Ruth Wilcox and Margaret Schlegel are close friends, and when Ruth becomes seriously ill, she promises to leave her house, Howards End, to Margaret after her death. After she has passed away, her widower Henry and son Charles, ignoring her wishes, decide not to give the property to Margaret after all.
Nevertheless Margaret and Henry become closely involved and marry. Meanwhile Helen, Margaret's sister, has discovered that through bad advice from Henry, Leonard Bast, an impoverished insurance clerk, has lost his job. Family relationships worsen when they go to a family wedding and they realise that Leonard's wife Jacky was Henry's mistress while he lived in Cyprus, when still married to Ruth.
When Helen finds she is carrying Leonard's child she disappears for a few months. Henry suggests that Margaret should invite Helen to Howards End so they can all make their peace with each other. Unfortunately when Charles and Leonard meet they quarrel, with tragic results.
This report prepared by John Van der Kiste