Forster, E.M. "Howards End - 1910
I read "A Passage to India" quite a while ago and really liked it. When a friend of mine said she always wanted to read "Howards End", we agreed to read it together. Unfortunately, her eReader died on her, so we ended up not reading it at the same time. (Yet another point why I don't read eReader, but more about that here.)
I wasn’t disappointed. A great account of life within British society a century ago. The different classes and what it meant to a person born into a certain one.
Even though this was written about a century later, the story reminded me a lot of Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, George Eliot, that type of writing I enjoy so much. There are sisters who are educated but not rich, there is the rich family, there is the poor guy whose life is doomed before it even begins. A lot of social as well as moral issues that are discussed delicately. Still, quite a bit of action for those who don’t just want to read about philosophical questions.
From the back cover:
"A chance acquaintance beings together the prosperous bourgeois Wilcox family and the clever, cultured and idealisitic Schlegel sisters. As clear-eyed Margaret develops a friendship with Mrs. Wilcox, the impetuous Helen brings into their midst a young bank clerk named Leonard Bast, who lives at the edge of poverty and ruin. When Mrs. Wilcox dies, her family discovers that she wants to leave her country home, Howard's End, to Margaret. Thus as Forster sets in motion a chain of events that will entangle three different families, he brilliantly portrays their aspirations to personal and social harmony.
Howards End is about social conventions, codes of conduct and relationships in turn-of-the-century England. A strong-willed and intelligent woman refuses to allow the pretensions of her husband's smug English family to ruin her life. Howards End is considered by some to be Forster's masterpiece."