I don’t know how many times I have seen the movie “Howards End”. If it is on and I come across it in my cable wanderings, I will watch it. I don’t care if it is midway through or almost done or just beginning, my eye is drawn to the wonderful scenery and trappings of the day, to the story and its characters, the acting and the mood of it all. I want to live at Howards End.
I also want to finish the book, Howards End, by E. M. Forster. I have been wanting to read for ever-so-long and I finally opened its pages. Like most books about the turn-of-the-century, it is a slow read, rich in description and the dialogue of the day. A contrast to the fast-paced novels of this century’s turn. I need to do this every once and again. I need to pick up a book, a classic perhaps, and bite into it and hold on as I chew on the words and I embark on a really rich read.
Howards End is the name of the book and the movie, of course, but it is also the name of the country house, an inheritance of one of the main characters, Ruth Wilcox. Ruth dies suddenly and scribbles on a piece of paper that the house is to go to her friend, Margaret Schlegel. Her family burns the paper, ignores the request, and the rest is, of course, the rest of the story.
Howard’s End is, in many ways, a study of the class systems in England during the 1900′s; the upper and middle class tiers and the tenuous one at the end of the rung, hovering between lower and middle. It actually reminds me of our life today and the struggles so many are having holding on, but, this is a digression, a habit of mine I must break.
I’ll work on finishing the book this weekend and I will encourage you pick it up sometime to read. You must see the movie as well, especially if you enjoy the time period and lush scenery and houses. The picture below is from a really fun website I think I have mentioned before called hookedonhouses and there is a wonderful post with enticing photos of Howard’s End, its countryside and its rooms.
Now, I’ll warn you of the danger of visiting this site. You will want to and will click onto the link at the end for the Schlegel sisters’ London townhome and then you will want to see other movie and television houses available, which I encourage you to do. Just don’t blame me if you spend too much time there looking at your favorite movie house.