The Forsyte Saga

Topics: The Forsyte Saga, John Galsworthy, Eric Porter Pages: 5 (1760 words) Published: March 2, 2013
For those who wish it, the following is a little bit of an intro to the reading of The Forsyte Saga Vol 1; henceforth designated by me as, TFS.

I. His Life:
He attended Harrow and New College, Oxford, training as a barrister and was called to the bar in 1890. However, he was not keen to begin practising law and instead travelled abroad to look after the family's shipping business interests.

In 1895 Galsworthy began an affair with Ada Nemesis Pearson, the wife of one of his cousins. After her divorce the pair eventually married on 23 September 1905 and stayed together until his death in 1933. Prior to their marriage, they stayed clandestinely in a farmhouse called Wingstone in the village of Manaton on Dartmoor, Devon. From 1908 he took out a long lease on part of the building and made it their regular second home until 1923.

He is now far better known for his novels and particularly TFS, the first of three trilogies of novels about the Forsyte family and connected lives. These books, as with many of his other works, dealt with class, and in particular upper-middle class lives. Although sympathetic to his characters he highlights their insular, snobbish and acquisitive attitudes and their suffocating moral codes. He is viewed as one of the first writers of the Edwardian era; challenging in his works some of the ideals of society depicted in the preceding literature of Victorian England. The character of Irene in TFS is drawn from Ada Pearson even though her previous marriage was not as miserable as Irene's.

John Galsworthy lived for the final seven years of his life at Bury in West Sussex. He died from a brain tumour at his London home, Grove Lodge, Hampstead.

Additional Info:
Galsworthy was a dramatist of considerable technical skill. His plays often took up specific social grievances such as the double standard of justice as applied to the upper and lower classes in The Silver Box (1906) and the confrontation of capital and labour in Strife (1909). Justice (1910), his most famous play, led to a prison reform in England. Galsworthy's reaction o the First World War found its expression in The Mob (1914), in which the voice of a statesman is drowned in the madness of the war-hungry masses; and in enmity of the two families of The Skin Game (1920). From Nobel Lectures, Literature 1901-1967, Editor Horst Frenz, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1969

II. A Genealogy
This book, like War & Peace and many other long books, has a geneology associated with it. If you would like one version of the geneology to assist you in the reading of the book, you could access it here...

III. The Structure
The Forsyte Saga, the first of three trilogies of novels is itself a trilogy: The Forsyte Saga, A Modern Comedy, End of the Chapter.

TFS consists of 3 Volumes:
The first part is The Forsyte Saga that consists of: The Man of Property,(Interlude) Indian Summer of a Forsyte, In Chancery, (Interlude) Awakening,
To Let.

IV. Two Suggested Approaches As We Go Along....

Certain books are for fast reads and benefit from that approach. This particular book is possibly best appreciated at a slower pace. If you are uncomfortable with a slow pace then you will possibly not want to waste your time here.

Likewise, reading this book on the subway going to work might be a little difficult.

War and Peace can be a fast and interesting read but possibly not this one.

While we can do literary criticism as well as plot and character analysis lets also include favorite passages or quotations of the book that we really enjoy and think worth dwelling on.

I will add mine as we go along, but will wait for people to get going with the book before doing so.

Sample paper: The Forsyte Saga
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