Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Man of Property” as Want to Read:
The Man of Property
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Man of Property (The Forsyte Chronicles #1)

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,544 Ratings  ·  120 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)
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 Man of Property, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Man of Property

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 02, 2013 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook

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
Apr 27, 2016 Siv30 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
הספר הראשון הוא אקספוזיציה לבני המשפחה והדמויות השונות שיהיה להן תפקיד בספר. הבעיה היא שבאמת ישנן הרבה דמויות ויש קושי לזכור את כולן. מה גם שישנו ג'וליאן האב וג'וליאן הבן, והמאהבים והחברים ובקיצור הרבה דמויות.

משפחת פורסייט היא משפחת מתעשרים. הם לא אצולה ארסטוקרטית אלא הצליחו להתעשר לכן כל התפיסה שלהם של כסף היא תפיסה מודרנית המבוססת על צמצום הוצאות למינימום ההכרחי. הם גם לא מעריכים נכונה את חסרי הכסף והכל נמדד אצלהם דרך המטבע. הסיפור מתחיל בשלהי המאה ה 19.

אחרי הקדמה די מקרטעת, הסיפור נכנס לקצב ו
Sep 19, 2012 Simon rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 01, 2015 Nina rated it liked it
My mother loved this book, perhaps because my father's family was the spitting image of the Forsytes. Mercifully, she was no Irene, although my father did bear a certain pale resemblance to Soames.

I wish that Galsworthy had retained a better editor, or had listened to his editor better. During the death of Old Jolyon, his eyes "twinkle" so often that I expected a voice-over by Carl Sagan. Galsworthy bears down so heavily and obviously on the materialism of the Forsyte clan that this reader found
Aug 05, 2015 Kiwi rated it liked it
I blame the superb TV mini-series for partially spoiling my reading experience this classic, probably I was expecting too much. I loved the adaptation and I decided to read the book to see how the author explored the intimate relationships within the Forsyte extended family and how incompatible temperaments can lead to marriage dissolution, as it is in the case of Soames and Irene.
I was not disappointed by Galsworthy’s style and his descriptions of the characters’ weaknesses and their family re
Nancy Burns
Dec 15, 2015 Nancy Burns rated it it was amazing
Nobel Prize Winner 1932: John Galsworthy vol 1 Forsyte Saga:
" Man of Property" Masterpiece!

My review:
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
Feb 18, 2008 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2008
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 11, 2015 Ali rated it it was amazing
My first read of 2015, was also the first book in one of my year-long reading challenges. The Man of Property is the first book in The Forsyte Saga. I have read the first volume of The Forsyte Saga before, a very long time ago, but so many years and so many books have flowed under the bridge since then, that I had little memory of it. I was quite glad to be coming to it almost fresh, and I am now firmly hooked, and eagerly anticipating the next instalment. As Liz and Karen are reading this too, ...more
May 15, 2016 Nicola rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-books, g1000
A fabulous start to the trilogy The Forsyte Saga. It's rather refreshing to be reading about the upper middle class; my literature in the past has tended to focus on either the aristocracy (or at least the upper class) or the working man/poor. It makes sense as at this time the middle class was growing and, perhaps, very understandably they were obsessed with money and 'property'. It was this that a man strived for, to increase his prosperity and secure a place for his family. Education and cult ...more
Great Pretender
Dec 31, 2015 Great Pretender rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: foreign-books
Я долго думала, как бы обобщить свим впечатления о книге, и наконец выбрала: она очень умно написана. В ней нет ничего лишнего, она полна тонких намеков, своеобразной иронии. Она как маленькая изящная музыкальная шкатулка. Кому-то стиль автора может показаться сухим, но, на мой взгляд, он идеален. А своей иронией Голсуорси напомнил мне Курта Воннегута.

В романе представлены поколения семьи Форсайтов, членов которой отличает особое отношение к деньгам и зависящие от них ценности. Эти люди сделали
Jesse Kraai
Nov 19, 2015 Jesse Kraai rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-best, 1900s
The English novel is about Time, Love and Money. Some people say that these three themes are what all novels are about.
But Money is the topic we are the most dishonest about. It's usually treated with indirect glances and allusion, kind of like Hollywood sex scenes from the 1950s.
This book's contribution is that the author is able to find a way to talk about money a little more directly. He does this by splitting himself, between his family's moneyed life and his liberal education (Money sends i
Aug 18, 2013 ☯Emily rated it liked it
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
Leslie Graff
Jun 07, 2015 Leslie Graff rated it it was amazing
The Man of Property – John Galsworthy
Why have I not read the Forsyte Saga before? This first volume was exactly my kind of book. So much so that as soon as I finished, I downloaded the Kindle version of the other 8 volumes although I’m doing my best to stay committed to reading all my print books before getting new ones. So I’ve resisted starting another, but I’m almost giddy with excitement about my reading future.
I suppose a reason I’ve resisted is the popularity of the works as well as the fa
Jan 28, 2016 Rute rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Foi o livro que me fez recuperar o gosto pela leitura, depois de dois contactos com "literatura" que me levaram a pôr em causa este prazer de há muito.
Excelente descrição de época, a linguagem requintada aproxima-nos das personagens credíveis e envolve-nos em ambientes ora citadinos ora bucólicos.
Gostei particularmente do facto de a personagens principal feminina nunca ser "ouvida" na primeia pessoa, sendo-nos sempre apresentada através dos olhos das outras personagens e das sensações que nelas
What a tragic story! Can't wait to see what happens in the next book!
Steve Lindahl
Mar 09, 2013 Steve Lindahl rated it really liked it
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
Dec 16, 2008 C. rated it really liked it
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
Oct 04, 2012 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 20, 2012 Tony rated it really liked it
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
Victoria Evangelina Belyavskaya
Feb 17, 2011 Victoria Evangelina Belyavskaya rated it it was amazing
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
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
Mar 12, 2016 Katrina rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-buy
I hoping to read the whole of the Forsyte Chronicles this year and this was a great start to this collection. To start with I was a little bewildered with who people were but the book quickly slimmed down to just a handful of characters.

The novel is centered around the large Forsyte family who muddle along in upper middle class wealth in fashionable London, taking the tube because it is what everyone did to be new and up-to-date, going to their clubs, the opera and to dinner. But the family is
K.M. Weiland
Jan 21, 2013 K.M. Weiland rated it liked it
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
Feb 04, 2014 Andrew rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 07, 2015 Nancy rated it it was amazing
Wonderful story of upper middle class life and attitudes in the late 19th-Century. The Forsytes, descended from a farmer who did especially well, very consciously adhere to living successful and elegant lives. All of the older generation improved financially on their father's wealth and work very hard to maintain that wealth as their children enjoy the fruits of the wealth. There are 2 main threads; Old Jolyon and his reconciliation with his son Young Jolyon, who was shunned by the family after ...more
Margaret Adams
Oct 22, 2014 Margaret Adams rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 17, 2011 Joni rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classic
wonderful, memorable characters. an excellent exploration in novel form on class, privilege, hypocrisy and societal morais.
Aug 29, 2015 Trounin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Мнение писателя настолько влияет на восприятие читателя, что сюжет всегда воспринимается однобоко. Однако, нельзя пренебрегать возможностью взглянуть на описываемые события с другой стороны. Джон Голсуорси не из тех людей, которые критически относятся к жизни вообще — он скорее думает о возвышенном, нежели проявляет желание приоткрыть завесу над деталями быта низших слоёв общества. Его «Сага о Форсайтах», отмеченная Нобелевской премией по литературе в 1932 году за «высокое искусство повествовани ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • The American Senator
  • The Rector's Daughter
  • The Shrimp and the Anemone
  • The Three Sisters
  • The Good Companions
  • Manservant and Maidservant
  • Invitation to the Waltz
  • A Legacy
  • The Sound of My Voice
  • I'll Go to Bed at Noon
  • The Ordeal of Richard Feverel
  • The Chateau
  • La Reine Margot, Tome I
  • Sour Sweet
  • Alberta and Jacob
  • Frost in May
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...

Other Books in the Series

The Forsyte Chronicles (10 books)
  • In Chancery (The Forsyte Saga)
  • Awakening (The Forsyte Chronicles #2.5)
  • To Let
  • The White Monkey (The Forsyte Saga)
  • The Silver Spoon
  • Swan Song
  • Maid In Waiting
  • Flowering Wilderness
  • One More River

Share This Book

“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
More quotes…