Show Notes

Episode 216: E. M. Forster’s “Howards End” On Screen

Today on The Literary Life Podcast, Angelina Stanford and Thomas Banks are joined by Atlee Northmore to explore the various screen adaptations based on Howards End by E. M. Forster. They begin the discussion with the question of what is the good of translating one art form, in this case a book, into another art form, such as a screen play. They talk about the beauty of the Merchant Ivory film adaptation, while critiquing the casting and chemistry of the cast, sharing their favorite and least favorite scenes. In contrast, they praise the BBC-Starz series for its excellent adaptation, although it missed some important things that the 1992 film did include. Atlee also highlights some of the ways in which the screen adaptations serve as subtle visual cues for ideas from the story. In the end, Angelina, Thomas, and Atlee share thoughts on enjoying a film as a stand-alone work of art versus judging it as an adaptation of a novel.

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We hope you will join us for the sixth annual Literary Life Online Conference, “Dispelling the Myth of Modernity: A Recovery of the Medieval Imagination.” You can visit the HHL Facebook page or Instagram to find the post to share and enter our giveaway for a $20 discount code! During the live or later series of webinars, we will seek to dis-spell the Myth of Modernity and gain eyes to see and ears to hear Reality as it truly is. Speakers include Jason Baxter, Jenn Rogers, and Kelly Cumbee, in addition to Angelina and Thomas.

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Commonplace Quotes:

Every poet, in his kind, is bit by him that comes behind.

Jonathan Swift, from “Critics”

Narrative prose, especially the novel, has taken, in modern societies, the place occupied by the recitation of myths and fairy tales in traditional and popular societies. Furthermore, the ‘mythic’ structure of certain modern novels can be discerned, demonstrating the literary survival of major mythological themes and characters.

Mircea Eliade

Now, doesn’t it seem absurd to you? What is the good of the ear if it tells you the same as the eye? Helen’s one aim is to translate tunes into the language of painting and pictures into the language of music. It’s very ingenious, and she says several pretty things in the process, but what’s gained, I’d like to know?

E. M. Forster, from Howards End


By John Masefield

Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Emeralds, amythysts,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rails, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.

Book and Link List:

From Pharos from Pharillon by E. M. Forster

Howards End (1992)

Howards End (BBC-Starz)

Howards End Episode 1

The Remains of the Day

The English Patient

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