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The murder in the square

One day, while Lucy was alone in Piazza Signora square in Florence, two Italian men began to argue animatedly about money, then after a ht one of them was knifed by the other one and fell down with blood spurting out. Lucy was frightened, therefore she fainted; but fortunatelly George Emerson was in the square too, so he could catch her in his arms. When Lucy opened her eyes, George explained what had happened and she asked him not to tell anyone that she had seen the murder . actually, she didn't want George to tell anyone that she was in his arms!

The trip to Fiesole

One day Mr Beebe fixed a trip to Fiesole, a town near Florence. While the group (Mr Beebe, Lucy, old Mr Emerson, George, Miss Bartlett, Mr Eager and Miss Lavish) go to Fiesole, the driver kissed his girlfriend. Mr Eager didn't want him to, and he asked him to stop. The driver said she was her sister, but Mr Eager didn't believe him and make the girl get off the carriage. When they arrived, Lucy wanted to talk with Miss Lavish and Miss Bartlett whereas they wanted to talk alone; so she asked to the Italian driver where Mr Beebe was, but he took her to George. Suddenly he kissed her, but Miss Bartlett saw the scene! Miss Bartlett was a bit angry with Lucy, while George was happy and decided to come back on foot.

Describe a character

Miss Charlotte Bartlett

Miss Charlotte Bartlett is the old cousin of Lucy's. She's grey-haired, thin and not very tall. I think she's hypocritical: in fact she tells Lucy she won't tell her secret to anyone, but she breaks her promise and tells Miss Lavish about it; when Lucy knows what she did, Miss Bartlett says that she's very sorry and Miss Lavish won't be her friend anymore. Besides, when she hasn't got hot water in her house anymore and goes to Windy Corner for a holiday, she says she wants to pay her debts, but actually she always tries to scrounge. She is very attached to old principles, in fact, for example, when Lucy stands at the window at the Bertolini Miss Bartlett doesn't want her to, because other people could see her. Lucy doesn't like her, and neither does her mother.

e the book and the film

Book written by Edward Morgan Forster (1908). Film directed by James Ivory (1985).

The film is faithful to the book. It's a comedy, it's not dramatic, on the contrary it's sometimes funny, like in the scene when George, Freddy and Mr Beebe have a bathe in the lake. Maybe the scene I liked most in the film was Lucy and Cecil's walk in the woods, when she says she always sees him in a room with no view and when he tries to kiss her, but the kiss is unsuccessful.

The film is quite convincing, in fact settings are well-reconstructed, but there are some scenes which could have been better. The murder one, for example: the knife which kills one of the men can't be seen; or during the second kiss of George and Lucy's, when Cecil, though he's very near, cannot see them that's strange. Besides, there are too many coincidences (this not only in the film but also in the book): the fact that Cecil meets just the Emerson at the National Gallery and they move near Windy Corner; the fact that Cecil reads just Miss Lavish's book in the part when it tells about Leonora - who actually is Lucy.



England is the country of arts, elegance, nature and social conventions; Italy is the country of arts and has a beautiful nature too, but passion (positive ones and negative ones) prevails over reason. While English people are snob and cold and love culture, Italian people are passional, hospital, free. E. M. Forster wrote "A Room With A View" just because he didn't like the way English tourists acted in the other countries.

A Room With A View/A Room With No View

They are two simbols: the room with a view represents communication, broadmindedness, opening towards nature, and in fact George had that room and he and Lucy came back in that room at last; the room with no view, the one where Lucy sees Cecil in, represents narrowmindedness and inability to communicate.


A Room With A View


E. M. Forster


time = early 20th century

space = Windy Corner, Florence


Lucy and her older cousin go to Florence for holiday. They meet other English tourists, among which is George, a boy with whom Lucy falls in love. But after coming back to England she promises her 'official' boyfriend Cecil to marry him, though she doesn't really love him. By chance George and his father move to a cottage near Lucy's house, so George is able to make Lucy change her mind and break her engagement with Cecil. Then she wants to go to Greece with the Alans, old friends of hers she has met in the hotel in Florence. But she changes her mind again thanks to George's father and decides to escape to Florence with George to the same hotel as her previous holidays and to marry him in secret.


Lucy = the main character of the book, she is very undecided but at last she chooses the best for herself.

George = passional and unconventional boy who loves Lucy.

Cecil = quiet boy who loves art and literature instead of Lucy.

George's father = wise man who tries to make his son happy.

Charlotte = Lucy's cousin, very gossipy and false.


isons between Italy (passion, beauty, freedom, hospitality, violence) and England (nature, elegance, love for culture, coldness, social convention, snobbery).

The title of the book reminds the difference between a room with a view, represended by George, who opens his heart to Lucy, and a room with no view, represented by Cecil, who is very cold with her.


This novel is too romantic for my taste, I prefer more adventorous stories. However it's a beautiful novel and the film represents it very accurately.


The History Of Tom Jones, A Foundling [commonly referred to as Tom Jones]


Henry Fielding is best known for his novels Joseph Andrews (1742), Tom Jones (1749) and Amelia (1751). He was born at Sharpam Park in Somerset in 1707 and was educated at Eton. After studying law at Leyden, he came to London, where he supported himself by writing comedies and political satires for the stage. In 1734 he married Charlotte Craddock, who provided the model for Sophia Western in Tom Jones but died only 10 years after the marriage. In 1747 Fielding married his maid, Mary Daniel. In 1754 he travelled to Portugal to recover his failing health, but died near Lisbon that same year.


The novel is set around the middle of the 18th century (I think Tom Jones was born around 1720-l725), and the action takes place in various places of England, as the map shows.


The novel tells the history of Tom Jones, a foundling discovered in Allworthy's bed one night, and lovingly brought up by him as though he was his own son. Because of Tom's wild temper and sexual conquests, as well as the defamation from his enemies, among whom are his tutors and especially his cousin Blifil who wants to get rid of a rival in love (they are both in love with Sophia), Tom loses his adoptive father's favour, and the latter expels him from his country estate.

Then he joins the army, but only for a very little time; in an inn where he rehabilitates after a browl with a soldier, he meets Partridge. They become friend, and take a journey during which he experiences a lot of adventures, many of which are amorous. In London, he has an affair with lady Bellastone, who is in love with him and maintains him. Meanwhile, Sophia doesn't want to marry Blifil, while her father does, because she's in love with Tom; so she runs away from home with her maid and takes refuge in London, by a relative. Being in trouble because of jealous lady Bellastone's conspiracy, Sophia is saved by her father's arrival.

In the meantime Tom gets himself into a scrape, so much that he ends up in prison. Allworthy and Blifil come to London too. Tom is saved at the last minute and it's discovered that he's Allworthy's late sister's son. Blifil is unmasked and the novel ends with Alloworthy being reconciled to Tom, Sophia being reconciled to her father and Sophia forgiving Tom for his infidelity.


Tom Jones: the main character of the novel. A foundling, son of Jenny Jones, he's lively, good-hearted, good-looking and a real heartbreaker.

Allworthy: Tom's adoptive father. A rich widower and a very patient man, 'an agreeable person' with 'a sound constitution, a solid understanding and a benevolent heart'.

Partridge: a friend of Tom's. A learned man, supposed to be his father, but who actually isn't!

Blifil: Tom's cousin and Allworthy's nephew. He's a mean, calm, pious man.

Sophia Western: Tom's lover and neighbour. She's a beautiful, sweet, charming girl.

Even though Fielding tells us about Tom Jones's affairs, he is a moralist (as it's proved by the dedication to his patron, lord Lyttleton, by the severe opinion he has on both Tom's tutors, by the choice of Sophia, a pure and chaste girl, as the main female character of the novel). The thesis personified by the main character of the novel is that carnal sins are by far better than hypocrisy and are to be forgiven if done with sincerity and goodness of heart.

You can also say that the author uses Tom's character to depict a big fresco of the society, to emphasize its absurdity and oddities.


Fielding is an omniscient narrator: in fact, he uses flashbacks, makes comments (e.g.. book one chapter III: 'Sneerers and profane wits may perhaps laugh at her first fright; yet my graver reader [] will highly justify and applaud her conduct) and calls to the reader (e.g. book one chapter IV: 'Reader, take care').
Besides, he makes long and detailed descriptions of characters and landscapes.
I think I can say this is a bit of a historical novel: the microhistory is somehow established in the macrostory, the Jacobite invasion (e.g., the army episode).

Last but not least, he obviously writes according to 18th century style and grammar, which are quite different from today's (even though sometimes he has his characters speaking dialect, which actually is not very easy to understand!).

These are some of the writing characteristics I found:

Old verb endings: e.g. hath instead of has (cf. German 'hat'), doth instead of does (cf. German 'tut').

Old pronouns and adjectives: e.g. thou instead of you -subject- (cf. German 'du'), thee instead of you -complement- (cf. German 'dich'), thy instead of your, thine instead of yours (cf. German 'dein').

Other old words no longer in use: e.g. thence, whence.

Commas to separate clauses which should be linked without it: e.g., book one chapter III: 'Mr Allworthy answered, she must take care of the child' (cf. German grammar).

Verb inversions in if-clause: e.g., book one chapter II: 'Had he done nothing more'.

Use of words with different meanings from present: e.g., to insult used as 'to trample upon' instead of 'to offend'.

Use of verb to be as an auxiliary verb: e.g., 'I am come' instead of 'I have come' (cf. German grammar).

Postponement of relative clause: e.g., book one chapter VI: 'The man must have a good stomach, who would give silk gowns for such sort of triumpery' (cf. Latin grammar).

Building of negative clause without verb to do: e.g., book one chapter III: 'I know not'.

This novel, although condemned during the time period it was written in, is truly a great work of fiction. I found myself interested especially in Fielding's portraits of people from all social stations and living conditions and of course in Tom Jones's adventures (you know he will eventually get his girl, but the reader is totally left in the dark as to how it will finally happen!). Fielding's satirical way of expressing himself as well as the casual tone he applies when speaking to the reader heightened my interest in the novel as well. To conclude, I highly recommend this novel to anyone who doesn't mind one which is a little more lengthy than usual!


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