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Reader’s Den

July in the Reader's Den: "A Room with a View" Discussion Wrap-Up

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A view of Florence from the Arno, Digital ID 424939, New York Public LibraryThank you for joining us in the Reader's Den this month! I hope you have enjoyed reading A Room with a View. Have you given any thought to what Lucy and George's future might hold? What about Charlotte Bartlett and Cecil Vyse?

In 1958, E.M. Forster let readers know what he thought had happened to his characters in a short essay called "A View without a Room: Old Friends Fifty Years Later." You can view this at any NYPL location through the searchable New York Times database, or visit the Rare Book Division at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (after pre-registering and getting confirmation from a librarian.)

To briefly sum up Forster's post-script, Lucy and George settle down happily, with Mr. Emerson in their house, until World War I begins. George is a conscientious objector, as is Lucy. When World War II begins, however, George signs up and is off to war, which he rather enjoys, and during which he is not faithful to Lucy. He ends up in Florence as the war ends, and tries to find the Pensione Bertolini, but cannot.

Charlotte has left the Emersons whatever money she had. They would like to move in to the Summer Street house after Mrs. Honeychurch's death, but Freddy sells it to support his family. And Cecil is witnessed defending Beethoven against those who call his work "hun music." What do you think about Forster's ideas of what happens after the book ends? Would you do it differently, or would you prefer to keep it a mystery?

More books by E.M. Forster

Biographies of E.M. Forster

If you have any book recommendations for your fellow readers who liked (or didn't like) A Room with a View, please post them below in the comments section! Thank you for participating in the Reader's Den, and don't forget to come back in August for a discussion of Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear.

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I'd have to read the follow

I'd have to read the follow up to reach a specific judgment. I can understannd why readers might want to know more. Whenever I read or see dramatized fiction set in Europe shortly before the First World War, I can't help wondering what the future may have in store for the characters, especially whether young male characters would come through alive and not terribly injured. Downton Abbey, a Brirish miniseries shown recently PBS, started with news of the sinking of the Titanic and ended with the outbreak of World War I. I am looking forward to Part 2, which will take the characters through the war. Maisie Dobbs by good luck is the first mystery series that I've started in many years. So far I have read three. The series is set in the twenties and thirties, but the shadow of the Great War is very present.

I just finished episode 3 of

I just finished episode 3 of Downton Abbey last night! It's so good! :) A book I recently read and enjoyed, "The Children's Book" by A.S. Byatt, follows a group of English people from the 1890s through the end of WWI, with all the death and injury that the war brought.

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