A Room with a View Introduction

by E. M. Forster

Set in early 1900s Italy and England, A Room with a View offers a humorous critique of Edwardian-era society. The novel begins in Florence, Italy, where Miss Lucy Honeychurch, who is chaperoned by her spinster cousin Miss Charlotte Bartlett, arrive at the Pensione Bertolini to find that instead of rooms with a view of the Arno, as promised, theirs face a drab courtyard. Another guest spontaneously offers to swap the rooms that he and his son have to remedy their distress. Thus ensues an unlikely acquaintance and a series of unforeseen, if not fateful, events that upend the lives of the eccentric cast of characters who vividly animate this enduring and delightful tale. Widely recognized as one of the finest novels of the twentieth century, A Room with a View is one of Forster’s most celebrated works.