The Gull Reef Club

7/23/2007

Howard’s End

Filed under: — Jaime @ 12:15 am

I can only go so long with out giving into an indulgence of Edwardian fiction. Sating the craving this time around was E. M. Forster’s Howard’s End. This novel fit all the prerequisites for an Edwardian era book – predictable, stuffy, and exceedingly British. I wasn’t overwhelmed, but I’m usually not with these types of books. They’re mostly eye candy.

I was intrigued by the book’s theme of social and economic class differences. While most of the points were obvious, there were a few gems. One such gem is when two of the main characters, society women both, are at a luncheon with friends discussing how they would leave their fortunes if they were even richer than they already were. Most at the lunch were enchanted with the nouveau philosophy of Socialism, and suggested starting various charities or foundations dictating how their money would help society. The pragmatist main character, Meg, annoyed with the idea that people on the receiving-end of welfare should be told how to live, declares, “Why not give him the money itself?” Exchanges like these put Howard’s End in the upper ranks of Edwardian novels.

All and all it was pretty much what I expected and exactly what I wanted for a little summer fluff. Next up is a 3 books 1 combo I picked up from the library – all Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon, The Thin Man, and Red Harvest. Classic mystery novels, perfect summer vacation reading.

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The Gull Reef Club