Sunday, June 12, 2016

A Room with a View by E.M. Forster

  • THE BOOK
    • A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
    • Published in 1908
    • Other works by the author include A Passage to India, Howard's End, and Maurice

  • THE PREMISE
    • A young woman named Lucy Honeychurch is traveling in Florence, Italy while chaperoned by her older cousin Charlotte Bartlett. Lucy meets some unconventional fellow travelers, especially a young man named George.
    • The second half of the novels takes place in Lucy's home in Surrey, England. She is now engaged to another young man named Cecil.
    • Times are changing for women and some of the long-held Victorian restrictions are easing.
    • The title alludes to the beginning of the book when the ladies get a room WITHOUT a view in their Florence hotel. If you are writing an English paper then it might also refer to Lucy herself.

  • MY THOUGHTS
    • I watched the film version of this last month, a movie that came out in 1985.
      • Lucy is played by Helena Bonham Carter, Charlotte by Maggie Smith and Cecil by Daniel Day-Lewis. The cast also includes Simon Callow, Denholm Elliott, Julian Sands and Judi Dench.
      • It was a Merchant-Ivory production and very faithful to the book in its essentials.
    • The movie was so good that I wanted to read the book. I thought it might be a little stuffy and boring compared to the film but Lucy is a lively protagonist in both.
    • I think this is a rare case where the book and movie are equal in quality.
    • I still need to watch "Howards End", another Merchant-Ivory film based on an E.M. Forster novel. 
      • I always get this movie mixed up in my mind with "The Remains of the Day", a movie I have seen that stars Emma Thompson, Anthony Hopkins and Christopher Reeve.
        • It's actually based on the book by Kazuo Ishiguro who also wrote Never Let Me Go, another book with a good film adaptation.
        • "Howards End" stars Emma Thompson, Anthony Hopkins, Helena Bonham Carter. No wonder I get confused!
      • So I may read the novel Howards End too.
    • Both book and movie are recommended.

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