Howards End Introduction

by E. M. Forster

Howards End is considered by many to be E. M. Forster’s masterpiece. First published in 1910, this beguiling and completely captivating tale explores social conventions, codes of conduct, and relationships in turn-of-the-century Edwardian England. The story revolves around three families: the Wilcoxes, rich capitalists with a fortune made in the colonies; the half-German Schlegel siblings, whose cultural pursuits have much in common with the Bloomsbury Group—a loose collective of friends and relatives who were united by an abiding belief in the importance of the arts; and the Basts, an impoverished young couple from a lower-class background. A chance encounter, impetuous youth, love, and ambition play into the inheritance of Howards End, the Wilcox’s charming country home.