Howards End

Howards End

  • Seasons:
  • 1
Often considered E.M. Forster's masterpiece, "Howards End" is the story of two independent and unconventional sisters and the men in their lives seeking love and meaning as they navigate an ever-changing world. Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan brings a fresh take to this adaptation directed by BAFTA winner Hettie Macdonald. Margaret Schlegel (Hayley Atwell) is an intelligent, idealistic young woman who is courted by the older Henry Wilcox (Matthew Macfadyen), a self-made conservative businessman, after his wife, Ruth Wilcox (Julia Ormond), dies unexpectedly and he becomes owner of Howards End. Meanwhile, Margaret's passionate and capricious younger sister, Helen Schlegel (Philippa Coulthard), takes up the cause of Leonard Bast (Joseph Quinn), a young bank clerk who falls on hard times at work and at home with his partner Jacky (Rosalind Eleazar). In the absence of their late parents, the sisters' loving but interfering Aunt Juley (Tracey Ullman) tries to keep the young ladies and their brother, Tibby (Alex Lawther), on the straight and narrow.
Often considered E.M. Forster's masterpiece, "Howards End" is the story of two independent and unconventional sisters and the men in their lives seeking love and meaning as they navigate an ever-changing world. Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan brings a fresh take to this adaptation directed by BAFTA winner Hettie Macdonald. Margaret Schlegel (Hayley Atwell) is an intelligent, idealistic young woman who is courted by the older Henry Wilcox (Matthew Macfadyen), a self-made conservative businessman, after his wife, Ruth Wilcox (Julia Ormond), dies unexpectedly and he becomes owner of Howards End. Meanwhile, Margaret's passionate and capricious younger sister, Helen Schlegel (Philippa Coulthard), takes up the cause of Leonard Bast (Joseph Quinn), a young bank clerk who falls on hard times at work and at home with his partner Jacky (Rosalind Eleazar). In the absence of their late parents, the sisters' loving but interfering Aunt Juley (Tracey Ullman) tries to keep the young ladies and their brother, Tibby (Alex Lawther), on the straight and narrow.

Season 1 (4 episodes)

  • 1. Episode One

    Original air date: 11/12/2017 Runtime: 55:11 min.

    Original air date: 11/12/2017 Runtime: 55:11 min. Spring 1905 in England, Margaret Schlegel is at home with her dear but overbearing Aunt Juley and her hypochondriac brother Tibby when she receives a letter from her younger sister Helen, currently visiting with the Wilcoxes at their country house, Howards End. On hearing that Helen has fallen for the youngest Wilcox son, Paul - Aunt Juley is swiftly dispatched to Howards End to represent the Schlegel family - slightly prematurely as the engagement does not come to pass. Leaving the social awkwardness of the Wilcox encounter behind them, the Schlegels attend a concert in London with visiting German relatives. During the performance Helen strikes up conversation with Leonard Bast, a struggling young bank clerk, and accidentally leaves the concert with his umbrella. On discovering the mix up Margaret gives her card to Bast and implores him to stay for tea with them at their Wickham Place home, but he quickly becomes uncomfortable in their company and leaves. In a twist of fate the Wilcoxes move up to London and end up renting the apartment across the street from the Schlegels, and Margaret strikes up a friendship with enigmatic but ailing Mrs. Wilcox.

  • 2. Episode Two

    Original air date: 11/19/2017 Runtime: 56:49 min.

    Original air date: 11/19/2017 Runtime: 56:49 min. After the death of Mrs. Wilcox in the winter of 1906 her family is further thrown by her final request regarding Howards End. As 1907 dawns the Schlegels also face seismic changes to the world as they know it when they are given an eviction date for their house at Wickham Place, due to be demolished and replaced by luxury flats. The sisters and Tibby are surprised by a visit from Jacky Bast, distraught at her husband's failure to return after work one evening and convinced that there's some connection between his absence and the Schlegels, since he has held on to Margaret's card given to him at the concert two years earlier. A chance encounter on London's Embankment between the Schlegel girls and Henry Wilcox leads to a discussion of how Leonard Bast's dire situation can be improved by leaving his current job at the Porphyrion Fire Insurance Company, which Henry advises is on the brink of financial collapse. An unexpected tenderness develops between Margaret and Henry.

  • 3. Episode Three

    Original air date: 11/26/2017 Runtime: 59:41 min.

    Original air date: 11/26/2017 Runtime: 59:41 min. Still searching for a new home, Margaret receives an offer of marriage from Henry which changes her plans significantly. While Margaret becomes more involved with the Wilcox family, Helen is incensed by the unfair fate of Leonard Bast, who on the Schlegel's advice left his post at the Porphyrion Fire Insurance Company and as a result is now unemployed and on the brink of starvation. In addition to their poverty Jacky Bast is seriously ill, but Helen decides to take the couple to the Wilcox's new country estate to confront the Wilcoxes and Margaret with the outcome of Henry's throwaway comments on the Porphyrion. In a dramatic encounter at Evie Wilcox's wedding the three families collide and Henry recognises Jacky Bast as the lover he discarded in Cyprus ten years previously. Deeply affected, he tells Margaret she is released from her engagement to him now that his past has been exposed. After the encounter at the wedding, Helen and Leonard succumb to their mutual attraction.

  • 4. Episode Four

    Original air date: 12/03/2017 Runtime: 59:35 min.

    Original air date: 12/03/2017 Runtime: 59:35 min. Margaret refuses to punish Henry for his past transgressions and resolves to uphold their engagement. Helen embarks on a trip around Europe with no explanation, missing Henry and Margaret's wedding and only agreeing to return to London on hearing that Aunt Juley has fallen dangerously ill with pneumonia. While she's been abroad the Schlegels have packed up their childhood home and stored their belongings at Howards End, which has been untenanted for a number of months. Desperate to reconnect with their sister, Margaret and Tibby appeal to Henry, who suggests a plan to confront the issue by ambushing Helen when she comes to collect some belongings from Howards End. At the same time Leonard Bast, now widowed and even more deeply in poverty than before, resolves to find the Schlegels to make a desperate appeal. The Wilcoxes, including Margaret, Henry and his son Charles, Helen, and Leonard all converge on the house. As soon as Margaret sees Helen she understands the reason for her disappearance, and the sisters have an emotional reconnection. Spoiling for a fight, Charles Wilcox turns on Leonard Bast, with tragic consequences. Ultimately Henry wills Howards End to his new wife, just as Mrs Wilcox always intended.