✬ Forsyte Saga Books ✮ Author John Galsworthy – Varanus.us

Forsyte SagaThe Most Prized Item In Soames Forstye S Collection Of Beautiful Things Is His Wife, The Enigmatic Irene But When She Falls In Love With Bosinney, A Penniless Architect Who Utterly Rejects The Forsyte Values, Their Affair Touches Off A Series Of Events Which Can Only End In Disgrace And DisasterJohn Galsworthy Tackles His Theme Of The Demise Of The Upper Middle Classes With Irony And Compassion

    10 thoughts on “✬ Forsyte Saga Books ✮ Author John Galsworthy – Varanus.us


  1. says:

    The first couple of chapters overwhelm the humble reader with Too Many Damn Characters, all of whom appear to be 75 years old To get this pack of Forsytes into your head, then, you may consult the family tree helpfully printed at the front of the book, where you will see that the original Jolyon Forsyte had TEN childrenAnn Aunt Ann Jolyon Old Jolyon JamesSwithinRogerJulia Aunt Juley Hester Aunt Hester NicholasTimothySusanSome of whom have seven or eight of their own and so on But my advice The first couple of chapters overwhelm the humble reader with Too Many Damn Characters, all of whom appear to be 75 years old To get this pack of Forsytes into your head, then, you may consult the family tree helpfully printed at the front of the book, where you will see that the original Jolyon Forsyte had TEN childrenAnn Aunt Ann Jolyon Old Jolyon JamesSwithinRogerJulia Aunt Juley Hester Aunt Hester NicholasTimothySusanSome of whom have seven or eight of their own and so on But my advice is, however helpful this family tree seems to be, DON T LOOK AT IT Because of course it s stuffed with spoilers this person marries that person, that one divorces this one and marries her instead So really you can only look at the family tree when you ve read all nine novels in the saga Not that useful, then.John Galsworthy, our ever affable, ultra clubbable narrator, gradually, at a leisurely strolling pace this is not a hard boiled crime story , unfolds, with the use of many, many commas, clauses and even, a stumbling block for the modern reader, a free hand with the semi colon, the situation of this nobby gang of Forsytes Not for one moment are we in any doubt about what this novel is interested in 1 The upper middle class not the middle middle, and not the lower upper And certainly not the poor their part in this saga is to set the table and bring in the soup and a bottle of the best champers and be brisk about it 2 The centrality of property Everything is property houses, stocks and shares, mortgages, manufactories, and, yes, wives the main tale of woe here is the decline and fall of Soames marriage to Irene, and how the wife is the property of the husband Or, perhaps, not Galsworthy plays a game with the reader He is happy to let us into the workings of the minds of many characters, but not Irene So if we want to know why exactly she began to loathe her husband, we will have to guess Soames claims not to know why It s a maddening but very deliberate withholding of information in a novel that is otherwise happy chucking great balefuls of information out of the back of the brougham.In very truth this is a droll, satirical high toned soap opera, and nothing essentially wrong with that Though Galsworthy at the drop of an opera hat loves suddenly to shift into overblown fancypants rhetorical wibbling mode The rest of the gardens they, the gardeners, swept bare enough, removing every morning Nature s rain of leaves piling them in heaps, whence from slow fires rose the sweet, acrid smoke that, like the cuckoo s note for spring, the scent of lime trees for the summer, is the true emblem of the fall The gardeners tidy souls could not abide the gold and green russet pattern on the grass The gravel paths must lie unstained, ordered, methodical, without knowledge of the realities of life, nor of that slow and beautiful decay that flings crowns underfoot to star the earth with fallen glories, whence, as the cycle rolls, will leap again wild spring.Surely you aren t allowed to use whence twice on one page unless you are writing a young adult fantasy trilogy Sometimes it can be hard to know if JG is having a pop at the prevailing attitudes or is promoting an attitude himself Dressing tightly and well, she belonged to a Women s Club, but was by no means the neurotic and dismal type of member who was always thinking of her rights.At first I thought I would never get on with this nasty crew of stuffed shirts, but Galsworthy is good, his voice is seductive, he knows his onions and he s not afraid of a tough issue marital rape The critics appear to have finally consigned worthy Mr Galsworthy to the upper half of Division B and that s probably right But the air in Division A can get awfully thin at times and you can wait forever for an omnibus


  2. says:

    I remember the late BBC television adaptation of this book and presumably one orof its sequels being shown on television when I was a young teenager I didn t watch it, probably because it was aimed at the grown ups and as a thirteen year old I wasn t much of a fan of bonnet and long frock drama series A shame really, because if the television series was as good as this book, it must have made very fine viewing indeed This is the first novel in what ultimately became a nine novel, mu I remember the late BBC television adaptation of this book and presumably one orof its sequels being shown on television when I was a young teenager I didn t watch it, probably because it was aimed at the grown ups and as a thirteen year old I wasn t much of a fan of bonnet and long frock drama series A shame really, because if the television series was as good as this book, it must have made very fine viewing indeed This is the first novel in what ultimately became a nine novel, multi generational family saga It concerns the extended Forsyte family, a wealthy middle class London family of yeoman farmer stock At the beginning of the novel, all ten elderly Forsyte siblings are still alive Their father had made money and moved to London, where the six sons of the family successfully engage in business and the professions Some of the Forsyte siblings are married, some are not Some have children to carry on the family name, others are childless What distinguishes a true Forsyte, though, is not membership of a wealthy and successful family but a particular philosophy Acquisitiveness is a somewhat simplistic but nevertheless accurate description of that philosophy Greed is another I m not sure what I expected when I started listening to the audiobook edition of the novel However, I was in the mood for another multi generational family saga, having just read Thomas Mann s remarkable Buddenbrooks The Decline of a Family The novels are set in roughly the same period and deal with many of the same concerns, including marriage, the position of women and the role of the family as an economic unit with Mann concentratingon the family as a whole and Galsworthy on individuals within the family Both novels feature an omniscient, ironic narrator, although in Buddenbrooks the narrator is ratherdetached than the narrator in The Man of Property What I hadn t expected to find in this novel is a biting satire on late Victorian middle class values The little that I ve read about Galsworthy thank you, Wikipedia indicates that he was a social activist who campaigned for issues such as women s rights, prison reform and animal welfare Galsworthy s progressive attitudes are revealed in the text in a not particularly subtle way However, what his writing lacks in subtlety isthan made up for by irony, humour, excellent prose, memorable characters and a vivid evocation of time and place When I acquired the audiobook, I failed to notice that it was narrated by David Case Also known as Frederick Davidson, the late Mr Case is a narrator I generally avoid I initially thought that his affected drawl would make me throw my iPod against the wall However, I realised quite soon that his supercilious tone entirely suits the novel and that his voices for all of the characters were just right My iPod has thankfully emerged undamaged from the experience


  3. says:

    As an English child of the sixties there were a number of sides to choose Beatles or Stones Mods or Rockers Irene or Soames Everyone in our street had a view Feminists backed Irene, traditionalists bigots were for Soames Men backed Soames, women, Irene Men who had watched the BBc were for Irene because Nyree Dawn Porter reached heights of grace and beauty that slowed the blood, then quickened it I was only 10 and didn t really know what they were talking about I ve just read the book As an English child of the sixties there were a number of sides to choose Beatles or Stones Mods or Rockers Irene or Soames Everyone in our street had a view Feminists backed Irene, traditionalists bigots were for Soames Men backed Soames, women, Irene Men who had watched the BBc were for Irene because Nyree Dawn Porter reached heights of grace and beauty that slowed the blood, then quickened it I was only 10 and didn t really know what they were talking about I ve just read the book and now at least I know why they were talking Its a superb story and these two are probably the pick of a crop of memorable and acutely observed characters The Forsytes are out of fashion The recent TV adaptation failed to get anyone talking, and Galsworthy is often considered the wrong English writer to have won the Nobel prize OK he wasn t a modernist his style was very much going out of fashion, but he was bloody good at what he did Its taken me a long time to get round to reading volume one The rest will follow soon.Oh, and I can t decide I m a little in love with Irene, but Soameswhat a character


  4. says:

    Justice, there is no justice for men, for they are forever in the dark In some novels, the author s admiration for their creations is obvious in varying degrees, a novelist will let you in on who is their favorite, sometimes annoyingly so as much as I liked the Harry Potter books, the refrain of Harry, Ron and Hermonie that constantly began chapters became, dare I say, tiresome.Here the reader doesn t get the sense that Galsworthy really admires any of his subjects, expect perhaps for Old Justice, there is no justice for men, for they are forever in the dark In some novels, the author s admiration for their creations is obvious in varying degrees, a novelist will let you in on who is their favorite, sometimes annoyingly so as much as I liked the Harry Potter books, the refrain of Harry, Ron and Hermonie that constantly began chapters became, dare I say, tiresome.Here the reader doesn t get the sense that Galsworthy really admires any of his subjects, expect perhaps for Old Jolyon and Young Jolyon It was at times reminiscent of Trollope s The way we live now like that wonderful novel, it constructed a story that questioned ideas of principle at the basis of the upper class Here, Galsworthy equates it all with property indeed, a redemptive moment in the novel, when a character comes to a realization about his behavior and and a scope broader than himself, it is couched as behavior that it unpractical and, hence, in the Forsyte parlance, useless.Here we see the notion of property as principle taken to its extreme, and it is disquieting For all the television shows on now that rely on some shock, and persistent violence, it is the quiet novels that come to a fore that, in my mind, are the most awakening and powerful J.M Coetze s novel Disgrace does the same, in almost the same manner ideas of property and possession that seem sound but taken to their extreme are seen as the source of so much grief We have that here, and its hard to see the character in the same way, hard to forgive him, even if he has that unpractical redemptive realization.Must we always live forever in the dark, thus having any true sense of justice allude us This seems to be the question of the novel and it hinges on our susceptibility to rigid ways of living, to purely self interested pursuit I d intended to read the others in this series, with books 2 and 3 ready for me in audio book during my commute The Forsyte s, so far, though, have proved to be like a side of your family or in laws you are eager to hear about and perhaps gossip about, and visit briefly, but also feel a bit relieved when you board the airplane to go home TheI see of people , young Jolyon quips, theI am convinced that they are never good or bad merely comic, or pathetic Dickens believed in the good souls as lights of the world, in the midsts of the comic, or pathetic and as much as I may agree with Young Jolyon s sentiments, if pressed for an absolute answer, I feel better under the illusion that the world is a bitDickensian, sometimes against all evidence to the contrary.A


  5. says:

    Set in London in the late 19th century, this is the first volume in a trilogy not counting the interludes describing the evolving fortunes of the Forsyte family All of them, at least in this first part,or less subscribe to the same family philosophy property get cheap and keep Not unlike many other English, then as well as now, worrying about property ladders, buy to let , and what not Not too much happens, but it is always surprising and oftentimes funny, especially when circum Set in London in the late 19th century, this is the first volume in a trilogy not counting the interludes describing the evolving fortunes of the Forsyte family All of them, at least in this first part,or less subscribe to the same family philosophy property get cheap and keep Not unlike many other English, then as well as now, worrying about property ladders, buy to let , and what not Not too much happens, but it is always surprising and oftentimes funny, especially when circumstances demand that the family motto be ignored Excellent light reading Looking forward to the other books and very glad that I did not watch any of the TV series adaptations to spoil the fun


  6. says:

    He had long forgotten how he had hovered, lanky and pale, in side whiskers of chestnut hue, round Emily, in the days of his own courtship He had long forgotten the small house in the purlieus of Mayfair, where he had spet the early days of his married life, or rather, he had long forgotten the early days, not the small house, a Forsyte never forgot a house he had afterwards sold it at a clear profit of four hundred poundsI know I read this in my late 20 s or early 30s, but I don t remember He had long forgotten how he had hovered, lanky and pale, in side whiskers of chestnut hue, round Emily, in the days of his own courtship He had long forgotten the small house in the purlieus of Mayfair, where he had spet the early days of his married life, or rather, he had long forgotten the early days, not the small house, a Forsyte never forgot a house he had afterwards sold it at a clear profit of four hundred poundsI know I read this in my late 20 s or early 30s, but I don t remember much of the story, so I was glad to pick it up again for that reason But also, I wonder if it didn t stick with me because I read it too young I suspect that I understand the themes, character motivations and satire much better now that I am older and a better reader It was also interesting to read since the character St John Clark from A Dance to the Music of Time was allegedly modeled on Galsworthy Published in 1906, The Man of Property, is the first book in the 9 book Forsyte saga, reads like a Victorian novel and takes place in the late Victorian period The Man of Property is Soames Forsyte, the second generation of a very respectable, large upper middle class English family All Forsytes appreciate money and possessions and one of Soamesprized possessions is his beautiful wife, Irene who does not love him Another major plot line is that of Old Jolyon, the patriarch of the family who longs to reconcile with his disgraced son In many ways, this is a very soapy novel full of affairs and gossip But it is also quite touching and moving and with a sharp satirical bite And that ending Pow The edition I read not pictured also contains the novella epilogue Indian Summer of a Forsyte which is interesting to read, but somewhat dilutes the power of the final page of The Man of Property


  7. says:

    This is the first book of the nine volume Forsyte Saga I didn t watch the tv series so I had no particular expectations about this book but I liked it a lot The story of the large Forsyte family is told in the third person with irony and wit The central event is the affair of Irene Forsyte with the young, impoverished architect Bosinney and how her husband Soames handles the affair not very effectively , however the upper middle class clan of Forsytes is full of interesting members I loved This is the first book of the nine volume Forsyte Saga I didn t watch the tv series so I had no particular expectations about this book but I liked it a lot The story of the large Forsyte family is told in the third person with irony and wit The central event is the affair of Irene Forsyte with the young, impoverished architect Bosinney and how her husband Soames handles the affair not very effectively , however the upper middle class clan of Forsytes is full of interesting members I loved the way in which both the physical characteristics and the personalities of the characters were described In the view of Irene s father in law, Bosinney is sharper than he had thought and better looking than he had hoped.The book touches on many issues, including the legal system, family estrangements, the position of women in society and aging I don t know whether I was supposed to sympathize with Irene, who married Soames for his money, but I really felt that both Soames and Bosinney s fianc were ill used by her.I doubt that I will read the entire saga, but I will definitely read the next book The narration by David Case of the audiobook was excellent


  8. says:

    It s not a book I d recommend to everybody whether you enjoy it or not is simply dependent on whether you like this style of story or not One in which not a person, but a family is the protagonist And one in which everything progresses quite slowly That being said, it s still an excellent book, and one the message of which is still valid and important today I was particularly struck by Galsworthy s surprisingly progressive attitude It s obvious that while he satirises the Forsytes not ve It s not a book I d recommend to everybody whether you enjoy it or not is simply dependent on whether you like this style of story or not One in which not a person, but a family is the protagonist And one in which everything progresses quite slowly That being said, it s still an excellent book, and one the message of which is still valid and important today I was particularly struck by Galsworthy s surprisingly progressive attitude It s obvious that while he satirises the Forsytes not very subtly , he does so with a sharp and very critical eye I enjoyed it, even though it often made me nervous and anxious as events unfolded in inevitable but sometimes disturbing ways


  9. says:

    A fabulous start to the trilogy The Forsyte Saga It s rather refreshing to be reading about the upper middle class my literature in the past has tended to focus on either the aristocracy or at least the upper class or the working man poor It makes sense as at this time the middle class was growing and, perhaps, very understandably they were obsessed with money and property It was this that a man strived for, to increase his prosperity and secure a place for his family Education and cult A fabulous start to the trilogy The Forsyte Saga It s rather refreshing to be reading about the upper middle class my literature in the past has tended to focus on either the aristocracy or at least the upper class or the working man poor It makes sense as at this time the middle class was growing and, perhaps, very understandably they were obsessed with money and property It was this that a man strived for, to increase his prosperity and secure a place for his family Education and culture was all very well but money was the foundation that they stood upon and, in the end, it was the only thing that really counted.Soames, the coming man embodies the values of this upper middle class way of thinking He comes from a wealthy family and is intent on working hard, increasing his prosperity and establishing himself as a man of consequence His wife, Irene, might not feel the same way although she is so silent and withdrawn it is hard to tell.The players in this family drama were well drawn by John Galsworthy none of them perhaps were truly likeable, being rather shallow and selfish in their various ways, but they are all extremely human I especially found Irene to be maddening, so much so that I had some sympathy for Soames in his frustrated treatment of her, something I never thought I d be able to do


  10. says:

    It is early 1967 and my mother got hooked up on the Masterpiece Theatre production of The Forsyte Saga For 26 weeks she watched that show and followed that family She also read the books, and as a boy of 14 I had no blooming idea why she would do that Now, 51 years later I have figured it out I just finished book 1 of this Saga and will be diving into the rest A well written family story about the Forsyte s and all their relations Lot of questions come up in book 1 Why did Irene marry So It is early 1967 and my mother got hooked up on the Masterpiece Theatre production of The Forsyte Saga For 26 weeks she watched that show and followed that family She also read the books, and as a boy of 14 I had no blooming idea why she would do that Now, 51 years later I have figured it out I just finished book 1 of this Saga and will be diving into the rest A well written family story about the Forsyte s and all their relations Lot of questions come up in book 1 Why did Irene marry Soames Forsyte What did he do that turned her cold as ice to him Why are we focusing on Irene when the real injured party seems to be Old Jolyon s granddaughter, Joan Why are we notupset about Joans engagement to Bosinney Why is Old Jolyon such a royal pain in the tuche And why do all of the brothers and their offspring despise each other Why so little about the other ladies in the family And how about what the author wrote about the death of Aunt Ann, and how that started the dissolution of the family, as if she was the glue that held all together These and other questions are going to be answered going forward This is an easy book to read and for me it has been a lot of fun to put myself into my deceased mom s shoes and enjoy this wonderful family story In the past 3 years I have become hooked on Dickens, Trollope, Delderfeld and now Galsworthy

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