First published in 1910, Howards End is considered by many to be Forster's greatest novel. Set at the beginning of the 20th century it follows the fortunes and interrelations between three family groups of differing backgrounds and outlooks. At the top of the money tree are the Wilcoxes who represent broadly materialism and an upper-class English archetype. The family has made money in the colonies and also have a property - Howards End - owned by the terminally-ill mother, Ruth Wilcox, who must decide how best to pass on the estate. A decision that triggers much of the novel's ensuing conflict, scandal and tragedy.