Howards End is the setting of E.M. Forster's masterful novel from 1910. The story features Margaret Schlegel, who is engaged to a far older widower named Henry Wilcox. Only after their engagement does she learn that he's never experienced introspection or self-wisdom. Her conclusion for how to treat Henry has become one of the most famous literary quotes: “Only connect!”
The larger tale is of the Schlegels and the Wilcoxes, two families which allegorically represent the future soul of England. The former represent reason and the latter passion – a philosophical conflict which Forster illustrates masterfully. The Schlegels are intellectual, artistic, and impractical, while the Wilcoxes are materialistic and elitist. A Humanist, Forster uses the narrative to explore some major philosophical themes: the connection between individuals, and their inner and outer lives; class conflict; and the future of England. The Modern Library ranks Howards End 38 on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.