The disregard of a dying woman's bequest, a girl's attempt to help an impoverished clerk, and the marriage of an idealist and a materialist intersect at an estate called Howards End. There, the lives of three families become entangled. The Wilcoxes, who own the estate, are a wealthy family who made their fortune in the American colonies. The Schlegel siblings-Margaret, Helen, and Tibby-are lively socialites whose spirited and active lifestyles are representative of the intellectual bourgeoisie. And the Basts are a young couple from a lower-class background who are struggling to survive. As chance brings them together, societal conventions come into question as does the ownership of Howards End. Through the fate of the estate-as well as the lives of the families who are affiliated with it-Forster creates a brilliant parallel to the fate of English society itself.