The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy
(Oxford World's Classics)

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The three novels which make up The Forsyte Saga chronicle the ebbing social power of the commerical upper-middle class Forsyte family between 1886 and 1920. Soames Forsyte is the brilliantly portrayed central figure, a Victorian who outlives the age, and whose baffled passion for his beautiful but unresponsive wife Irene reverberates throughout the saga.

Written with both compassion and ironic detachment, Galsworthy's masterly narrative examines not only the family's fortunes but also the wider developments within society, particularly the changing position of women in an intensely competitive male world. Above all, Galsworthy is concerned with the conflict at the heart of English culture between the soulless materialism of wealth and property and the humane instincts of love, beauty, and art.
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About John Galsworthy

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At age 28, after a gentlemanly education at Harrow and Oxford, and a training at law, Galsworthy settled into simultaneous careers as a novelist and a playwright. The Silver Box, Galsworthy's first successful drama, was staged in 1906, the year he published the first volume of what was to become The Forsyte Saga. His one-word titles - Justice (1910), Strife (1909), Loyalties (1922)---suggest the nature of Galsworthy's artistic ambition: to generalize a social indictment, keeping faith with the objective methods of naturalism. In each, Galsworthy favors an austere irony and unresolvable situations, and balanced moral positions are displayed in the cabinetwork of "well-made" playwrighting. Reputed to have led to reforms in its time, his realism today seems contrived to produce aesthetic distance and a sense of resignation that is precisely what contemporary political dramatists strain hardest to avoid. Not surprisingly, critics have come away from revivals with the sense that (especially in his spare language) Galsworthy anticipates Harold Pinter rather than more socially engaged playwrights. Galsworthy wrote novels and plays alternately throughout his life. His masterwork, The Forsyte Saga, begun in 1906 and finished in 1928, and consisting of six separate novels and two linking interludes, is the most famous example of the sequence novel in English literature. It is a study of the property sense, the possessive spirit, in different individuals and generations of English middle-class society. He also completed a second trilogy dealing with the Forsyte family, called A Modern Comedy (1928). His last trilogy, a study of the Charwell family, is called End of the Chapter (1933). Galsworthy's later years brought him many honors, including the presidency of P.E.N. and honorary degrees from Oxford, Cambridge, and several other universities. After World War I, he was offered a knighthood, which he refused. He did, however, accept the Order of Merit in 1929, and in 1932 he was awarded the Nobel Prize. He was, however, too ill to attend the Nobel ceremony and died within two months of receiving the award. Although his posthumous reputation had waned, the centenary of his death, in 1967, brought a re-creation of The Forsyte Saga on British and American television in serial form. Interest in him skyrocketed, and the Forsyte novels again became bestsellers. With new popularity came fresh critical analysis. Pamela Hansford Johnson called The Forsyte Saga "a work of profound social insight and patchy psychological insight" (N.Y. Times). His critical writings include The Inn of Tranquility: Studies and Essays (1911) and Author and Critic.
Published July 10, 2008 by Oxford Paperbacks. 912 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Continued on the next page Page 1 — Page 2 — Page 3 — Page 4

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Some of the dialogue is taken right off Galsworthy's page.

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Series 2 (2003) green lit after the success of the first series follows with the story of the new generation detailed in To Let.

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Registered Number:06981959 Registered office: 26 Delancey Street, London NW1 7NH.

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A Work in Progress

My edition contains the first three books that make up The Forsyte Saga plus the two shorter interludes.

Mar 17 2010 | Read Full Review of The Forsyte Saga (Oxford Worl...

Fleur Forsyte is the impetuous and willful only daughter of Soames Forsyte and his second wife, and he dotes on her without limit.

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Compton Bennett's direction unfolds it at a measured pace, in keeping with the quaintness of the Victorian English setting, as it tells the story of an outsider femme who marries into the Forsyte family, then falls in love with a man engaged to one of the Forsyte women, bringing discord into an o...

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A follow-up series, which originally aired on PBS last fall, traces the lives of the younger Forsyte generation, focusing, not surprisingly, on the direct offspring of Soames and, Sue Gibson (episodes 1-3), Alan Almond (episodes 4-6);

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