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The Man of Property: The Forsyte Saga (The Forsyte Saga #1)

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  1,887 ratings  ·  85 reviews
The most prized item in Soames Forsyte'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 disaster.

John Galsworthy tackles his theme of the demise of the upper-middle classes w
Paperback, 364 pages
Published January 1st 2001 by Wordsworth Editions Ltd (first published 1906)
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I remember the late BBC television adaptation of this book - and presumably one or more of 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, mul
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 ...more
I've just reread this for the third/fourth time, and loved it unreservedly again. The Nobel Prize winners often seem inaccesible to me, but not so Galsworthy. I am again enthralled, pulled in to this very real story of real people with very human failings and foibles. I feel for poor Soames, the villain of the piece, who is emotionally crippled, recognising and desiring beauty, but only as a possession, and thus bound to destroy his own happiness and that of others around him. I would love Old J ...more

February is one of the best months for reading. I don’t care about the Superbowl; the Oscars are a snoozefest, so there’s plenty of time to hit the books. Every year I try to revisit one of the longer “classics” during February. This year’s choice is Galsworthy’s “The Forsyte Saga”.

Galsworthy wrote a total of nine novels about the Forsyte family, collectively referred to as “The Forsyte Chronicles”. The entire series is normally grouped into three trilogies: “The Forsyte Saga”, “A Modern Comedy
What a tragic story! Can't wait to see what happens in the next book!
You know how sometimes you know something, but you have difficulty putting it into words? The concepts exist in your mind somewhere beneath the level where they can be easily told and explained. Well, somehow John Galsworthy insinuated himself into my head and implanted this picture of upper middle-class London that was never there previously. I'd never really thought about the demise of this group of people before, and yet they exist fully-formed in my mind. This, this is the triumph of show no ...more
THE MAN OF PROPERTY. (1918). John Galsworthy. ****.
Galsworthy wrote this first installment of what was to become known as “The Forsyte Chronicles,” and it became an immediate success. He didn’t write the second novel, “In Chancery,” for another fourteen years. When he was finally completed, the Chronicles ran to six (or maybe nine – depending on how many you want to include) novels. He was ultimately awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for this series. It is the saga of, surprise, the Forsyt
I gave 4 stars to this book a few days ago thinking that it would average a poor beginning (2 or 3 stars) with a superb ending (5 stars). But when I sat down to finally write a review, I realized my mistake: I actually listened to 2 distinct books in the Forsyte series: The Man of Property and The Indian Summer of a Forsyte which I thought was the epilogue, but is a sequel. So, a downgrade is in order here. (On a positive note, Audiable sold me two books in one, and I am feeling quite happy abou ...more
K.M. Weiland
Ultimately, I was disappointed in this first volume of the notorious Forstye Saga. It offers quite a few interesting facets, probably the best of which is the skillful use of a distant narrative (the family's perspective) through which to highlight the intimate events of Soames's and Irene's failing marriage. It also presents an incisive look at the mindset of the turn-of-the-century wealthy English. But, at the end of the day, my biggest beef with the book is simply that I failed to like it thr ...more
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, only having heard of it and the rest of the series very recently. It took me a little while to get a good sense of the various family members, given there were so many to keep track of. The family tree in the edition I had certainly helped, though it also included spoilers.

Eventually, I felt like I had to keep on reading, to see how things might unfold. What would happen with the engagement? What would happen to the house? What would happen to the mar
Galsworthy's reputation as a writer today is blanketed by the success of the television adaptations of the Saga, such that I think many people drastically underrate him. He is often one of the Nobel Prize winners on whom we look back with disbelief, although to be fair it seems that he was a compromise choice by the Swedish Academy. Be that as it may, he was undeniably one of the most prominent and widely admired novelists of his time, and enormously influential on a wide spectrum of young write ...more
Having watched both TV adaptations of this book series, I wasn't sure what to expect from the book - I knew I loved the story and the characters, but I wondered how the writing would please me. I remember in one of the reviews for the TV show, someone said that John Galsworthy would not be remembered for the books themselves, but for the tv series they originated. Back then, I thought this comment was meant as a diss on the books and didn't feel all that encouraged to read them. How wrong I was ...more
Margaret Adams
I remember reading this book for the first time when The Forsyte Saga was on television back in the 1960s. The series was very popular and there were even television debates about the book with studio audiences becoming quite heated. Was Soames right or wasn't he? What did people think of Irene's behaviour?

I like the Forsytes. I like looking at the family tree and I like the characters from Aunt Ann, Swithin and James through to Soames.

Galsworthy did capture the spirit of the age - one that is
wonderful, memorable characters. an excellent exploration in novel form on class, privilege, hypocrisy and societal morais.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steve Lindahl
The Man of Property is the first book in The Forsyte Saga, a trilogy by John Galsworthy. Galsworthy won the Nobel prize in literature for his body of work with this trilogy sited as the best example of his “distinguished art of narration.” His author page states that in addition to his work as an author, Galsworthy was also a “social activist. He was an outspoken advocate for the women's suffrage movement, prison reform and animal rights.”

There is an agenda in Galsworthy's writing, which I admir
Well, I liked it. It's the story of a family and what changes come when Old Jolyon Forsyte's granddaughter, June, is engaged to Philip Bosinney. It's told only through the eyes through the eyes of members of the Forsyte family (the thoughts of characters like Irene, a Forsyte only by name, or even Bosinney himself) remain a mistery to the reader.
There the author portrays a very specific type of human being,'a Forsyte' says Young Jolyon, implying that it can be applied to other people, or (in mo
Se amate le epopee familiari è pressochè impossibile non rimanere avvinghiati nella ragnatela di questo imponente racconto di cui Il Possidente rappresenta il primo capitolo.
E quale miglior modo di iniziare una saga se non dedicando un libro al personaggio simbolo di questa famiglia immensa e complessa? Soames Forsyte non è il patriarca anzi, appartiene alla generazione più giovane e più lontana da quelle origini contadine che i Forsyte ormai membri riconosciuti dell'alta borghesia cittadina cer
Victoria Evangelina Belyavskaya
Feb 17, 2011 Victoria Evangelina Belyavskaya rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Victoria Evangelina by: my Mom
Shelves: fiction, in-russian

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: w
The Forsyte Saga is a fascinating portrayal of a family representing the Victorian middle class, who view everything in terms of money and investment. Epitomizing the Forsyte clan, Soames Forsyte, the man of property, is successful in controlling of all his "property", except the bit that matters the most to him--his wife, Irene. Having only read the first volume of the first trilogy about the Forsytes, I can see why it isn't more widely known. The Man of Property is spare on plot, and not much ...more
Courtney H.
When I was about halfway through this book, I was leaning toward finding it dull. It seemed a bit like a wannabe Middlemarch, and I wondered if I would be able to get through the whole saga. Then suddenly I had finished the book and realized not only that it was something else, almost entirely; and also that somewhere along the lines, I started to like it. My interest was solidified with the short story that bridged the first novel in the trilogy,The Man of Property, with the second book, In Cha ...more
Вот и произошло мое знакомнство с семьей Форсайов. Ух, какие они все мало приятные персонажи, оказывается! Но и к ним привыкаешь, и начинаешь потихоньку сочувствовать то тут, то там.
Главным персонажем этой части стал Сомс. Он - собственник, и он же один из главных несчастных здесь. Несмотря на все его поступки, создается впечатление, что Ирэн он все-таки любит по-настоящему, насколько это вообще в силах Собственника.
Ирэн же была моим любимым персонажем. Утонченность, вкус, грация, женственность
La Stamberga dei Lettori
"Sebbene non molto conosciuta in Italia, la Saga dei Forsyte è ancora oggi uno dei romanzi più apprezzati nel Regno Unito, anche grazie al film del 1945 con Errol Flynn e Greer Garson e alle due serie televisive (del 1967 e del 2002) che ne sono state tratte e che hanno contribuito a perpetuarne la fama finora. Se amate le epopee familiari, del resto, è pressochè impossibile non rimanere avvinghiati nella ragnatela di questo imponente racconto di cui Il Possidente rappresenta appunto il primo ca ...more
So years ago I watched the 2002 BBC production of the Forsyte Saga. Not only was it awesome...but I got to see Damian Lewis in all of his tight lipped glory. Obviously I needed to read the source material.

John Galsworthy is an excellent writer (thus explaining his Nobel prize in literature), who I had never heard of before the series (available on netflix!). He tackles some rather important and controversial issues (for his time) about the rights of women within a marriage.

The main character, So
Linda J
I first read this series about 30 years ago. I haunted all the used-book stores until I collected all the books in the series. On a whim I decided to listen to the audiobook version and I'm glad I did. It starts a little slowly but draws one in.

The time is the late 1800's in London. The Forsyte family, headed by Old Jolyan, is "new money" and very protective of their place in middle-class society. Central characters in this first book are Soames Forsyte and his wife Irene. Irene detests Soames a
At times, very good, but overall, a disappointment to the series I've heard so much about. I'm fraid that I'm kind of dreading pursuing this series any further. The main reason for my dislike is the Forsytes themselves --- Galsworthy presents an accurate picture of 19th century middle class capitalists, but the question is, why would anyone want to spend so much time WRITING about them, let alone READING about their miserable lives. The one sympathetic character, Irene, loses any potential empat ...more
Отличное произведение. Первые утраты, завязка той драмы, которая перевернет жизни многих людей на многие годы вперед. А началось все так радостно - с большого семейного сбора в честь помолвки молоденькой красавицы Джун. Великолепный язык, который погружает тебя в происходящие события. Красочность, сочность описаний, изысканные обороты. Один за другим проходят дни. Дни семьи, принадлежащей к богатой буржуазии. Предрассудки и требования общества. Викторианские представления о приличиях, семейной ж ...more
Somehow, my original review of this book disappeared. This is the first book in a series about the Forsyte family, a wealthy family of property. The men seem to love only property and view all their possessions as property to have and to hold. This includes their wives and families. This certainly is not a family you would wish to be a part of. Soames wants to build a house for his lovely, but cold, wife. The architect falls in love with the wife and an affair ensues leading to tragedy. It is un ...more
Sandy Bragg
I started listening to this on a Librivox edition and soon became immersed in the characters. Written in the Edwardian period, Galsworthy has a rather harsh view of the materialism of the Victorian era, which softens by the time of the second trilogy, Modern Comedy. Still, the first couple of books have a sardonic bite which can be very amusing, and still very apropos since we are still men of property to this day.

But what is truly masterful and enduring is Galsworthy's characterizations. Ironi
Ronald Roumanis
The bad guy? Soames! I believe the author would like us to sympathize with this money-driven touchstone of Fosyteism, but to a 21st Century reader his logic seems to be medieval. The sad irony of this is the fact that I know similar people with the same ideals here and now!
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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 about John Galsworthy...
The Forsyte Saga (The Forsyte Chronicles, #1-3) To Let: The Forsyte Saga In Chancery (The Forsyte Saga) The White Monkey (The Forsyte Saga) Indian Summer of a Forsyte

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“His natural taciturnity was in his favour; nothing could be more calculated to give people, especially people with property (Soames had no other clients), the impression that he was a safe man. And he was safe. [...] How could he fall, when his soul abhorred circumstances which render a fall possible - a man cannot fall off the floor!” 2 likes
“Youth, like a flame, burned ever in his breast, and to youth he turned, to the round little limbs, so reckless, that wanted care, to the small round faces so unreasonably solemn or bright, to the treble tongues, and the shrill, chuckling laughter, to the insistent tugging hands, and the feel of small bodies against his legs, to all that was young and young, and once more young.” 1 likes
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