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Howards End

Howards End

by E.M. Forster

Henry Wilcox Timeline and Summary

  • By coincidence, the Wilcoxes move in across the street from the Schlegels.
  • Mr. Wilcox and Evie arrive home early from Yorkshire, preventing Margaret and Mrs. Wilcox from going to Howards End.
  • Mr. Wilcox is distraught by the death of his wife. Upon receiving word of her last request (that Margaret get Howards End), he chooses to disregard it.
  • Two years later, Mr. Wilcox runs into Margaret and Helen on the Chelsea Embankment one night, and he advises them to advise their friend (Leonard) in turn to clear out of the Porphyrion Company.
  • Mr. Wilcox and Evie stop by Wickham Place when Leonard is there, and an awkward scene ensues. He clearly admires the way Margaret handles the situation.
  • Via Evie, Mr. Wilcox invites Margaret to lunch at Simpson's. He is clearly interested in her, and wants to make sure she's not crazy.
  • Mr. Wilcox writes to Margaret at Swanage to tell her that the Ducie Street house is to let.
  • When Margaret comes to check out the house, Mr. Wilcox proposes.
  • Mr. Wilcox goes to Swanage to see Margaret and her family, engagement ring in hand.
  • Mr. Wilcox and Margaret pay a visit to Howards End to check out the property.
  • At Evie's wedding, it emerges that Mr. Wilcox had an affair with Jacky ten years ago in Cyprus.
  • Ashamed, Mr. Wilcox releases Margaret from her engagement. They patch things up, and the engagement is back on.
  • The Wilcoxes are married soon thereafter. Mr. Wilcox refuses to live either at Howards End or Oniton, so they decide to move to Ducie Street while they wait for a new house in Sussex to be built.
  • Margaret and Tibby seek Mr. Wilcox's help with Helen – upon hearing that she may be mentally ill, he takes control of the situation. The trap is laid at Howards End.
  • Mr. Wilcox and Margaret go down to Howards End together to find Helen.
  • Margaret explains Helen's situation to Mr. Wilcox; he's sure that they must find her lover and force him to marry her. Margaret asks only one thing – that they be allowed to stay at Howards End that night. Mr. Wilcox, who doesn't understand why Helen wants this, flatly says no – it would be an insult to his wife's memory. This is really rich coming from him, of all people.
  • It seems like it's the end for Margaret and Henry.
  • After the fatal incident between Leonard and Charles, Charles tells his father what happened. Mr. Wilcox, fearing that things are worse than his son thinks, goes to the police station to figure it all out.
  • Mr. Wilcox tells Margaret that Charles will be accused of manslaughter. His heart is broken.
  • Margaret takes Henry back, and the couple retreats to Howards End.
  • At the end of the novel, Mr. Wilcox divvies up his fortune amongst his children and wife. The kids get all the money, but Margaret, and her nephew after her, get Howards End. It seems that Henry has changed a lot – he's slower, wiser, and seems a lot kinder after all of this heartache.

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