It was a couple of years ago I noted E M Forster quotes turning-up with increasing regularity in my blog postings on knowledge and consciousness, and I mentally added Forster to my reading list. Last night the BBC TV started broadcasting a new serial dramatisation of Howard’s End. When one newspaper review compared it to Downton (!) it drew angry responses from Andrew Copson and Peter Cave.
“had the Queen been a boy, I’d have kissed her” EM is reported to have said at receiving the OM. All in Peter Cave’s book: Humanism – dare I mention?
— peter cave (@flossopher) November 12, 2017
A constant risk with reception of Forster – all his novels and essays radical liberal and humanist works but for decades now the Edwardian aura has enabled this misrepresentation. https://t.co/bxKW9Nh2kt
— Andrew Copson (@andrewcopson) November 12, 2017
New BBC version of #HowardsEnd dubbed by Daily Mail as “the next Downton Abbey”. Don’t let reactionaries misrepresent Forster’s work: his novel is a critique of class hypocrisy, social inequality, snobbishness, and—in particular—isolationism and xenophobia.
— Benjamin Ramm (@BenjaminRamm) November 12, 2017
Yes, the whole Upstairs-Downstairs / Downton genre risks misrepresenting intelligent social commentary – even a la Jane Austen, but in our case watching Ep1 of Howard’s End last night we were more recalling Ishiguro’s “Remains of the Day”. Must correct the Forster omission in my actual physical reading list. Recommendations anyone?