living in: howards end


At this point in our relationship, it’s probably no surprise that I could sustain myself on a strict diet of nothing but period pieces. Enter Howards End, the be-all end-all of gorgeous literary adaptations. It’s so Bloomsbury, it could make you cry. Now I’m no stranger to the winning power of the Hopkins/Thompson duo, but the real shining star of the movie is, naturally, Howards End herself.

1. Summer Hydrangea by F. Schumacher, $88/yd; 2. Topshop Umbrella, $28; 3. Boater Hat, $17; 4. 1910s Amethyst Earrings, $265; 5. Custom Calling Cards, $250; 6. Emeline Chair, $2,498; 7. Quill Pen, $28; 8. Traveler Coffee Table, $998; 9. Hand-Painted Porcelain Vase, $395; 10. Fortnight Oxfords, $150

Never before has there been a movie that’s captured the true charm and romance of Edwardian England quite so well. The flowers alone will bring you to the brink of booking that long-overdue English countryside vacation quicker than you can say, “But I’m broke.” The scene in the rowboat still has me spellbound, convinced that all quiet flirting must happen over water, and I’m pretty sure I’ll never fall for another boy again unless he consults constellation charts to track the night sky. Sigh, the movies have ruined me once again. — Amy M.

1. 1882 Constellation Chart, $12; 2. Garden Shears, $50/set of two; 3. Vintage Waistcoat, $259; 4. Antique Copper Pitcher, $26; 5. Wildflower Bouquet (hopefully picked from a meadow); 6. Campo de Fiori Allende Pots, $44+; 7. Handmade Wooden Wherry; 8. Pocket Watch, $85; 9. Black Bird, $15

  1. kristin says:

    Oh, I remember watching Howard’s End over and over. Beautiful picks…. :)

  2. Emily says:

    This post is just heaven to read on this snowy day! I am dreaming of an English spring! And I adore anything by Merchant and Ivory!

  3. Holly says:

    your posts are always my favorites. i am obsessed with period dramas, so i’m always right there tracking with you. the movies have ruined me too!

  4. Christine says:

    Great classic pick! I really like that constellation chart.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    I Love Love LOVE Howard’s End. Now if I only had a little house in the English countryside to house all these lovely things.

  6. juliette says:

    I love that you did this movie! It’s one of my favorites -actually a great book-to-movie film; nothing really changed!

  7. kim says:

    MY boy uses constellation charts to track the night sky! When I found out I asked him to take me to the planetarium for valentine’s day. And I should see this movie :)

  8. kaelen says:

    good post, i’ve had this in my netflix queue for weeks. time to watch!

  9. taylor says:

    Helen! Helen! She is amazing, hope she wins an Oscar!

  10. marri says:

    “At this point in our relationship, it’s probably no surprise that I could sustain myself on a strict diet of nothing but period pieces.”

    me too, lady; me too.

    p.s. – just bought that awesome constellation chart – THANK YOU!

  11. Emily Duff says:

    I too LOVE period pieces. So much that my husband has put a ban on me watching them with him around :D
    I’m currently re-watching Pride & Prejudice (the BBC version) and am waiting for the end of Downton Abbey.
    Sigh – thanks for the beautiful post!
    PS – I really, really want that chair.

  12. Rachel says:

    I have never seen this movie, but now I must. And you crack me up, Amy. The movies do ruin us!

  13. Neada B. says:

    thank you so very much! howards end was my first merchant ivory film, and it lead to me seeking out ismael merchant as a mentor–a very easy feat since he was my neighbor. what an amazing, delightful man! thanks for the memories–please do “a room with a view” next!

  14. gia janvrin says:

    Love it! Just watched it! What a coincidence. Also like Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley and just ordered Remains of the Day..

  15. Vikki says:

    ohhh helen movies! May I make the suggestion of of doing a *living in* for Margaret’s Museum (featuring Helen); based on a mining town very close to my own hometown in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada. Visually stunning :) Love the feature! xo

  16. Letty says:

    Thank you for recommending this movie. I watched it today and it was perfect for this dreary Chicago weather!! I love all the twists in the story and how she got the house anyway in the end!!

  17. sarah jane says:

    How funny: I just watched this movie last weekend. My second time, my husband’s first. Isn’t it amazing? I kept gushing over those beamed ceilings and the umbrella scenes….and those linen blouses. Gushing. Haunting movie…but stunning!

  18. Pistachio says:

    I will always have a soft spot for that movie!

  19. carla says:

    Sigh…this series might be my favorite series…of any site. ever.

  20. rachel says:

    love it when you do period pieces! they are my favorite to get lost in.

  21. karen berg says:

    I how I love Howard’s End! Maybe one of my favorite period pieces, next to “Room with a View”. I could have just moved into this set and been content. Thank you for starting my day off with a happy thought. -K

  22. Salome says:

    Ahhh I love this movie….

  23. Tina says:

    Love Love Love…… haven’t thought of this movie in a while. I love Merchant Ivory Films!
    Thanks for the post – my inspiration for the day…..

  24. Anabel says:

    I just watched this movie! I love Helena Bonham Carter on anything, and the style of the period is one of my favorites…

  25. Jamie says:

    Yes! I just watched “Room with a View” and wanted to suggest it this time around. What a lovely movie and a lovely period for movies. I can’t get enough!

  26. katy elliott says:

    Love this! It’s totally my style.

  27. Christy says:

    One of my favorite movies ever! I’m totally inspired! Now I’m off to try to find Howard’s End on DVD!

  28. julie.strub says:

    yes! this movie started my love of period films!

  29. Jen says:

    I love Lucy Honeychurch!

  30. OMG! I LOVE this movie it’s one of my all time favorites! I am also a period film buff and I like to call them my scandalous English films because they ted to be quite scandalous for the time! I just want to sip tea and eat cookies all day :)

  31. Suzy8track says:

    Wow! This post is making me yearn for spring weather! This is such a lovely film…may need to see it again soon!

  32. katie says:

    Aren’t those pictures with Helena Bonham Carter actually from Where Angels Fear to Tread?

  33. amym says:

    Nope, all of these images are from howards end :)

  34. Gwynhwyfar says:

    If “A Room With a View” is the jewel in the Merchant-Ivory universe, then “Howard’s End is its landscape. As Helena and Emma have rightfully got their praise, let me throw in some for the wonderful Vanessa Redgrave! Then watch her in M-I’s adaptation of Henry James’ “The Bostonians” – amazing!

  35. elisa says:

    heaven. i do actually live in the english countryside, in a four-hundred year old house, and i can tell you it is going to take some serious self control *not* to fill it with all of the above. but please, please just do a season of merchant & ivory! then toss in the king’s speech to round it off! x!

  36. Laura says:

    One of my favorite scenes in this movie is at the beginning when Vanessa Redgrave walks around Howards End at twilight; all lavender- blue light without and warm golden light within. Magical!


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