As one of the selectors of the novel, Zakia gave an introduction to E.M. Forster. You may read the wiki site
Kavita read the passage from Ch 26 in which Margaret comes to know about Henry Wilcox's past mistress, Jacky. But when she reached the end with the line, 'it was not her tragedy; it was Mrs. Wilcox’s', there was a round of laughter.
The passage chosen by Govind raises one of the philosophical questions E.M. Forster was keen about. In the words of Henry Wilcox:
Toward the end in Ch 44 the children meet with Henry Wilcox to discuss property matters and it ends with him declaring, 'Then I leave Howards End to my wife absolutely.' Thus, what Ruth willed comes to fruition in a roundabout way. It suits everybody. The novel ends with this optimistic sentence:
To them Howards End was a house: they could not know that to her it had been a spirit, for which she sought a spiritual heir. And—pushing one step farther in these mists—may they not have decided even better than they supposed? Is it credible that the possessions of the spirit can be bequeathed at all? Has the soul offspring? A wych-elm tree, a vine, a wisp of hay with dew on it—can passion for such things be transmitted where there is no bond of blood? No; the Wilcoxes are not to be blamed. The problem is too terrific, and they could not even perceive a problem. No; it is natural and fitting that after due debate they should tear the note up and throw it on to their dining-room fire. The practical moralist may acquit them absolutely. He who strives to look deeper may acquit them—almost. For one hard fact remains. They did neglect a personal appeal. The woman who had died did say to them, “Do this,” and they answered, “We will not.”
“Bless us, what a person!” sighed Margaret, gathering up her skirts.
Her husband was lying in a great leather chair in the dining-room, and by his side, holding his hand rather ostentatiously, was Evie. Dolly, dressed in purple, sat near the window. The room was a little dark and airless; they were obliged to keep it like this until the carting of the hay. Margaret joined the family without speaking; the five of them had met already at tea, and she knew quite well what was going to be said. Averse to wasting her time, she went on sewing. The clock struck six.