Literary Precedents for Howard's End

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Howards End fits nicely into the long list of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century English novels of social conscience. However, the piece cannot be easily compared. Certainly, Forster's close contemporaries, George Gissing and W.

Somerset Maugham—not to mention Charles Dickens, not a contemporary but perhaps one of the earliest and the most sensitive of all social consciences—expressed honest concerns for the plight of humanity, but all three tended to focus their "concerns" upon the sickness and poverty of the lowest social classes. With the possible exception of Leonard Bast, in whom one can find a few drops of nobility, Forster stays free of the slums.

One thinks momentarily of a comparison between Forster and H. G. Wells, since characters from both writers divide their time between the city and the country.

However, Wells has too pronounced a Socialist agenda for the Forster of 1910.

In...

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This section contains 239 words
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Howard's End from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.