Based on E.M. Forster's classic novel, the miniseries adaptation of "Howards End" is a portrayal of England at the turn of the 20th century told through the lens of three families: the intellectual Schlegels, the wealthy and prejudiced Wilcoxes and the working-class Basts. In the evolving landscape of social and class divisions, idealistic Schlegel sisters Margaret and Helen seek to help the impoverished Bast family while simultaneously ridding the Wilcoxes of their preconceived notions of class and welfare.
Margaret refuses to punish Henry for past transgressions and resolves to uphold their engagement; Helen embarks on a trip around Europe with no explanation; she returns when she hears that Aunt Juley is sick with pneumonia.
Margaret receives an offer of marriage from Henry, which changes her plans. Helen is distraught to learn that Leonard Bast is unemployed after he changes jobs on the Schlegels' advice.
In the wake of Mrs. Wilcox's death in the winter of 1906, her family is further thrown by her final request regarding Howards End. As 1907 dawns, the Schlegels are given a date to move out of Wickham Place.
In the spring of 1905, Margaret Schlegel is at home with her dear but overbearing Aunt Juley and her hypochondriac brother Tibby when she receives a letter from her younger sister Helen regarding a potential engagement.