Forster's guiding idea for Howards End was a question (as critic Lionel Trilling has expressed): "Who shall inherit England?" At a time of enormous social and economic change, Forster explored the forces affecting each social class in an effort to determine which set of values and circumstances would prevail in England as a whole. Remember also that one of the main concerns of the novel, introduced with Mrs. Wilcox's dying wish to leave her home to Margaret, and continued throughout in references made by Mr. Wilcox to his will, is "Who shall inherit Howards End?"