Howards End (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Howards End (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)


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Howards End (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) by E. M. Forster

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781593080228
Publisher: Barnes & Noble
Publication date: 07/01/2003
Series: Barnes & Noble Classics Series
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 31,737
Product dimensions: 7.86(w) x 5.30(h) x 0.98(d)

About the Author

Born in London in 1879, E. M. Forster is the author of six novels: Where Angels Fear to Tread, The Longest Journey, A Room with a View, Howard’s End, A Passage to India, and Maurice, the last published posthumously. He also wrote a number short stories, in addition to criticism and essays. His books have been adapted into several popular movies. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 13 separate years. He died in 1970.

Date of Birth:

January 1, 1879

Date of Death:

June 7, 1970

Place of Birth:


Place of Death:

Coventry, England


B. A. in classics, King's College, Cambridge, 1900; B. A. in history, 1901; M.A., 1910

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.

Customer Reviews

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Howards End (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 69 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A couple of typos are to be expected, but they are EVERYWHERE! Impossible to get through without losing patience. Don't buy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
With the #MeToo movement gaining ground and forcing change, the ideas expressed in "Howards End" seem to finally be coming to fruition.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished the book. It was a drag, more than once i almost gave up. It's boring, goes nowhere , has no one character likeable. I thought that a book named Howards End would be the place where most of the story happens...never!!! here and there mentions of it. But the plot takes place somewhere else. Some chapters seems like a eternal rant from the author, those i just skipped ...couldn't take it . When the character Leonard is introduced in the story seems that would be a non important one because disappeared half the book and it's re introduced chapters later as if nothing has happened before. The chapters where Leonards is on it's an long ,long and boring rant that makes no sense . i stopped trying to understand what i was reading when i realized(by reading other reviews) that there is some philosophical stuff inserted in the conversations. So forget it. I hope that the movie version of this "classic" is better and understandable. The fact that this book is on the Classic Shelve does not make it good or worht the reading. if you must reading for homework, brace yourself it is going to be a long day before you see the end of Howards End....and if you do read it for pleasure....just read until page 100 (which is my personal mark for when i decide if i should conitnue or not reading a book that it's giving a hard time to get through it ) and decide if you continue or not. it is not worth your time .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A brilliant novel. One of my favorites.
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The typos made a challenging book even more difficult to read. The story was interesting enough, but the characters were difficult to relate to.
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Lisa Martell More than 1 year ago
Excellent read!
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