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

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

3.7 230
by E. M. Forster

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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:

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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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Barnes & Noble
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7.98(w) x 5.30(h) x 0.60(d)

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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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A Room With a View 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 230 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Themomof7 More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
yukiji More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Ceil Maus-Conn More than 1 year ago
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!
Kratz More than 1 year ago
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.
TeresaPA More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books I have ever read! Right from the start all the way to the end!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Books-love More than 1 year ago
The formatting on my copy was quite bad.  Beware if you plan to buy.  At least when I got it, it was free.  However, the formatting was enough to make me delete it.
EleanorAlicePoe More than 1 year ago
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:]]
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
LynnLD 8 months ago
This story focuses mostly on Lucy as she takes a trip to Italy with the cousin Charlotte. They are displeased with their rooms because they have no view, as promised. A man and his son, The Emersons, volunteer to exchange rooms to make the women happy. Lucy goes on a few adventures while in Florence and witnesses a fight and stabbing. The Young Emerson happens to be there to shield her from further harm. He later kisses her and Charlotte, her chaperone and cousin, tells an author and this indiscretion is later printed in a book. This was a big deal in the early 1900’s. Lucy goes on and becomes engaged to a young man named Cecil who is quite bookish and chauvinistic. After kissing George on another occasion, Lucy realizes that Cecil is not the right person for her. Mr. Emerson, the father, helps her see that she is in what he calls a muddle. She finally faces that fact that she is in love with his son George. They end up eloping which makes the father and Cousin Charlotte quite happy. They both remember their own past pains so they assist this young couple in uniting.
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CalebEShoe More than 1 year ago
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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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.