This is the cover of the first edition of E M Forster’s novel A Room with a View. It was Forster’s third novel after Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905) and The Longest Journey (1907), although he began writing it at least five years before it was first published. The novel is divided into two parts, set in Italy and Britain. It narrates the adventures of the protagonist, Lucy Honeychurch, first as a tourist in Florence and then in Windy Corner, her family home in England.
A Room with a View and the English tourist
A Room with a View is a romance that makes use of the convention of the marriage plot, but it is also a comedy parodying British tourism in Italy. Forster had spent one year travelling in Italy between 1901 and 1902, and the people and situations he observed during his visit greatly influenced the novel. Lucy’s visit to Northern Italy references the 18th-century Grand Tour, the trip across southern Europe, which was seen as a necessary way for young gentlemen to complete their education. In Forster’s novel, Lucy and her cousin travel to Florence to see the ‘real Italy’ but stay in a pension decorated in English style and managed by a ‘Signora’ with a cockney accent. “It might be London”, claims a disappointed Lucy on arrival.
- Full title:
- A Room with a View
- 1908, London
- Edward Arnold
- E M Forster
- Usage terms
© The Provost and Scholars of King's College, Cambridge and The Society of Authors as the E.M. Forster Estate. You may not use the material for commercial purposes. Please credit the copyright holder when reusing this work.
- Held by
- British Library
- Article by:
- Stephanie Forward
- Literature 1900–1950
E M Forster started planning A Room with a View in 1902, but it was several years and several drafts before he finished it. Stephanie Forward describes some of the difficulties relating to plot and style that Forster experienced in writing his novel about overcoming conventions in the pursuit of authentic connection.
- Article by:
- Kate Symondson
- Literature 1900–1950, Gender and sexuality, Exploring identity
A year after E M Forster's death, his novel about a relationship between two men, Maurice, was published. Kate Symondson explores how Forster's sexuality shaped his writing and the long period during which he didn't publish anything at all.