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The Forsyte Saga: The Man of Property (1) Paperback – September 6, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“An immortal achievement . . . it is, at all levels, readability itself.”  —Financial Times, on The Forsyte Saga series



“Just because they were set in a world of frock-coats and ornate drawing rooms, we should not be blind to their modern dilemmas . . . the satire is sharp, the dialogue, elegant and witty, and the characterization—dazzling.”  —Scotsman



“A cracking good story . . . compulsive, as well as very modern and outrageous.”  —Sunday Times

“Still a terrific read, a satisfying, long, absorbing family story…which knocks spots off its pale imitators.”  —Susan Hill

About the Author

John Galsworthy was born on August 14, 1867, in Surrey and came from an established, wealthy family. Called to the Bar in 1890, he soon decided to abandon law and turn to writing. THE FORSYTE SAGA is his most celebrated work, but he was also a successful dramatist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1932.
In 1891 Galsworthy met his cousin's wife Ada Nemesis Pearson and they embarked on a scandalous affair, eventually marrying after Ada's divorce in 1905. John Galsworthy died on January 31, 1933.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Forsyte Saga (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (September 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075534085X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755340859
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,251,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Once upon a time, not so long ago, wives were practically considered the property of their husbands.

But this antiquated idea is only one that John Galsworthy quietly slashed apart in the first book of the Forsyte Saga, "the Man of Property." With his intricate plot and lush old-style writing, Galsworthy introduces us to a snobby upper-middle-class family who begins to disintegrate in the changing times.

The vast Forsyte family has come together to celebrate June Forsyte's engagement to a young bohemian architect, Philip Bosinney -- except for June's father, who eloped with the governess and is now shunned by his family.

Among the guests are the stuffy, domineering Soames Forsyte and his quiet, unhappy wife Irene -- though she conditionally agreed to marry him, she doesn't love him. But Soames regards Irene as his most valuable piece of property, so he decides to get her away from London. At the same time, the patriarch Jolyon starts to kick off family disapproval, and goes to see his estranged son.

Soames contracts Bosinney to design a country house, hoping that his work will appeal to Irene's "artistic" sensibilities. And it does -- too much. An attraction starts to flower between Bosinney and Irene, leading to a furtive affair and the promise of yet more scandal. And Soames' determination to "own" Irene leads to tragedy...

Written in 1906, "The Man of Property" was written in a time before the world of England's upper crust changed forever -- sort of an English "Age of Innocence." And while Galsworthy's first Forsyte book can be sees as the portrait of a disintegrating marriage, it can also be seen as the portrait of the Forsytes overall -- stuffy, gilded, and extremely eager to forget the working class roots a few generations back.
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Format: Paperback
This is a surprisingly good read. While many of the characters are pompous and dull, the writer never is... and although it takes a long time for a truly sympathetic character to come on the scene, there is never any confusion as to the point of view being presented.

The book takes an interesting look at the drive for ownership that infected English society then, as it infects all relatively prosperous societies then and now. The characters are clearly portrayed, laughable and lovable, or despicable, or merely human.

The plight of Irene, a beautiful woman, desired but regarded as an asset by her husband, is one that fascinates and terrifies me as a female reader. Thank god we were not born in that time!
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By Victoria on February 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
The Forsyte Saga, Book One

To me, this is a story of Human Feelings that connect all of us. The Forsyte are a tree with many branches sitting in a park of the threes just like theirs: the Owners of Lands and Houses and Wives and the Society in general; but they all are connected to the EARTH from which all feeds and all grows. Thus the feelings, uniting all of us, are not unreachable for them: beauty and pity, love and compassion, companionship and understanding... The desire to POSSES: who does NOT have it? More or less, we all are OWNERS, "men of property", and we want it: it is in our human nature, after all. I feel for Somes. He really did his best with what he got, with what he felt and knew. He is just a human, just like Irene and Bossini. And now...

"A divorce! Thus close, the word was paralyzing, so utterly at variance with all the principles that had hitherto guided his life. Its lack of compromise appalled him; he felt--like the captain of a ship, going to the side of his vessel, and, with his own hands throwing over the most precious of his bales. This jettisoning of his property with his own hand seemed uncanny to Soames. It would injure him in his profession: He would have to get rid of the house at Robin Hill, on which he had spent so much money, so much anticipation--and at a sacrifice. And she! She would no longer belong to him, not even in name! She would pass out of his life, and he--he should never see her again!"

My Mom loves the series and have been telling me for a while now that I should read it. I am glad I finally started. It is a true encyclopaedia on human nature.

Victoria Evangelina Belyavskaya
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Format: Kindle Edition
pertyOnce upon a time, not so long ago, wives were practically considered the property of their husbands.

But this antiquated idea is only one that John Galsworthy quietly slashed apart in the first book of the Forsyte Saga, "the Man of Property." With his intricate plot and lush old-style writing, Galsworthy introduces us to a snobby upper-middle-class family who begins to disintegrate in the changing times.

The vast Forsyte family has come together to celebrate June Forsyte's engagement to a young bohemian architect, Philip Bosinney -- except for June's father, who eloped with the governess and is now shunned by his family.

Among the guests are the stuffy, domineering Soames Forsyte and his quiet, unhappy wife Irene -- though she conditionally agreed to marry him, she doesn't love him. But Soames regards Irene as his most valuable piece of property, so he decides to get her away from London. At the same time, the patriarch Jolyon starts to kick off family disapproval, and goes to see his estranged son.

Soames contracts Bosinney to design a country house, hoping that his work will appeal to Irene's "artistic" sensibilities. And it does -- too much. An attraction starts to flower between Bosinney and Irene, leading to a furtive affair and the promise of yet more scandal. And Soames' determination to "own" Irene leads to tragedy...

Written in 1906, "The Man of Property" was written in a time before the world of England's upper crust changed forever -- sort of an English "Age of Innocence." And while Galsworthy's first Forsyte book can be sees as the portrait of a disintegrating marriage, it can also be seen as the portrait of the Forsytes overall -- stuffy, gilded, and extremely eager to forget the working class roots a few generations back.
Read more ›
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