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When a young English widow takes off on the grand tour and along the way marries a penniless Italian, her in-laws are not amused. That the marriage should fail and poor Lilia die tragically are only to be expected. But that Lilia should have had a baby -- and that the baby should be raised as an Italian! -- are matters requiring immediate correction by Philip Herriton, hisWhen a young English widow takes off on the grand tour and along the way marries a penniless Italian, her in-laws are not amused. That the marriage should fail and poor Lilia die tragically are only to be expected. But that Lilia should have had a baby -- and that the baby should be raised as an Italian! -- are matters requiring immediate correction by Philip Herriton, his dour sister Harriet, and their well-meaning friend Miss Abbott....

Title : Where Angels Fear to Tread
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781419193774
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 148 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Where Angels Fear to Tread Reviews

  • Jean
    2019-05-31 00:59

    Written in 1905, this was Forster's first novel. It is a comedy of manners, and does show signs of his great talent. Out of his four best-known novels though, this seems by far the weakest. I personally think it would have worked better as a novella or even a short story; later he did write very good short story collections.The balance of this short novel feels wrong. The early descriptions of upper-class characters enmeshed in their own culture are really rather dull, and would have benefited from a lighter touch and more wit. One character in particular, Mrs. Herriton, is a very dislikeable matriarch figure, outraged by anything she feels is not correct, and manipulating all around her. Surely there is ample scope here for a more evident sense of the ridiculous? The lengthy descriptions are tedious, and needed judicious editing. Additionally the first scenes at the station introduce nearly all the characters at once, which is confusing. The plethora of overbearing and unsympathetic female characters, plus rather passive male ones, can probably be attributed to the fact that Forster's early childhood was mostly spent in the company of women. He clearly tried to write about what he had observed. He set most of the action in Italy, where he had spent a year travelling. The fictitious town of "Monteriano" is apparently very similar to Monterrigioni, in Tuscany. But Forster has been criticised for portraying the Italians in a stereotypical way.After many pages of build-up, the reader feels that inevitably something traumatic has to happen, and is not disappointed. Even then though, the important events in the story happen off-stage. The impression gained is that Forster was more concerned to contrast the social mores than to tell the story itself. This reminded me strongly of D.H. Lawrence; in fact much of this novel has the feel of Lawrence's writing. By halfway the novel is much improved, and another very satisfying twist comes at the end. It is worth sticking with, I feel, as it does redeem itself.

  • StevenGodin
    2019-06-09 21:00

    Some, but not all writers, can suffer with teething troubles on that first novel, E. M. Forster's 1905 'Where Angels Fear to Tread' is a prime example. It's a valiant effort for a writer in his early days before what would follow, and I can't help but compare this to the delightful novel he wrote only three years later, 'A Room with a View', which pleasantly surprised me as to just how good it was. This, just wasn't in the same league. Our Mr. Forster pretty much corners the literary market on English tourists being overwhelmed by the dream of another country, and what happens when that dream clashes against reality. Here, that clash ain't pretty. What it is, however, is sharp-witted, emotional, and sometimes uncomfortable, about what it means to be a tourist, and what it means to put stock in the dream of another place.Bon voyage Lilia!, a young unsophisticated widow, is being dropped off at the train station by her in-laws - the domineering Mommy Dearest Mrs. Herriton and her children, Philip and Harriet. They are sending her on a trip to serene Italy with the young but trustworthy Caroline Abbott, to escape the droll life in Sawston, England, and prevent her from making a bad love match up. Yep, we're back in those days of frilly hats, turned up moustaches and fine porcelain skin with not a blemish in sight. Hello, Edwardian-era repression. You do look awfully uncomfortable in that corset my dear.In Monteriano, Lilia marries the handsome but selfish Italian, Gino Carella but soon finds herself in an unhappy marriage with little personal freedom, and the cultural struggle between England and Italy becomes more heated. The set-up swiftly changes when Lilia's newborn comes into the picture, and the novel turns into what one could describe as an old fashioned custody battle. Philip and his sister Harriet set off to Italy to try and save the child from a poor upbringing. And the pleasant nature than went prior is gone, turning the novel into a more weighty affair. The characters have more gusto, and appear pained with panic, one in particular is forced into drastic measures that will effect the outcome. It doesn't help when Caroline confesses her love for Gino, but there is no walking off into the sunset hand in hand, Forster's horizon is filled with a storm rather than blue skies.E.M. Forster is a terrific immersive writer, and it doesn't take much to be drawn into his stories. This short novel does contain some gorgeous prose, and it's quick to fall in with his social / political commentary, and the well-rounded dynamic characters are easy to love or hate. Just don't get down on yourself if you end up buying a one-way ticket to Tuscany, canceling the ticket, buying the ticket again, and then canceling it again. After all, you're only human. And there's no one that understands fickle, flawed humanity like E.M. Forster. So why not a better rating? - simple, I felt this was more of a writing exercise, where he was wearing trainers and not shiny shoes, the whole novel seemed it was written by a man still trying to figure himself out as a writer. Even the best have to start somewhere, right?. The ending also felt limp, casting a shadow over what when before. The idea's were there for sure, and he would only improve, writing eventually in nice polished shoes. Worth reading, but lacking certain ingredients that would eventually turn him into one of Britain's finest. By the time my morning coffee and croissant comes around, this isn't likely to be lingering in my mind. Whereas 'A Room with View', which was read some time ago, still floats about occasionally.

  • Duane
    2019-06-11 22:00

    I'm always amused at the distain the haughty English aristocrat feels toward the average Italian and their incomprehensible ways and their attitude toward life. I've noticed it in several works of English literature and, not being English myself, I don't know if it really exists. I hope it is true, I won't have to change my perception of the 19th and early 20th century English. I like them that way, their style, their arrogance, if that's the right word, their belief that their way is the right way and everything else be dammed. That's the case in this novel when an upper class English family sees their widowed daughter-in-law fall for and marry an Italian of unacceptable status. Things turn tragic and complicated when she dies in childbirth. The English family does not want this child, their blood relative, to be raised Italian, and so the struggle begins. This is Forster's first novel but the genius is there, you can feel it in the reading, and it remains one of my favorites of his work.

  • Paul Bryant
    2019-05-18 03:48

    I only realized half way through that E M Forster was 26 when he wrote this which is his first. If I’d known that I wouldn’t have read it, I have a violent prejudice against novelists under 30. It’s too early to start. In other art forms it’s essential to be under 30 – the Beatles were in their mid-20s when they did Sgt Pepper, Brian Wilson was 23 and 24 when he created Pet Sounds and Smile, Picasso was churning out brilliant realist works in his mid-teens, and not to mention Mozart’s unpleasant precocity, sitting up in his pram and scribbling oratorios onto every available surface; but the art of the novel lays bare the author’s mind too eloquently, it’s far more intimate and therefore cruelly revealing than music or painting, your under 30 crassness and callowness will be exposed, you’re caught in the fierce headlights forever. Perhaps I am harsh – let us see what Forster himself said about this novel. The story takes place mostly in a small town in Italy called San Gimignano (retitled Monteriano here) which is a medieval version of Manhattan, very remarkable. I went there once. It looks like this.An English widow falls in love with a local guy called Gino who probably looked like thisForster said later :The tourist may be intelligent, warm-hearted and alert, and I think I was that much, but he has to go back every evening to his hotel and he can know very little of the class structure of the country he is visiting. My limitations were very grave. Fortunately I was unaware of them, and plunged ahead….What’s so remarkable here is my own temerity. For I placed Gino firmly in his society although I knew nothing about it. I guessed at his relatives, his daily life, his habits, his house, and his sketchy conception of housekeeping…Young novelists have to make up a lot of stuff, for sure. That said, Where Angels Fear to Tread (the lurid title was foisted on Foister by the publishers) is pretty good. Forster has a patented style – you think you’re reading light frothy social satire but he keeps upsetting his own applecart with acidulous barbs and then the whole thing suddenly swerves into stark horror and goes all to hell. It’s a very good style. This book literally fell apart while I was reading it (1985 paperback, spinal glue dried to powder) and it would be far too glib to say as did the story itself so I won’t! What you have here is a strange case history. The MacGuffin in the story is a baby, and I’m not sure you should turn a baby into a MacGuffin. But it does put under the spotlight the strange ideas humans – especially upper-class English Edwardian humans – had about children. The sheer unsentimentality – as soon as they’re born, turn them over to a nanny. When they reach school age, off they go to a boarding school. You hardly ever had to bother with your children if you were rich enough. It spared you of all those tiresome aspects of child-rearing and gave you time for cruising down the Grand Canal and attending fabulous balls and eating ptarmigans' brains.What Forster seems to want to delineate (according to him) is the spiritual awakening of his protagonist Philip. As in so many novels, I think what he thought he was doing and what he was actually doing were two different things. This is a surprisingly bitter tirade about ugly English upper class morality. A really good start.

  • Chrissie
    2019-05-21 21:03

    This is my favorite by E.M. Forster. I gave A Room with a View three stars and A Passage to India four, but this is even better than that! A love story that I love, and it is extremely short! I don't usually enjoy short novels. It is a classic worth being called a classic. Forster captures different sorts of people and their respective ways of being. We have Harriet who is logical and straight thinking and Miss Caroline Abbott who wavers but recognizes the value of passion… well as its dangers. There is Gino Carella, an Italian that will throw you off your feet and charm you so you only see the stars sparkling in the heaven. There is Philip - British, class oriented but drawn to the charms of Italy too. Forster's characters are tempted and pulled and swayed and at the same time true to themselves. I had to marvel how Forster pulled this off in so few pages! One reads this for character portrayal and to find out how the love knots will be resolved. Who will end up with whom? Where and how? England or Tuscany, Italy. The time setting is the end of the 19th Century. Forster captures different cultural tendencies beautifully, accurately, with a light touch and with humor. First he made me laugh at British, end of the 19th Century social mores peppered with clever observations. Then the characters caught me up and pulled me in. Finally Forster impressed me with his perception of human character. Relationships are not drawn in neat and simple lines, but in knots and tangles… in, I think, real life! It is this tangled mess and how the book concludes that I particularly like. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Edward Petherbridge. The beginning was almost impossible to decipher. If not stubborn you may just throw in the the towel. I'll say politely that he didn't destroy what IS a marvelous classic! The narration I have given two stars; it’s OK and not impossible to follow. I managed. I didn't give up, but it could have been LOTS better! I only want accents, exclamations and varied intonations if the author’s words remain clear. Just my personal point of view though, which may of course differ from others’.I really enjoyed this book. It is close to amazing in its perceptiveness, in its ability to catch a snap-shot of how people do sometimes behave and in its humor.

  • Scott
    2019-05-23 01:37

    "Fools rush in ..."I guess I'm a fool. I thought E. M. Forster was easy to read, almost too easy sometimes. Delighted with his nearly faultless prose, I read his thin first novel, Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905), all in one afternoon. Forster tells the story of a young English widow who is seduced by her romantic vision of Italy and Italians and yearns to escape her controlling and snobbish in-laws in England. Her hasty marriage to a member of "Italian nobility" sets her English relations aflutter, leading to all sorts of sadness, disappointment, and eventual tragedy. Line by line, the novel is very well written and a pleasure to read, but the tale's superficial chauvinism, scant humor, and rough ending left me with a nasty case of indigestion. I couldn't believe a book by one of my favorite authors really could be as nauseating as a quick first read made it out to be. So, after dinner, I started slowly reading the book again. Not surprisingly, with a careful second reading, I found the book to be much more palatable – still prickly in parts – but more palatable.In the afternoon, all of Forster's obvious foreshadowing was lost on me, and I missed much of his dry, understated wit and self-deprecating irony. The characters seemed sketchy and melodramatic, and the plot seemed to ramble. But with a second reading, I found that I really liked Philip, whose disillusionment with false romance and gradual understanding of love and real humanity are at the heart of the story. Gino, Lilia, and Miss Abbot were each much more deftly drawn than I at first realized (even Mrs. Herriton and Harriet aren't so bad once you get used to them). The humor popped out when I took the time to clearly imagine the scenes I was reading. And what I had mistaken for a loosely organized, muddled first novel, was really very carefully balanced and symmetrical.So, what did I learn from this book? When it comes to E. M. Forster (and I suspect many other authors, too), it really pays to re-read and to read slowly. Maybe requiring this much attention from the reader is the flaw of a first novel or an overly self-conscious novel. I've never before felt compelled to immediately re-read any of Forster's other books. But it was a rewarding undertaking, and I suppose that from now on, once I finish a book, I'll re-read the first chapters, which typically are teeming with important and telling details, before I pass judgment on a book.

  • Juliana
    2019-05-29 02:52

    My absolute favorite of the E.M. Forster novels I read. This one blew me away. When I turned the last page, I felt like I'd been catapulted out of the novel's world to find myself surprisingly in my own house with my own children around me. It absolutely sucked me in and had me crying and caring and wondering what would happen to each of the characters.One of my favorite novels of all time.

  • booklady
    2019-06-12 20:50

    Forester’s do-or-die question is: ‘Wilt thou love?’ Having read four of his novels—all very different in their plot—the underlying theme seems consistent in all. Is this a drawback or monotonous? Not to me as it happens to be something I often wonder myself, although my pondering tends to run along the why and how lines: ‘Why and/or how can some people so repeatedly and insistently refuse to love?’ Or maybe, continue to think that ‘being good’ is the same thing when it is not.I needed to let a little time pass before writing this review on Where Angels Fear to Tread* — to allow my own emotions to cool. Because although the novel begins conventionally enough, for me at least, it ends on a piercingly poignant note, hauntingly so. Romance being one of my least favorite genres and the word ‘sweet’ one which usually makes me cringe, both—in their best sense—seem appropriate here. Forster further delights with his dry humor, vivid characterizations, and near-perfect depictions of English period manners and conversations. I can’t speak for the authenticity of the Italian element, except to say I enjoyed that as well. This was Forster’s first novel and many here on GRs critique it pretty severely. While they are trying to write something which is half as good I will probably check out another by him. Sadly, there are only a few left I haven’t read. Of course there’s always rereading! That’s amore!*In doing some research I discovered there is an old (1990s) movie of this book—which I now very much want to see. April 30, 2017: Listening to this as I exercise... I love Forster, so it should provide ample motivation to keep me coming back to work out. Hey booklady, if you want to find out what happened you must work for it!

  • Trish
    2019-05-17 21:59

    "The advance of regret can be so gradual that it is impossible to say "yesterday I was happy, today I am not."This is another fast-paced, funny, tragic, and dramatic little novel by E.M. Forster. Being his first novel, it isn't as refined or mature as A Room with a View but Where Angels Fear to Tread stands its ground as a classic with its riveting plot, complex characters, and simple message. This book is anything but predictable and I highly recommend it as a vacation or weekend read.

  • BAM The Bibliomaniac
    2019-05-29 04:57

    Catching up with the classics # 21Oh my word! How tragic is this book! It’s by far the best Forster I’ve read.

  • Sue Bridehead (A Pseudonym)
    2019-05-23 22:49

    My first Forster and a quick, easy, fun read. Oh, those silly English; so pompous and Protestant and detached. Oh, those wacky, ignorant Italians with their papist leanings, their saints and their layabout cafe culture. This is a silly culture clash novel with a male character who does not change (but thinks he does) and a female character who is deep and unknowable and full of well earned condescension toward men. In an odd way it reminds me of Revolutionary Road; or maybe just real life. I enjoyed this in part because I make a sport of cataloguing film and literature condescension directed at Catholic and Mediterranean cultures. The warm, Catholic countries always seem to be the places where uptight Americans and northern Europeans go to dance, watch street festivals, overeat without utensils and have saucy sex. After a while you start to wonder if anyone has ever reversed this migration and headed north in search of repression, hymns and oyster forks.The baby storyline here is ridiculous, but I assume that was the point.

  • Eve
    2019-06-12 22:44

    I thoroughly enjoyed it! Forster has an amazing gift for writing about raw emotions. I had to reread certain portions again and again, because I found myself thinking, "I know EXACTLY what he means!" Witty, dark, hopeful, romantic. This book had so many different facets to it. I am curious to read more about Forster's Italy in A Room with a View.Again and again, we're shown the transformation that individuals undergo in "her" immense beauty.

  • Cecily
    2019-06-16 02:57

    Upper middle class family go to "rescue" the offspring of their son's widow (fathered by her new Italian husband; she died in childbirth). Evocative Italian setting and surprisingly "modern" idioms and turns of phrase ("Dinner was a nightmare.") and attitudes of some of the characters. Unexpected ending.

  • ✨jamieson ✨
    2019-06-11 00:53

    listen I like classics a lot... but this was a boring classic. I mean it has aesthetic appeal but fgjfs nothing happened this whole book is literally a custody battleAs per usual, I save my full review until after I've gone to the tutorial for this book and heard the smart postgrads opinions, because then I can steal and claim them for my review obviously. rtc

  • رغد قاسم
    2019-05-26 20:36

    أنتظرت ما يقارب العشر سنوات، أكثر أو أقل بسنة حتى المح هذا العنوان مجدداً بين الكتب "مكان تخشاه الملائكة" كنتً مررت بالعنوان بصورة خاطفة وأنا لا أزال طالبة في المدرسة، ولكنه بقي في ذهني ولطالما تمنيت أي فرصة للالتقاء بالعنوان مجدداً حتى حصل ذلك أخيراً.سعيدة أنها رواية تستحق الانتظار ليس للرواية بحد ذاتها لكن للترجمة العظيمة، أتمنى أن أعرف أي شيء عن آمنة عبد الوهاب صاحبة هذهِ الترجمة الفذة.منذ آخر رواية ترجمها بسام حجار لم أستمتع بهذا القدر في الالفاظ الدقيقة والرصينة بلا تكلف المستخدمة بالترجمة، رغمَ أن الاسلوب لا يشبه أسلوب بسام حجار.إلا أنّ تركيب الجمل تركيب لذيذ كوجبة طعام فاخرة لا تتوفر لكَ كل يوم، وأنتَ الجائع لمثل هذا الجمال اللفظي الآخاذ.الرواية رواية ممتازة ولاشك، الاحداث، الشخصيات، الفهم العميق للنفس البشرية ودواخلها والاعتراف بجهلنا بها مع هذا فهي لا تنفك عن أصابتنا بالدهشة.وبعد هذا المديح أعود وأمدح المترجمة وأشعر بالآسى لعدم وجود اي معلومة عنها، لكنني سأبحث عنها وقد التقيها وأشكرها بنفسي على هذهِ المتعة.آمنة عبد الوهاب بدون أن أعرفكِ أنا أحبكِ ..ممتنة لكل هذا الجمال.

  • Helga
    2019-05-30 21:03

    "For fools rush in where angels fear to tread" Alexander PopeE.M. Forster wrote this, his first novel, when he was 26 years old. It starts lightly, with a comic vein, but ends in tragedy. It was an engaging read.

  • Rebecca Foster
    2019-06-01 22:45

    Forster’s first novel was published when he was just 26. In many ways it feels like a dress rehearsal for the themes and settings of A Room with a View, but with an awful histrionic ending that reads like a poor man’s version of Thomas Hardy. So, probably a 2.5 for me, but bumped up because it was very atmospheric reading on a trip to Tuscany last month. (See my Italian reading list on BookTrib.)Here’s the story: Lilia Herriton, an English widow in her early thirties, sets out for a year in Italy, against all the warnings of her fussy in-laws. She settles in Monteriano, a thinly-veiled fictional version of San Gimignano (a gorgeous medieval village), and soon falls in love with Gino Carella, who is not the son of a nobleman as her telegram home implies, but (gasp!) the son of a dentist. Lilia’s brother-in-law, Philip, sets off for Italy, a country he fell in love with as a young man, to see if he can salvage a disastrous situation.Although Forster’s familiar themes are here – the clash of two worlds, class snobbery, and the apparent danger of letting passion disrupt ordinary life – the novel does rather melt into melodrama. Still, if only for Philip’s paean to Italy, it seemed well worth reading: “don’t, let me beg you, go with that awful tourist idea that Italy’s only a museum of antiquities and art...I do believe that Italy really purifies and ennobles all who visit her.”

  • Cori
    2019-06-05 02:58

    Although this book is fairly highly acclaimed, I didn’t come anywhere close to loving it, especially like I loved A Room with a View. It was Forster’s first published novel, and I think it shows. The writing and the plot were just not as strong as they are in his other books I’ve read. It was sort of a tragi-comedy, with funny parts and some seriously tragic parts. It all felt a little uneven and not cohesive. I didn’t get swept up in the characters — I kept thinking that they were all selfish, even the least-selfish of the bunch, Ms. Abbott. The point he was trying to make however — to highlight the differences between the staid English and the carefree Italians — was done very well. Phillip puts it the best: ”Do you want the child to stop with his father, who loves him and will bring him up badly, or do you want him to come to Sawston, where no one loves him, but where he will be brought up well?” I really understood Ms. Abbott’s horror of bringing a child into a society with no passion and no love. The tragic ending is inevitable, but Forster seems to lose his grip on the story a little. It ends with a sort of … oh, that sucks sort of feeling.Read my full review here:

  • notgettingenough
    2019-06-05 00:40

    I went to see the film with somebody who is seriously Anglo-Saxon. So when we came out, we fell on each other. He was appalled at the way Italians respond to grief. I was appalled at the way the Anglo-Saxons do.Not that I am a whole-hearted supporter of that Italian way of being emotional. Part of the reason I took up knitting was to learn to control my Italian 'fly off the handle and get it over and done with'. That isn't necessarily the wrong way to deal with things, but it certainly isn't always the best either.Yeah, well. I've just gotten my Italian citizenship and passport. With that and my Australian citizenship/passport, I hope to have the best of all worlds. Slow to anger and quick to forgive. That'd be perfect.

  • Leni Iversen
    2019-05-21 23:48

    3.5 stars.A tragic yet entertaining story about not very sympathetic people, some of whom you end up liking anyway because of their sheer humanity and the humour and pathos with which they are portrayed. Though there is unfortunately some stereotyping, particularly national stereotyping.Oddly, the character who at first appears to be the main character, isn't who the book is about at all, and the entire story is all there to show the personality change and growth in another character. There is no hint of this in the first half of the book, which makes the reader sort of scramble to readjust expectations.I read this book directly after reading A Room with a View, and I know from the preface that Forster alternated between writing the one and the other. I think this shows, not just in that they are both largely set in Italy, but in the characters themselves. Phillip is a more personable Cecil. Harriet is a more religious Miss Bartlett with no redeeming features. Miss Abbott is a Lucy who can think for herself when she wants to. I was about to say that Gino is an Italian George without Weltschmerz, but that doesn't quite fit. George was unconventional, Gino conforms to stereotypes. The edition I read had an appendix containing correspondence between Forster and the poet/translator R. C. Trevelyan. I felt vindicated seeing that Trevelyan had some of the same objections that I have, that the reader is kept unaware and not primed to accept the true focus of the story. And that the author's narrative should have been kept free of the prejudices, emotions and judgments of the characters. It is one thing for a character to experience a transition from ugly, beer drinking Austrians to beautiful, wine drinking Italians, but when this is stated as fact in the narration it confuses the issue of what is the author's opinion and what is the author's tongue in cheek portrayal of a certain type of English mentality.

  • Emma Flanagan
    2019-05-31 00:47

    This was Forster's first novel, though given its novella would be more accurate. While I enjoyed it, it is not as well developed as his later work. A number of the characters are poorly developed stereotypes. Mrs Herriton, the typical Victorian matriarch. Harriet the cold pious maiden aunt who has moments of hysteria in a manner befitting a Victorian lady. Lillia, despite being 33, is like a silly young girl who comes to regret her foolish choice. Gino a stereotypical Italian man. The only two characters who are well developed are Phillip and Caroline, who despite initial indications are the main characters. The reactions of the characters to certain events seem cold and unrealistic. Major events, such as deaths, are brushed off quickly. This may just be down to contemporary sentiments. Mortality rates were so much higher, the death of old and young alike so common, and belief in higher powers much stronger, that such things were viewed differently to how we would view them now. Forster's skill lies in his ability to capture the Italian landscape. The descriptions of Italy are poetic and romantic. The criticism of Victorian/Edwardian society with its conventions and repression are also clear and well expressed. Forster does not claim that Italian society is perfect but with its emotionalism it provides an interesting foil to English society with its "stiff upper lip". There are clear indications of themes which he will explore in his later work.Without giving too much away, I found the ending interesting. It is abrupt and not neatly tied up which is unusual for works from this period. I was left wondering what would become of Caroline and Phillip later. It is an unconventional ending.

  • Laura
    2019-05-29 20:38

    Cultures collide in Forster’s first novel, which reads in many ways like a thematic rough draft of A Room With a View (in fact several sentences are even repeated verbatim in RWAV!). But it’s a great story in its own right. When an English widow goes to Italy and then, in what could only be a fit of madness, marries an ITALIAN, her respectable in-laws are scandalized. That she should discover her husband is a bounder and then subsequently die in childbirth is no more than can be expected from such folly. But allowing the baby from this union to be raised by Italians is clearly going too far, and a brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and family friend are dispatched to bring home the unfortunate child. Hilarity and tragedy ensue. Not nearly as delightful and optimistic as A Room With a View, but then again, not as grim as A Passage to India.

  • MarnieKrüger
    2019-05-27 02:05

    What an engaging read.I love how Forster makes Italy this almost tangible part of the story, how Italy effects and influences the characters, making them do things differently and not even realize it. How Italy changes their opinions and feelings and everyone “falls” for it.The plot moves along quickly, always leaving you wanting. Making this an easy two hour read.I’ll defiantly try more of Forster’s books.

  • Rhiannon
    2019-06-07 20:49

    Italy, Italy. People go there, I am told, to free themselves of the constraints of stuffy, modern life. To take part in its beauty, and really live. Ladies often go there to f*uck hot Italian guys, eat tasty treats, and possibly write a memoir all about their spiritual awakening and/or f*ucking that hot Italian guy.Well, lady-characters in the turn of the century did the same thing! Minus the memoir part. They never got a chance to write their memoirs. No, their authors killed them off before they got the chance to reflect on eating, or praying, or loving. I'm pretty sure that they killed these "free-spirited" ladies off because these ladies preferred the sexy Italians to their stuffy British and snobby American male counterparts, and they sadly needed to learn their lessons: Italy is a fine place to visit, Ladies, as long as you have a male chaperone who wishes to bore you to death with lectures about architecture as he leads you by the elbow through the safest of Italian tourist spots.E.M. Forster agrees, "Italy is such a delightful place to live in if you happen to be a man...In the democracy of the caffe or the street the great question of our life has been solved, and the brotherhood of man is a reality. But it is accomplished at the expense of the sisterhood of women."In the beginning of Where Angels Fear To Tread, I was reminded of Henry James' Daisy Miller. In a sense, Lilia is described by Forster as a sort of silly woman, just as Daisy was a silly "girl." In both instances, our silly women need to be sought after, rescued from Italy, saved by men. In both instances, the men fail.But, I had more hope for Lilia. Where James chastises, Forster seems, at first, to empathize. Daisy's character-execution is foreshadowed, but fast (malaria), and she never has to back down, submit to Winterbourne. Winterbourne never gets to mold her character to his liking. Daisy is Daisy until the end.Lilia's character-execution is worse, in my opinion. Before he can kill Lilia off, Forster first has her undergo a character change: Lilia becomes less spirited, smaller, older, insecure, afraid of her lover, Gino. What happened to that crazy Cougar-Lilia we met in the beginning, with the money and the power? She dies giving birth to a son - an ultimate sacrifice for a patriarchal line.Now, don't get me wrong. I did not like Lilia, as a character, for the most part. I mean, she ditches her daughter for a 21-year-old Italian guy. But, I was disturbed by her end, by the ease with which Forster killed her off. After her death, we move back to England, where we gauge the reactions from the rest of the characters. With the exception of Caroline Abbott (a family friend) and Lilia's daughter Irma, everyone else is relieved that they don't have to deal with Lilia anymore. I felt, if Lilia's death was heartless, well - the lack of grief surrounding it was even worse. I think that Forster included Lilia's downfall in a less chastising or patronizing way than James. He shows how the masculine influence can really harm the spirit or personality of the woman, but his lack of sympathy was somewhat disheartening.The real triumph of character in Where Angels Fear To Tread is Philip, though. Philip ties in all of the the novel's central themes: idealization vs. reality, of the romanticization of one's sense of identity, voyeurism vs. participation. And of course, the satire of British superiority, and subsequent control.In the words of Philip, "Society is invincible - to a certain degree. But your real life is your own, and nothing can touch it. There is no power on earth that can prevent your criticizing and despising mediocrity - nothing that can stop you retreating into splendour and beauty - into the thoughts and beliefs that make the real life - the real you."I want to mention, too, that the introduction to this edition was really good. Ruth Padel, O ye of the well-phrased thesis! "All of the novels published in Forster's lifetime conjure a place, a way of looking at a place, a journey, or a passage towards it. A title beginning "Where," beginning a novel-writing career that will end with the last words of A Passage To India - "not there." From "Where" to "not there" is the Forster arc, eyes on the horizon...which [is] incomprehensible and unattainable, but which symbolizes something within him, something that matters deeply to him."Eager to read more Forster. If I remember from reading A Room With A View, it gets better than this, for sure...

  • L.h.
    2019-06-08 03:05

    My favorite quotation from the book: "He had known so much about her once -what she thought, how she felt, the reasons for her actions. And now he only knew that he loved her, and all the other knowledge seemed passing from him just as he needed it most."I like Forster, and his portrayal of small people living in a small world, suddenly expanded by travel and exposure to people living passionately. Not as heartbreaking as some of his other novels, not as emotionally gripping as some other authors' similar stories, but certainly an excellent novel.

  • Eileen
    2019-05-23 01:47

    There is so much wisdom packed into this short, first novel. Forster's commentary on the misunderstandings and missed opportunities between people of different cultures and religions is still so relevant today. I read this book after seeing the movie and before I set to work on my own remixed version of the whole "stranger in a strange land" experience.

  • Tittirossa
    2019-06-16 21:04

    Al di là degli stereotipi sugli italiani, come se fossero una tribù di scimmie (F. si dimentica di Leonardo e Michelangelo), come se l'unica cosa che conta nella vita fossero il riserbo e le "maniere" .... al di là di questo, grande ritratto grottesco sugli stereotipi inglesi.

  • Stephen
    2019-06-10 00:53

    HEADLINE: This novel may have the most pathetic portrayal of a brawl between two men in the history of English literature, a sin that can be forgiven, however, given the unintentional comicality of it.This is E. M. Forster's first novel. It shows. It is a short novel, one that would be classified as a novella if anyone truly knew exactly what constitutes a novella. It could be classified as a melodrama were it not for the development of the characters, particularly Philip. It is in the development of the characters that Forster shows his promise of greater things to come.All that is not to say that this is not an enjoyable story. Quite the contrary. It is a good story told with Forster's great acerbic wit. Such a very British wit wielded in great part to skewer those traits that make the British so British including wit inappropriately applied.As his vehicle for accomplishing this and as in A Room With a View, Forster puts his British characters in opposition to implacable, ancient Italy. Forster obviously loved Italy. His passages concerning that country are lyrical. But back to Philip. . . .Miss Abbott on Philip:”Oh, you appreciate me!” she burst out again. “I wish you didn't. You appreciate us all—see the good in all of us. And all the time you are dead—dead—dead. . . .Philip in response:Miss Abbott, don't worry over me. Some people are born not to do things. I am one of them; I never did anything at school or at the Bar. . . .Philip goes on to list his “honorable failures.” He comforts himself that any effort on his part based upon conviction will have no impact on events anyway. “Nothing hangs on it,” is his phrase.Miss Abbott again:I dare tell you this because I like you—and because you're without passion; you look on life as a spectacle; you don't enter it; you only find it funny or beautiful.So in Philip we have a character who we are led to believe is in need of a bit of the old redemption thing, and therein lies the real story. I use that derivation of “redeem” in the sense of “change for the better” or “reform.” The question for me is whether Philip's preëxisting outlook on life and approach to it really were in need of reformation. Blasphemy, I am sure.As an afterthought I must say that Forster is pathetic at portraying a brawl, a physical struggle, between two men. Thankfully, to my knowledge he never attempted it again after this novel. On the other hand all indications are that he may have been masterful at portraying a brawl between two women. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, he never attempted that at all.

  • Tony
    2019-05-27 04:40

    WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD. (1905). E. M. Forster. ****.This was Forster’s first novel, and remains, in my view, the most accessible of all the ones I’ve read. It displays early on most of the themes that Forster will take in his subsequent works, though in a sentimental manner. It is a story about the clash of cultures. In this case, most of the action takes place in a small (fictional?) town in Tuscany, located somewhere between Siena and Florence. The town was named Monteriano. This was also the original title of the book. It was the destination of Lilia Herriton, the widow of Charles Herriton. The fact of her being a widow and having to live with her mother-in-law has worn on her, and she has been persuaded to take some time off to recharge her batteries. She and some travelling companions plan a one-year trip to the continent – mostly to Italy, which has been presented to her as the best destination for its art and beauty. While visiting Tuscany, and spending time in Monteriano, she meets a local man, Gino. She writes back to her mother-in-law that she has met this man and is planning on marrying him. She hints that he is a member of the nobility. The family, all prim and proper English upper middle-class members, is aghast. Soon family members of the family descend on the town to persuade Lilia to forget her idea of marriage. They learn that Gino is not nobility, but the simple son of the village dentist. He is certainly good looking, but definitely uncaring about status and appearances. The family was not in time; the two had already married in order to make sure that they could not be dissuaded by the family. The differences between the family’s views of status and money and views on life are fully explored vs. those of Gino. There is no way that the two sets could ever come together. Once the family found out that they were too late, they returned to England with their respective tails between their legs. The next event, however, drives another stake between the two families: the birth of a son to Lilia and Gino. Representatives of the family are sent over to see if they can rescue the baby from an obvious poor upbringing that he would receive in Italy, among what they view as a peasant class. A final tragedy occurs, however, that highlights the differences between the two cultures, and causes the English family to take a closer look at their beliefs. Although parts of this novel are rather schmaltzy, it is still an effective vehicle that expressed Forster’s views. Recommended.

  • Wendy
    2019-06-12 20:53

    I would call this a...fair exploration of human nature. There is a particular situation, and through that particular situation, we see the extent of a few characters' true natures. A couple of them are changed by the experience--the others are not. For its day (pre-World War I), it was probably more than fair. However, by today's standards, as a woman, I found it more than a little dated. I don't know what women were really like back then, since I'm not 100 years old--perhaps they did get a bit hysterical over being yelled at--but women today generally don't start crying at the drop of a handkerchief, or get shrill and weepy because things aren't going their way. That portrayal of women was a bit off-putting...but I'm willing to forgive it, because it's old, and because I really enjoyed other parts of it.Also, I still think it's a worthwhile read. It's still interesting, and I found parts of it enjoyable. Other parts drag, but much of it is interesting and often enjoyable. It was sometimes even a little funny, but overall, rather depressing, by nature of the situation the book deals with. I'm glad I read it, but it's not exactly a picnic, so don't read it if you're looking for happy fun times. This is what Jeeves would call 'an improving book.' It's for building character. So it's definitely a good thing I read it, because I sure could use some.