Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Howards End (1910) by E.M. Forster

I discovered E.M. Forster's 1910 novel Howards End through the great Merchant-Ivory film version in 1993. I fell in love with the book and wrote an essay on it at University as soon as I got the chance. Re-reading it recently, 100 years after its publication, I still think that it's Forster's best work: the class collision that the novel stages has lost none of its poignancy and power. I'd forgotten much of the book's dotty humour, its eccentricity and its mysticism - though not, of course, its urgent imperative that we "connect... [and] live in fragments no longer." One of the greatest of English novels, and, I think, Merchant-Ivory's very best film. (If you haven't seen or read it, be warned: the trailer, below, gives a lot away.)

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