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Howards End

Howards End

by E.M. Forster

Margaret Schlegel Timeline and Summary

  • Margaret receives a series of letters from Helen, who's visiting the Wilcoxes at Howards End.
  • Alarmed by Helen's announcement that she's in love with Paul, Margaret lets Aunt Juley go to Hilton to sort things out. She finds out too late that it's all off. When Helen returns, they talk through the incident and put it behind them.
  • Margaret strikes up a conversation with Leonard Bast at a performance of Beethoven's Fifth, then brings him home to pick up his umbrella, which Helen has accidentally stolen.
  • The Wilcoxes move across the street, and Margaret befriends Mrs. Wilcox again, after an awkward start.
  • Margaret attempts to draw Mrs. Wilcox into her circle of friends, but it doesn't work; the older woman seems almost to be of a different breed.
  • Margaret and Mrs. Wilcox go Christmas shopping, and Mrs. W. invites her to Howards End for the evening. Margaret hesitates, says no, then at the last minute, dashes off to meet her friend at the train station.
  • At the train station, the trip is prevented by the early return of Mr. Wilcox and Evie. Margaret doesn't get to see Howards End after all.
  • Mrs. Wilcox dies, and Margaret attends her funeral at Hilton (though she doesn't see the house).
  • Two years later, Margaret is occupied with trying to find a new house, since their lease on Wickham Place is up. Her brother and sister are no help at all.
  • Schlegel life is interrupted by Jacky, then Leonard. Margaret and Helen both take an interest in this young man with his big ideas.
  • Margaret argues with her liberal friends and Helen about how important money is – she thinks that wealth is the first step in making a cultured, independent individual.
  • Margaret and Helen run into Mr. Wilcox on the Embankment. He indicates that they should warn Leonard off of his current employer, the Porphyrion, and the sisters decide to do so. In the meantime, Margaret enquires about Howards End – she's still interested in the fate of the house.
  • Margaret and Helen try to confront Leonard, with disastrous results. While he's visiting, Evie and Mr. Wilcox stop by and Leonard leaves in a fluster after Margaret comes out and tells him they're just trying to help.
  • Evie (but really Mr. Wilcox) invites Margaret to a fancy, super-traditional lunch. She and Mr. Wilcox hit it off.
  • The Schlegels go visit Aunt Juley, but as soon as they get there, Mr. Wilcox sends a letter offering them the lease on his house in London. Margaret goes back to town to take a look.
  • Long story short, Mr. Wilcox proposes, and Margaret says she'll respond the next day by post.
  • Margaret goes back to Aunt Juley's place, where she breaks the news to her family. Helen freaks out, but Margaret has her mind made up. She answers in the affirmative.
  • Mr. Wilcox comes to see the Schlegels, and he and Margaret try to figure out their financial arrangements. Mr. Wilcox lets slip that the Porphyrion is just fine, which makes Helen and Margaret worry about Leonard. To prevent further argument, Margaret and Henry go to Howards End for the day to see Charles, Dolly, and the house.
  • Margaret finally visits Howards End. Miss Avery mistakes her for Mrs. Wilcox for an eerie moment.
  • Margaret goes to Oniton with her fiancé's family for Evie's wedding. The wedding is a success – until Helen shows up, Basts in tow.
  • Margaret and Helen have a fight about how unreasonable Helen has been. Margaret attempts to clean up the mess her sister has caused, and inadvertently discovers that Henry had an affair with Jacky years ago. He calls off their engagement, feeling guilty and betrayed.
  • Margaret sends away Leonard and Jacky, and tells Helen to stay (she doesn't). She decides to forgive Henry and marry him anyway. The couple is reconciled.
  • Margaret and Henry are married, but Helen doesn't come. Margaret feels unsettled about how they don't have a consistent home – she'd thought they'd settle down somewhere right away.
  • Miss Avery starts setting out the Schlegel's furniture at Howards End, and Margaret goes down to sort the whole mess out.
  • Aunt Juley is unwell, and Margaret writes to Helen to tell her to come home. Helen refuses, unless it's an emergency. She comes to London, but won't see her siblings. Margaret, convinced by Henry, Charles, and Tibby, tricks Helen into coming to Howards End to pick up some of her things, and they plan to trap her there.
  • Margaret ambushes Helen and discovers that she's pregnant. At Helen's request, she asks Henry if they can stay at Howards End for the evening, but he says no – this is a moment of crisis for the couple.
  • Margaret and Helen stay at Howards End anyway. Margaret decides to leave Henry and go away to Germany with her sister the next day.
  • Leonard shows up and is accidentally killed by Charles; in the aftermath, Margaret decides to stay with Henry. They move to Howards End.
  • Fourteen months later, Margaret, Henry, Helen, and Helen's baby have a new family unit. Finally, everyone Margaret loves has come together. It's decided that Howard End is her house, and she will pass it on to her nephew.

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