View also inhabits an age of transition from the point of view of literature. The three-decker novel that had dominated the second half of the nineteenth century was now a dinosaur, virtually extinguished in the 1890s by the onset of cheap, one-volume editions, and its complex plots and sometimes belabored prose were giving way along with its physical bulk. Forster’s early novels demonstrate this shift in action. There is a casual quality to his prose that makes his novels themselves seem casually constructed, as if they were the natural result of recording experience on paper. The influential American critic Lionel Trilling, describing the “colloquial unpretentiousness” of Forster’s style, cites it as proof that Forster was “content with the human possibility and content with its limitations” quoted in Wilde, ed., Critical Essays on E. M. Forster, p. 59. Unlike the writing of the high modernists James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence who would make their mark in succeeding decades, Forster’s prose does not evince a formal struggle; it does not attempt to break free of perceived linguistic or semantic constraints. Not incidentally, it is not difficult to read. But it would be a mistake, on these grounds, to think of Forster as artless. A close look at the underpinnings of A Room with a View—its language, its motifs, its structure—shows a craftsman at work.

There is, first of all, the role of the narrative voice in absorbing and reflecting the novel’s themes through language. We might begin with the narrator’s treatment of Lucy, who is on the verge of learning to interpret the world and its inhabitants but often takes refuge in the opinions of others rather than attempt to puzzle things out on her own. In the first chapter, as she copes with the repressive Charlotte, the tactless Emersons, and the mildly interfering Mr. Beebe, she is described as “bewildered”; she “had the sense of larger and unsuspected issues” that she fails to identify, let alone resolve. Unable to determine what to make of the Emersons, she finally asks Mr. Beebe directly: “Old Mr. Emerson, is he nice or not nice? I do so want to know.” This perplexity, presented quite baldly by the narrator, is part of what makes Lucy convincing as a modern heroine: that she does not make any claims to being particularly heroic.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 232 )
Rating Distribution

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4 Star

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(29)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 234 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2006

    An interesting love story

    A Room With A View is a novel not only about the journey to find true love, but also about the difficult decisions one is faced with when one must decide to either listen to the expectations of others, or their own heart. In this novel the main character, Lucy takes a trip to Italy with her cousin, and upon her arrival meets the Emerson¿s. Lucy belonging to the upper class of society thinks she could never have an attraction to someone of the lower class, like the Emerson¿s. Love was something Lucy was hoping to find in Italy, but as soon as she arrived back to her home in England she promptly became engaged to Cecil, a man of the same social class as her. Lucy soon realizes that she is not truly in love with Cecil, and discovers that she is in love with George Emerson. Everyone Lucy knows expects her to marry someone wealthy and proper, like Cecil, but instead of listening to what others expect of her, Lucy listens to her heart, and allows herself to be in love with George. Throughout Lucy¿s journey to find true love Forster conveys the message that others expectations cannot guide one to the path of love, only one¿s heart can. I recommend this book to anyone who struggles when faced with making the decision of following others expectations, or following their heart. This novel will teach its readers that what one truly desires is the only escape to genuine happiness.

    13 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Oops! I think I love George!

    If you have a difficult time understanding older English, this book will be a challenge. However, stick with it. It has humorous characters who delight and intrigue. Lucy Honeychurch is a force to be reckoned with when she finally throws off the nonsense of society. This is a story that takes a young girl through a self-understanding process and gives the reader food-for-thought. If you can ponder her decisions and understand her choices, you will find a great heroine within the pages of this story. Lucy seems feeble and weak, but by the end, you find her quite the opposite. Watching her transformation is wonderful and well worth the time.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2007

    A reviewer

    The union of love between two people cannot be wholly attained unless each partner first establishes their own, independent identity. E. M. Forster¿s witty and coming of age novel articulated this message through the novel centering on Lucy Honeychurch¿s dilemma of pursuing love and independence in a confined social and mental environment. Mr. Emerson is a brave character that displays Forster¿s thoughts towards new-age liberalism and ultimately influences Lucy to find her own independent identity. The message Forster communicated in the novel created a timeless and beautiful love story for all generations. Anyone who picks up this novel will find it to be a great read.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2006

    Marvelous!

    A Room with a View is simply amazing. Forster throws in SO much subtle wit it actually had me laughing out loud quite often. A very satisfying love story, and overall an excellent read!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Never get tired of reading this book

    I just love the characters in this book , in particular old Mr. Emmerson. I guess you could say this is a Love story, and also a young woman "coming of age story". It's also a novel with a great cast of characters. I think Forster did a great job of embodying different belief systems in his characters without making them caricatures.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2006

    The book is as beautiful as the movie!

    So many are familiar with the Merchant/Ivory movie released in 1985 and the wonder of it all is that the book and movie are equally beautiful! Naturally there is more in the book and the metaphors for the 'room' and the 'view' become more clear after one has read the book, but since the novel is short, the directors were able to include so much of it in the movie. The book is funny, romantic and so full of life and truth, though it might be difficult for the modern reader to understand why such a fuss is made about the kiss George gives to Lucy. The book says so much about how we deceive ourselves, even those of us who are not from upper class English society. (Perhaps that is why there are so many divorces?) Lucy comes so close to making a terrible decision that would have ruined her life but Mr. Emerson saves the day. He is so honest and real that you love him at once. Almost all the characters are lovable if exasperating in this book - even Cecil redeems himself in the end. He is a pompous snob throughout but when Lucy breaks off their engagement, he humbly wishes to know why and accepts her reasons with dignity. Italy as a metaphor for life and passion works so well and Forster alludes to how religion, social mores and repression can 'muddle' things up, but all is well in the end!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2011

    A Room With a View indeed!

    I love this book! It is a very touching book and I am now dying to see the movie! Helena Bonham Carter ( Lucy Honeychurch) is my favorite actress!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent Period Piece

    Enjoyed this descriptive classic. Excellent character development. Plot was enjoyable. Forster has the ability to pick one up wherever they are and deposit them into France and Victorian England. The trials of love are wonderfully written.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    charming

    Thins book is by far one of my favorites from E.M Forster. He did a great job with this one. The characters are real and believable while the plot is fun and exiting. It has the perfect mystery of romance and shows just how persistant love can be. A must read for classic lovers:]]

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2009

    welll...

    though the novel was quite confusing at first.. everything comes together towards the end.. you just need to have enought patience to get there.. there are good character in this novel such as; george and mr. emerson, and mr. vyse. I chose to do this novel for a senior project and enjoyed it.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2014

    LOVE THIS BOOK!

    This is one of the best books I have ever read! Right from the start all the way to the end!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2013

    Well written.

    Well written. Although a love story, much more goes on between characters. This novel takes a light-hearted look at the absurdities of the society during this era. Also it touches on the society's change. It is timeless in the lesson of how we get in our own way.

    There is only one complaint; there are many typographical errors. At one point a couple of pages were totally unreadable. Still, the story was well worth it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2005

    Life and Love in Florence

    E.M. Forster's A Room With a View is a masterpiece. I truly had trouble putting this one down. My only qualm is that it wasn't quite long enough. Viva Italia!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 1999

    Smart and Funny

    This book pokes fun at the Edwardian culture--its rules, hypocrisy, etc. The characters will make you laugh out loud, they are so perfectly done. It is not so much a love story as a story of Lucy changing from 'proper lady' to 'thinking lady.' I highly recommend this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2014

    Veronica

    She closes her eyes and summons ice air to nicks nose. It feels lie aapack of ice on it but nothing is therem

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2014

    Nick

    Alright *i get up and head to your house*

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2014

    Mies

    Why don't you? She wa my wife and you have the nerve to tak her anyway. You brought this upon her. *he spits and kicks nick in the groin* she is banished from the fire kingdom and i take her powers forever *he hods his hand out and a bal of fire leaves jasmine mouth into his hand. He dissapears*

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2014

    Jasmine

    "She hides in the kingdom. I'll fill her in." She helps nick up d takes his arm firmly. "Let's gt out of here before Mies comes back."

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 20, 2014

    This is one of my favorite stories. An excellent tale related by

    This is one of my favorite stories. An excellent tale related by a master story teller. Enjoy the beautiful language, lush scenery, vivid characters, and magnificently crafted melodrama. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2013

    I am in love with a room with a view!

    I am in love with a room with a view book and movie a sweet neive gril travel and family mamber and meet a boy and frist love.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 234 Customer Reviews

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