Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Forsyte Saga (The Forsyte Chronicles, #1-3)” as Want to Read:
The Forsyte Saga (The Forsyte Chronicles, #1-3)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Forsyte Saga (The Forsyte Chronicles #1-3)

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  15,566 Ratings  ·  667 Reviews
The three novels which make up The Forsyte Saga chronicle the ebbing social power of the commercial upper-middle class Forsyte family between 1886 and 1920. Galsworthy's masterly narrative examines not only their fortunes but also the wider developments within society, particularly the changing position of women. This is the only critical edition of the work available, ...more
Paperback, Oxford World's Classics, 872 pages
Published May 13th 1999 by Oxford University Press (first published 1921)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Forsyte Saga, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Lisa I wouldn't compare one author to another except that The Forsyte Saga is a great story......I would try Kate Morton perhaps? What is it that you like…moreI wouldn't compare one author to another except that The Forsyte Saga is a great story......I would try Kate Morton perhaps? What is it that you like about Rosamunde Pilcher? (less)
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellJane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre DumasLes Misérables by Victor Hugo
Big Fat Books Worth the Effort
87th out of 1,459 books — 6,510 voters
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo IshiguroThe House at Riverton by Kate MortonBrideshead Revisited by Evelyn WaughA Room with a View by E.M. ForsterHowards End by E.M. Forster
Downton Abbey-esque Books
8th out of 510 books — 914 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Petra X
Dec 27, 2015 Petra X rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
The first time I read this book I was going up the Amazon. I had just crossed the Atlantic with three friends on a yacht and got off in Fortaleza, Brazil. I thought this would be my one and only chance to see the Amazon so I stuffed a backpack full of the necesssaries, abandoned the rest and got a bus to Belem at the mouth of the Amazon. A month later having explored Belem, Santarem and a few other small places I found myself in Manaus, 1,000 miles up the Amazon. It took me a few weeks to sort ...more
Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
Apr 28, 2010 Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) by: lonebearimages@gmail.com
This is a titanic masterpiece of a multi-generational story of a fictional English family that spans the Victorian, Edwardian, and post-World War I eras. For the first one-hundred pages or so, I found myself having to frequently refer to the Forsyte family genealogical chart; however, by the end of the book I knew all of the characters and their place in the family intimately. Like all families, Galsworthy has created a world of very real and human characters in the Forsyte family; a family ...more
Tea Jovanović
May 09, 2013 Tea Jovanović rated it it was amazing
Ako ste u prilici odgledajte novu verziju BBC-jeve serije snimljene po ovom romanu, pre nekoliko godina... sjajno je urađenja...
Siria
Jun 05, 2007 Siria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Man of Property

The Man of Property is the first book in what would eventually turn out to be the nine volume Forsyte Saga, the work for which Galsworthy is chiefly remembered. It was made into a TV series not so long ago, which is how I'd heard of it, but I hadn't read it until I picked it up to read in an airport recently in order to pass the time thanks to interminable flight delays. It really did quite nicely.

The writing is very much of its time - 1906 - and for those who are not used to
...more
Abby
Sep 14, 2013 Abby rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
“He had long forgotten the small house in the purlieus of Mayfair, where he had spent 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 pounds.”

There you have it. Nine hundred pages of delicious soap opera wrapped around sly commentary on the acquisitiveness and striving of the British upper-middle classes around the turn of the twentieth century.
...more
 ~Geektastic~
Jan 13, 2016 ~Geektastic~ rated it it was amazing
Recommended to ~Geektastic~ by: luck

I found The Forsyte Saga on the shelf of my local library a couple of years ago and it has been a decided favorite of mine ever since. While “saga” is not the first word to come to mind when thinking about the British upper middle class in the later days of Victoria, it is apt. The story is a multigenerational examination of family and tradition in a time of transition, and it examines the various institutions and ideas that were under the most pressure to change as the British Empire declined f
...more
Laura
What a splendid family saga written by John Galsworthy.

The book covers the period between 1886 and 1920 and tells the story of the Forsyte's and their struggle to have the most successful life at that time.

This volume is composed by three books: The Man of Property, In Chancery and To Let.

The first book describes the life of Soames Forsyte and his wife Irene. However, this marriage will have a lot of troublesome issues along the whole narrative. This will led to dramatic consequences for all For
...more
Donna
Apr 21, 2012 Donna rated it it was amazing
Drat. I see I lost the slip of paper where I write page numbers and the little notes for the book report. There are a few numbers scrawled on the inside back cover; page 785 has cricket, 808 the fixed idea, and there's a giant dog-ear folded from the bottom of the page. That would be a chapter I want to read again. I put off finishing it too. The book was left untouched at page 830 for an entire month. Didn't want to finish it. I had been through too much with them, especially the unloveable ...more
David Lentz
Jun 21, 2011 David Lentz rated it it was amazing
The writing evident in this epic is masterful and engaging: it is even and substantive and elegant. The rich irony about the lengths that men strive to acquire property in all its forms and then find their acquisitions useless, meaningless and certainly not worth the price. Galworthy was focused upon property in so many different varieties: the sense of possession that men had of their wives in his time amid archaic laws about divorce; the building of a home that ends in unexpected expense in ...more
Jemidar

Because of the ridiculously small font in my copy of this I actually read it on my Kindle in the three separate volumes (The Man of Property, In Chancery & The Forsyte Saga: To Let) it was originally published in. For me, the sum of the three books taken together adds up to way more than if you consider each book individually. I would definitely recommend reading them as one book.
Suvi
The family saga of Forsytes, who at the beginning smell an intruder amongst them (Bosinney the architect, engaged to June), examines how the far-reaching consequences of a certain love affair molds each person and generation in its own way.

The solicitor Soames considers his wife Irene as his property, the way you do with beautiful paintings that you parade in front of others. The couple's marriage suffers from Irene's indifference, which Soames of course doesn't understand, because he doesn't se
...more
Paula
Dec 29, 2009 Paula rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally finished! Took a year of picking it up, putting it down, etc. but with my new work-out routine finally finished this care of my Kindle. This was recommended to me by Mike, and considering the number of books he recommends, I had to get it and at least attempt it!

The book tells the tale of several generations of Forsytes; their failures, their successes, their families, their relationships, their thoughts, their worries and dreams. The saga contains multiple love relationships, some doom
...more
Koeeoaddi
Jul 24, 2016 Koeeoaddi rated it it was amazing
One of those books you want to back up, turn around and read again. Loved it!
Fiona Robson
May 24, 2013 Fiona Robson rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1001-books
“The Forsyte Saga, first published under that name in 1922, is a series of three novels and two interludes (intervening episodes) published between 1906 and 1921 by Nobel Prize-winning English author John Galsworthy. They chronicle the vicissitudes of the leading members of an upper middle-class British family, similar to Galsworthy's own.[1] Only a few generations removed from their farmer ancestors, the family members are keenly aware of their status as "new money". The main character, Soames ...more
Sunday
Mar 20, 2012 Sunday rated it really liked it
Change sucks!

Nothing so poignantly marks lame ass change as following a stuffy family through generations of trying to stuff away scandal. This was a more vivid and shocking read than, say, Middlemarch was. But the "study" of a family, and even of a people in a certain time, is still rock solid. It's enjoyable and strange, with all kinds of shocking little twists and weirdness.

From the late 1800's into the 1900's, I mean hot damn. CARS. SHORT HAIR. WEIRD ART. SCIENCE?! This poor author had nosta
...more
Magrat Ajostiernos
Esta familia y cada uno de sus miembros se van a quedar conmigo durante mucho tiempo...
Rick Slane
Almost amazing, it is a thought provoking soap opera. I have spoilers at Indian Summer of a Forsyte and in Chancery This period of English history seemed similar in a material way to the post WWII rise of the American middle-class and its deterioration since the mid 1960's. Just don't expect perfection it's not what I call literary-fiction but vastly superior to Poldark.
Gitte
Jun 04, 2014 Gitte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes big books (and cannot lie)
The more I see of people the more I am convinced that they are never good or bad – merely comic, or pathetic.


The Beginning: 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.

The Forsyte Saga was an amazing journey. At first I found it a bit confusing because of the many characters, and there were parts I found a bit dull. But somewhere during the first part, it really got interesting.
...more
Bekka
Mar 05, 2012 Bekka rated it it was amazing
One of the greatest works of literature, there's a reason why Mr. Galsworthy won the Nobel Prize for Literature for this work. An epic saga of a single extended family which spans several generations, Galsworthy creates characters that are human and fallible, noble, kind and cruel. The story is deeply moving, funny, infuriating and completely compelling. This is a huge work, but, as with all great novels, the better it is, the more you want it to continue on and on. This one does! The Saga ...more
Bethany
Jan 05, 2015 Bethany rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anglophiles and Lovers of Fine Literature
Shelves: 2007
This volume contains 3 full novels and 2 short stories that chronicle the lives of the upper middle-class Forsyte Family. It begins in 1886 at the height of Victorian England and takes us through the Boer War and World War I to 1920. It is the subtle way Nobel Prize winner Mr. Galsworthy brings us through this rough, transitionary time that makes this saga (and it is a saga) great instead of just good or interesting. The larger scope shows us the changing status of women from possessions to ...more
Andrew
Aug 23, 2008 Andrew rated it really liked it
The Forstye Saga is a large family saga, spread over three generations of a Victorian family in London. The Forsytes are not titled or noblemen, but they are upper middle class, and they are good at one thing, making money. They aren't so good at many other things, like love and adapting to new ways.

I do enjoy sprawling family sagas, and I really enjoyed this one too, but did not love it. John Galsworthy creates a main character, Soames Forsyte, that is just disagreeable to me. I did not think m
...more
Inder
Aug 14, 2007 Inder rated it it was amazing
This is not a Victorian novel - it was written in the 1920s or 30s - but much of the novel takes place in Victorian times. It's the story of the Forsyte family, spanning several generations and several wars, and its obsession with "property." This has got to be one of the juiciest soap operas in print, and yet it is still full of substance and lessons for living. Watch out, it's a page turner! As much as I love reading Victorian novels, they rarely keep me up at night, but this one did on ...more
Diane S ☔
Mar 21, 2015 Diane S ☔ rated it it was amazing
Review to follow.
Janet
Sep 06, 2012 Janet rated it really liked it
This was a five star read for me until suddenly it wasn’t.

Chronicling three generations of an upper middle class British family it presents a lustrous portrait of the Victorian era bookended by personal restraint and societal constraints. At the center of it all is the hapless Soames Forsyth with his formidable commitment to the creation and perpetuation of familial wealth and position. Ultimately, this is an 850 page treatise on respectability set in quicksand.

Soames’ unreciprocated passion fo
...more
Wendy
An omnibus of three books set in 1886, 1900 and 1920 respectively, The Forsyte Saga chronicles the rise and fall of a man, a marriage, the greater Forsyte family, and Victorianism in general. The story seemed a slow burner at first, but got its claws into me at about the point where Soames Forsyte commits a certain unforgivable act against his lawful wife. The rest of the story follows the many ripples that expand out from this incident across the decades and generations. I found the third book, ...more
Terry
Mar 20, 2015 Terry rated it it was amazing
This is now my favorite book, from my favorite genre - I can't say anymore, I'm breathless and trying not to cry because it is over.
Kim
Jun 19, 2016 Kim rated it really liked it
Review to follow.
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Forsyte Saga (The Forsyte Chronicles #1-3), John Galsworthy
Nathan
Nov 04, 2012 Nathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Forsyte Saga is an endurance read - a sometimes desultory ride through four generations of Forsytes, which makes me cherish the latitude literature has to tell stories at whatever pace it chooses. There came a point midway through the first book (the Saga is comprised of three, with two interstitial novellas) when I settled in and embraced the way this story was going to present the world of an extended family and the changing England around it, and the rewards of that experience, while ...more
Lindsey Strachan
The Forsyte Saga has been on my "to read" list for a long time but has always been one of the books I never quite got round to. Still, recently I finally got there and I wish I had done so earlier, for it has become one of my all time favourites. I wont summarise the story as other viewers have already done so very well. Suffice to say this is an epic saga covering the late Victorian and early 20th century period in London, through the lives of the Forsyte family (and this version only covers ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Glimpses of the Moon
  • Miss Marjoribanks (Chronicles of Carlingford, #5)
  • The Absentee
  • The Edwardians
  • New Grub Street
  • Cranford
7419
John Galsworthy was an English novelist and playwright whose literary career spanned the Victorian, Edwardian and Georgian eras.

In addition to his prolific literary status, Galsworthy was also a renowned social activist. He was an outspoken advocate for the women's suffrage movement, prison reform and animal rights. Galsworthy was the president of PEN, an organization that sought to promote intern
...more
More about John Galsworthy...

Other Books in the Series

The Forsyte Chronicles (9 books)
  • The Man of Property
  • In Chancery (The Forsyte Saga)
  • To Let
  • The White Monkey (The Forsyte Saga)
  • The Silver Spoon
  • Swan Song
  • Maid In Waiting
  • Flowering Wilderness
  • One More River

Share This Book



“Love is not a hot-house flower, but a wild plant, born of a wet night, born of an hour of sunshine; sprung from wild seed, blown along the road by a wild wind. A wild plant that, when it blooms by chance within the hedge of our gardens, we call a flower; and when it blooms outside we call a weed; but, flower or weed, whose scent and colour are always, wild!” 67 likes
“It was such a spring day as breathes into a man an ineffable yearning, a painful sweetness, a longing that makes him stand motionless, looking at the leaves or grass, and fling out his arms to embrace he knows not what.” 55 likes
More quotes…