This novel deals with an English country house called Howards End and its influence on the lives of the materialistic Wilcoxes, the cultured and idealistic Schlegel sisters, and the poor bank clerk Leonard Bast. Half German by birth and middle-class English by upbringing, Helen and Margaret Schlegel struggle to come to terms with the problems of their inheritance in Edwardian England. The Schlegels try to befriend Bast. Mr. Wilcox, whom Margaret Schlegel later marries, gives him financial advice which ruins him. Helen Schlegel becomes Bast's mistress for a short time and bears a son; thereupon, Charles Wilcox, the eldest son, thrashes and accidentally kills him. The house passes from intuitive, half-mystical Mrs. Wilcox to her husband's second wife Margaret Schlegel, to Margaret's nephew Leonard Bast's son. Illustrating Forster's motto 'Only connect,' Howard's End brings together three important elements in English society; money and successful business in the Wilcoxes, culture in the Schlegels and the lower classes in Leonard Bast.