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A Room with a View (Dover Thrift Editions) Unabridged Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 257 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0486284675
ISBN-10: 0486284670
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Edward Morgan Forster (E. M. Forster) was an English novelist, short-story writer and essayist. Born in 1879, Forster is known for his examination of how class difference and hypocrisy in British society during the beginning of the twentieth century influenced personal connections. These themes are best represented in his novels A Room with a View, A Passage to India, and Howard s End. Forster died of a stroke in 1970 at the age of 91.

From the Back Cover

A Room With a View portrays the love of a British woman for an expatriate living in Italy, a country which to Forster represents the forces of true passion. Caught up in a world of social snobbery, Forster's heroine, Lucy Honeychurch, finds herself constrained by the claustrophobic influence of her British guardians, who encourage her to take up with a well-connected boor. When she regrets that her hotel room has no view, a member of the lower class offers to trade rooms with her. Lucy becomes caught in a struggle between her own emotions and social conventions. In the end, however, Lucy takes control of her own fate and finds love with a man whose free spirit reminds her of a "room with a view".

There are some writers whose work is especially suitable for out-loud reading and E.M. Forster is one. His voices enter the ear with such a delicate balance of force and refinement that listeners are immediately enchanted. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Unabridged edition (April 12, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486284670
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486284675
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (257 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book itself gets 5 stars from me.

This Kindle edition is atrocious - it is missing entire passages. I think it is only sections involving quotes from another work; I stopped reading because I didn't want to spoil the pleasure in re-reading this wonderful book.

Same problem with the Kindle edition of Howards' End, btw. In that case, actual narrative seemed to be missing.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
A ROOM WITH A VIEW depicts a young Englishwoman's adventure trying to come to grips with the conflict between her desires and society's expectations. Lucy Honeychurch is a well-bred young middle class girl on holiday in radiant Florence. She comes from a family overconcerned with respectability and is therefore overprotected by a dessicated spinster named Charlotte Bartlett. One wonders if Forster had in mind a more famous Charlotte B. when he drew Lucy's protector, a woman "much discomfited by [any] unpleasant scene[s]." Forster playfully tosses barbs at this don't-let-the-servants-hear-you world the English try to maintain on foreign soil. Less playful with sanctimonious Puritans or hypocritical clergymen, Forster lets them foil themselves.
Under no circumstances will Miss Bartlett allow Lucy to pursue (or even examine) her affection for the handsome young George Emerson--his father is far too unconventional with his modern notions about honesty and freethinking. Duty must reign . . . mustn't it? Ah, that wild transitional phase between the late-Victorians and the early-Moderns!
Forster writes gently and calmly, but with a passion for life and love welling up beneath the surface. A ROOM WITH A VIEW is a lovely book, vital with the force of a sensitive and empathetic mind. There's even more to this book than it seems--highly recommended!
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Format: Hardcover
Concerning Lucy's passionate playing of Beethoven upon the piano, the Rev. Mr. Beebe once said, "If Miss Honeychurch ever takes to live as she plays, it will be very exciting--both for us and for her." At the time of the remark, Lucy is a very conventional young woman, with perhaps occasional rebellious thoughts. The Emersons, father and son, are somehow not quite acceptable in her social circle, and though George is so bold as to kiss her impulsively, she is determined to forget him. Instead she finally gives in to the repeated proposals of Cecil Vyse, a thoroughly fashionable young gentleman, if not very exciting. So the stage is set for this splendid satire on the English social strata of the early part of the 20th century, a time when the formal structure of the Victorian era was beginning to fray at the edges. Vyse is a delightfully drawn male chauvinist prig; nobody likes him, but everyone is willing to accept him, and Lucy convinces herself that she is in love with him. However, Vyse's own penchant for getting his way by playing rather cruel practical jokes brings the Emersons back into the picture. Confronted by the contrast between the not quite classy but intelligent, thoughtful (and bold) George Emerson and the arrogant, boorish, but elite Cecil Vyse, Lucy finally decides to live as she plays Beethoven, with exciting results. This early work of Forster's is a pure delight, with a light and well-controlled tone throughout. Although there would be a danger of stereotyping to illustrate the different social classes, Forster skillfully makes the characters well rounded and unpredictable, as in the scene when Lucy breaks her engagement to Vyse, expecting his feelings of masculine superiority to precipitate an argument, but instead being somewhat dismayed when he behaves as a perfect gentleman. Although HOWARDS END is usually rated above A ROOM WITH A VIEW, I prefer this slighter, but consummately well-done, novel.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This charming little novel which has recently celebrated its centennary can be easily put down as a period piece. E M Forster foresaw it already in his note which he added to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first edition. Yet a prospective reader would be most wrong to disregard it. There is a lesson here which still needs to be learned by many.
The title gives away some of the content - the main heroine, Lucy Honeychurch, needs to get away from the stuffy atmosphere of late Victorian England in which she was brought up - the symbol of which is for EMF the room. Her escape takes place in stages - the first of them is her trip to Italy where she finds landscapes and people most different from those she was accustomed to. It is also there that she meets the man she falls in love with, George Emerson. Yet these changes come too quickly for her. Lucy yields to the demands of her chaperone and escapes back to England, finding on the way a more appropriate suitor, Cecil Vyse.
When the three young people meet again in England, a fight for Lucy's soul begins anew. Lucy has to decide whether she prefers Cecil who will keep her under his protection in his house as a work of art for others to admire, or George with whom she will have to face the challenges of the world but be free.
What is the lesson for us today in a world where there are neither chaperones nor stage-coaches? We also must make similar decisions - choose freedom which always comes at a cost or safety for which we must pay with our soul. We choose between being true to ourselves or satisfying the demands of others. Lucy's adventures may serve as a perfect food for thought for those facing seemingly dissimilar but actually very similar decisions. It is the more valuable as Forster does not show easy decisions or easy solutions. The happy ending never comes free and yet still it is worth striving for.
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