The major novel of E.M. Forster’s early period, Howards End (1910), describes the encounter between the commercial Wilcox family and the intellectual Schlegels, representatives of the competing attitudes of the Edwardian upper classes towards modernity and social convention. The victims of their encounter, the impoverished Leonard and Jackie Bast, are both crushed under the wheel of the class system. The novel addresses the double standard for adultery, the vicious aspects of class privilege, and the limitations of the well-intentioned liberalism of the Schlegels. The novel’s famous motto, “only connect,” spoke to high liberal and humanist ideals, but in the plot of the novel only the well-connected survive.
- ↑ This page has been adapted from Pericles Lewis’s Cambridge Introduction to Modernism (Cambridge UP, 2007), p. 68.