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The Forsyte Saga

de John Galsworthy

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Séries: The Forsyte Chronicles (Omnibus 1-3, 2 Interludes)

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2,543415,967 (4.16)3 / 367
Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

John Galsworthy's The Forsyte Saga collects together three novels and two interludes, all published between 1906 and 1921. Not far removed from their farming history, the members of an upper-middle-class British family are painfully aware of being "new money". As a "man of property", Soames Forsyte's abilities bring him material wealth, but they grant him no quarter in the happiness stakes.

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Mostrando 1-5 de 41 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
The audio version I downloaded from Overdrive includes all three books, “Man of Property”, “In Chancery” and “To Let”, expertly read by Fred Williams. Apparently John Galsworthy (1867-1933) went to Oxford to study law, but after encountering Joseph Conrad on a sea voyage, turned to literature--Thank you Joseph Conrad! For turn of phrase, depth and intricacy of characters, and sense of place, this may be my new all-time favorite. ( )
  TraSea | Apr 29, 2024 |
This book starts out very slow. A snooty British family, wealthy elites but not aristocratic, more upper-middle class than upper-class, is having issues because one of the girls in the family is engaged to a young architect. The architect is hired to build a house for the girl's uncle, and winds up having an affair with the uncle's young, pretty wife. The story starts out in the late 1800's and society is starting to change towards a world of expanded women's rights and a less rigid class structure, so while the older members of the Forsyte family react with the expected horror and disgust their class ought to feel for scandalous entanglements, the younger members of the family are not so convinced.
Over the next few years even more scandalous things happen, and at the same time the world around the Forsytes is changing more rapidly.
This was a long novel, and it felt long for the first 300-400pgs, but the second half was well paced and engaging. I liked the way this book explored how much society changed over the decades leading into WW1. This book was in fact first published just at the end of WW1, so the book's characters can have no real idea how much their world would be changing once the Great Depression and WW2 had their effects.
( )
  JBarringer | Dec 15, 2023 |
This was the first of the three trilogies Galsworthy wrote about the eponymous family of successful upper middle class lawyers and businessmen, whom he uses to stand for a certain Victorian, English set of attitudes and values focused on the primacy of money, social position, respectability and security.

The lawyer Soames Forsyte has a central position in all three novels: he’s an almost-perfect embodiment of Forsyteism, his idea of himself as a Man of Property invariably trumping any distant echoes of aesthetic sense or human feeling that get through to him. In the first novel we see his despotic possession of his wife Irene fall apart when she falls for the distinctly un-Forsyteish architect Philip; in the second we find him being pushed into a position where his desire for a child forces him into the ultimate sacrifice of respectability, a passage through the divorce court; and in the third he is pushed towards another major sacrifice of reputation for the sake of his daughter.

Galsworthy writes with a Trollope-like irony towards his characters (and a very Trollope-like fascination with legal quirks), but it’s informed by a 20th-century scepticism about Victorian values, written in the aftermath of the humiliation of South Africa and (in the last book) the horrors of the Great War. And a certain sense of nostalgia, too: when Timothy Forsyte, last of the Victorian generation, is interred in Highgate Cemetery, it’s a bit like the death of Emperor Franz-Joseph. Oddly, he doesn’t have anything to say about the Women’s Suffrage movement, but he does stress how Victorian law and custom were used to oppress women, and puts in his own plea for a long-overdue reform of divorce laws. ( )
2 vote thorold | Jan 8, 2023 |
If you despise the upper middle class as I do, with their tiresome entitlement, you will know why I gave this work five stars. Despite its sexist-ness (see page 595), and racist-ness (re: what the characters say about the time of the Boer war), it's still a delicious read. ( )
  burritapal | Oct 23, 2022 |
John Galsworthy, „posledný viktoriánsky spisovateľ“, ako ho niekedy nazývajú, vytvoril románmi svojho forsytovského cyklu mohutnú stavbu, ktorá je skôr mauzóleom ako pomníkom odchádzajúcej epoche a ľuďom, čo ju vytvorili. Forsytovci, oná „prevažná väčšina“ anglického národa, poriadkumilovná, konzervatívna, majetná, stali sa osobitným pojmom — veď sú stelesnením typu, ktorý kedysi tvoril chrbticu jednej zo svetových veľmocí. A jednako ani tento rod, to živé stelesnenie stredostavovskej solidnosti, neunikol pred rušivou, všetko rúcajúcou silou Krásy, ktorú stretávame v pôvabnej Irene a jej tragickom ľúbostnom príbehu. „Forsytovská sága" je dosiaľ živým svedectvom rozprávačského majstrovstva a imaginatívnej sily tohto autora. ( )
  Hanita73 | Apr 2, 2022 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Galsworthy, Johnautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Harvey, GeoffreyEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Tuulio, TyyniTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Williams, FredNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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book I: the man of property: "...You will answer/ The slaves are ours...." ~ merchant of venice
book II: in chancery: "Two households both alike in dignity, [...] From ancient grudge break to new mutiny." ~ romeo and juliet
book III: to let: "From out the fatal loins of those two foes/ A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life." ~ romeo and juliet
interlude: indian summer of a forsyte: "And summer's lease hath all too short a date." ~ Shakespeare
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book I: the man of property: TO EDWARD GARNETT
indian summer of a forsyte: TO ANDRE CHEVRILLON
book II: in chancery: TO JESSIE AND JOSEPH CONRAD
book III: to let: TO CHARLES SCRIBNER
To MY WIFE I DEDICATE THE FORSYTE SAGA IN ITS ENTIRETY, BELIEVING IT TO BE OF ALL MY WORK THE LEAST UNWORTHY OF ONE WITHOUT WHOSE ENCOURAGEMENT, SYMPATHY AND CRITICISM I COULD NEVER HAVE BECOME EVEN SUCH A WRITER AS I AM
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Those privileged to be present at a family festival of the Forsytes have seen that charming and instructive sight—an upper middle-class family in full plumage.
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Nothing in the world is more sure to upset a Forsyte than the discovery that something on which he has stipulated to spend a certain sum has cost more. And this is reasonable, for upon the accuracy of his estimates the whole policy of his life is ordered. If he cannot rely on definite values of property, his compass is amiss; he is adrift upon bitter waters without a helm. (book I: the man of property: part II: chapter XIII: perfection of the house)
For all men of great age, even for all Forsytes, life has had bitter experiences. The passer-by, who sees them wrapped in cloaks of custom, wealth, and comfort, would never suspect that such black shadows had fallen on their roads. (book I: the man of property: part III: chapter VIII: bosinney's departure)
When a man is very old and quite out of the running, he loves to feel secure from the rivalries of youth, for he would still be first in the heart of beauty. (indian summer of a forsyte: I)
By the cigars they smoke, and the composers they love, ye shall know the texture of men's souls. (indian summer of a forsyte: I)
Even grief sobbed itself out in time; only Time was good for sorrow--Time who saw the passing of each mood, each emotion in turn; Time the layer-to-rest. (indian summer of a forsyte: I)
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The Forsyte Saga, Volumes 1 to 3 - The Man of Property, In Chancery and To Let - and two interludes - Indian Summer of a Forsyte and Awakening
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Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

John Galsworthy's The Forsyte Saga collects together three novels and two interludes, all published between 1906 and 1921. Not far removed from their farming history, the members of an upper-middle-class British family are painfully aware of being "new money". As a "man of property", Soames Forsyte's abilities bring him material wealth, but they grant him no quarter in the happiness stakes.

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