A Room With A View

In which novel published in 1908 does a character named Lucy Honeychurch spend time in both Italy and England?

And the answer: A Room with a View.

Courtesy of Letterboxd

Written by English author E. M. Forster, A Room With A View is both a romance novel and a humorous critique of English society, at the beginning of the 20th century. It was adapted into a movie by the same name in 1985, starring Helena Bonham Carter. The narrative deals with internal and external conflict surrounding the main character, Lucy Honeychurch, in her struggle to accept her more liberal values against a society laden with archaic, Victorian ones. Without giving away too many spoilers, Lucy’s trip to Italy helps shed light on some long sought-after truths about her existence both as a woman and as a member of a society on the brink of change.

E. M. Forster was a prolific and influential author of the early 20th century whose works often surrounded similar themes of social and internal unrest. As a gay man in a society not yet open to the idea of marital change, he likely drew from his own harrowing experiences to create such poignant and swift critiques of class differences while remaining grounded in a humanist perspective. Howard's End as well as Passage to India are two other highly acclaimed novels by Forster, each dealing with similar social, economic and political tensions pervasive in the early 20th century. Forster was nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature no less than 13 times, yet he won none.

For a deeper read on the novel's film adaptation, check out this New York Times film review.

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