Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Forsyte Saga - by John Galsworthy.

Some of my reading was inspired by browsing the stacks, some by a classic comic (!) and some by "Masterpiece Theatre".  That was the case with the Forsyte Saga (£0.49 UK Kindle) (Deutsch edition) by John Galsworthy which was adapted for television in the 70’s.  The book is actually 5 short novels with the first one well known by its title, A Man of Property.
“The Forsytes” is a culture clash of art versus industry, Bohemian versus Edwardian and maybe a little bit of “Romeo and Juliet.”

The book actually seemed quite timely in the 70’s with a plot guaranteed to bring up discussions of women’s rights.
“Like an artist for ever seeking to discover the significant trifle which embodies the whole character of a scene, or place, or person, so those unconscious artists — the Forsytes had fastened by intuition on this hat; it was their significant trifle, the detail in which was embedded the meaning of the whole matter; for each had asked himself: “Come, now, should I have paid that visit in that hat?” and each had answered “No!” and some, with more imagination than others, had added: “It would never have come into my head!”

George, on hearing the story, grinned. The hat had obviously been worn as a practical joke! He himself was a connoisseur of such. “Very haughty!” he said, “the wild Buccaneer.”

And this mot, the ‘Buccaneer,’ was bandied from mouth to mouth, till it became the favourite mode of alluding to Bosinney.

Her aunts reproached June afterwards about the hat.

“We don’t think you ought to let him, dear!” they had said.”
That is a nice snippet to give you the flavor!  I like to include a passage in each of my blogs so that you get a sense of the writing.  When deciding whether to read a book, I crack it open and read a few paragraphs from the middle.  It has to be well-written as well as a subject that sounds interesting.  Galsworthy does it on both counts here.

Just a reminder to UK readers, I am not always able to see the price on UK books.  So sometimes I am guessing as to which is a free or inexpensive version.  As a rule, books for the UK Kindle seem to be higher priced and I do not think you enjoy as many free books.

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I'm reading: The Forsyte Saga - by John Galsworthy.Tweet this!


  1. Galsworthy wrote two sets of sequels to these original Forsyte Saga novels - both were trilogies but the first one had a couple of "interludes" in common with the original saga which you are reading.

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  3. @Maxine They put the same interludes in all three trilogies? They are novella length I think, although none of the novels (or 3 novels and 2 interludes) are very long. I read the original set of books from Soames through Jon, so to speak.

    How do the other sets of books measure up? I have heard Galsworthy is inconsistent, although I think the Forsyte Saga is top notch.


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