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In Chancery

(The Forsyte Chronicles #2)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  1,227 ratings  ·  82 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, wit ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 1st 1999 by Wordsworth Editions Ltd (first published 1920)
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Average rating 4.27  · 
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 ·  1,227 ratings  ·  82 reviews

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Jul 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook

I loved the first book in the Forsyte Saga so much that I went straight on to listen to #2. Once again, I enjoyed every moment of the audiobook which is superbly narrated by one of my otherwise least favourite narrators, the late David Case. His voice is a perfect match for Galsworthy's writing. The wonderful prose, the great characters, the biting satire, the evocative depiction of middle class England at the dawn of the 20th century all combine to make this a novel an absolute treat. I think o
Blaine DeSantis
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Marvelous book as the Saga continues with another generation. Here we see the conflict between cousins Soames and Jolyon, and we are being constantly asked to determine which person has the most redeeming qualities. That is difficult as we see Soames as the Man of Property who gets more love out of owning something (even his wife is property) vs. the hopeless dreamer in Jolyon who falls in loves with Soames estranged wife. As there are dilemmas galore here and I certainly understand why John Gal ...more
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
*contains spoilers*

Set against the backdrop of the Boer War and the end of the Victorian era, the Forsyte saga continues with its second instalment which is just as excellent as the first. Twelve years have passed since Irene left her husband Soames and she has taken her maiden name back and lives alone in a flat in Chelsea. However, they are not yet divorced and the strange position that Soames finds himself in - legally married but with no sense of ownership over his wife - bothers him and he
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Book two in the Forsyte saga. It takes place 12 years after the first book, still focusing on the doomed relationship between Soames and his estranged wife, Irene, with Young Jolyon operating even more as a counterpoint to Soames. The reader says good bye to many of the old guard of the family. Despite the irritation caused by the attitudes and mores of Soames and his father James, I did find his relationship with and care that Soames takes for his aged father quite touching. Also, the reader me ...more
K.M. Weiland
Mar 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this second novel (third installment) in the series much better than the first one. In part, this is because Galsworthy has advanced beyond some of his more indulgent narrative techniques. But mostly it is because the characters' development has deepened considerably. Also, I admit to finding their reactions *to* the events of the first book much more interesting than the first book itself.
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There are not enough stars for this.
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: english
Second volume of the saga. Slow paced but fascinating. The main story -- there are several that intertwine -- concentrates on Soames, the arch-Forsyte of the second generation in hot pursuit of a woman (property to marry) to provide a male heir. like the previous volume: captivating and looking forward to the next volume.

See also my review of the first volume.
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Forsyte Saga:-

The Forsyte Saga was not planned as such but developed over years with sequels coming naturally as they did, and human heart and passion and minds within settings of high society of a Victorian and post Victorian England - chiefly London - and its solid base in property.

When it was published it was revolutionary in the theme - a woman is not owned by her husband, and love is not a duty she owes but a bond that is very real however intangible, that cannot be faked.

Wednesday, Sep
Jim Grimsley
Oct 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
In the case of the first book, The Man of Property, I was less certain of my reaction to the novel due to having seen the most recent television adaptation; any freshness in the story was lost, so my reaction to the novel was dependent on the writing and to the parts of the novel that were not included in the series. My reading of In Chancery was more of a chore, and I believe it likely that I would have felt the same level of disappointment with the book regardless of prior knowledge. While one ...more
Apr 24, 2018 rated it liked it
This is the second book in the Forsyte Saga trilogy and is the weakest of the three books as it mostly deals with Soames stubbornly refusing to believe that his relationship with Irene is irretrievably broken and Irene's growing relationship with young Jolyn. Mostly this book sets the reader up for the third volume where all the interesting things happen.
Jan 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2008
Soames, the "man of property" wants a son. But it's been 12 years since his wife, Irene, left him - and since he didn't pursue divorce proceedings immediately when she did, and she has remained alone, getting a divorce now is not a simple matter. And, when he meets her again, he still finds her bewitching. More to the point (in Soames's mind), she is still his property, and she has done him a grave wrong. (Never mind that he raped her in Volume 1 - he doesn't see it that way).

Things aren't going
The middle novel of The Forsyte Saga. Read as part of the omnibus of "The Forsyte Saga - Complete". ...more
Jan 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
A magnificent portrait of Old England and the Victorian age seen through the eyes of Soames, Irene and Young Jolyon, perfectly painted with Galsworthy's inimitable style.
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
In Chancery continues with young Jolyon and Irene and Soames, the beautiful new house designed and constructed for Irene being now put up for sale by Soames who is tenacious in his not giving up on her in spite of her leaving him. Irene connects with Jolyon, partly due to Soames bringing an action against him for alienation of his wife's affections and then far more due to their being well matched, and they are together in spite of Soames trying various tactics - threat of divorce (a far more le ...more
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Forsyte Chronicles:-

This work developed over a lifetime and began with a simple theme, that of individual's right to life and love, especially those of a woman. The first trilogy, Forsyte Saga, is the most famous of all. There are three trilogies, Modern Comedy and End of the Chapter being the second and the third. The Forsyte 'Change was written as separate stories about the various characters and spans the time from migration of Jolyon Forsyte the original, referred to usually as Superior Doss
Gopal Vijayaraghavan
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
In this novel, the third part of the "The Forsyte Saga" John Galsworthy had captured the middle class values of the Victorian era at the dawn of twentieth century. The novel begins with deaths in the Forsyte family and ends with another death and a birth. Scandal, Divorce, remarriage, birth and deaths(including that heart rending lonely death of young Jolyon in a war at distant lands) - Everything touches Forsyte family. Soames, with his obsession for possession of property, represents the disin ...more
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Forsyte Chronicles:-

This work developed over a lifetime and began with a simple theme, that of individual's right to life and love, especially those of a woman. The first trilogy, Forsyte Saga, is the most famous of all. There are three trilogies, Modern Comedy and End of the Chapter being the second and the third. The Forsyte 'Change was written as separate stories about the various characters and spans the time from migration of Jolyon Forsyte the original, referred to usually as Superior Doss
Phil Atteberry
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a worthy sequel to Galsworthy's The Man of Property. In Chancery is set at the turn of the 20th century, twelve years after the action of The Man of Property. The central characters have aged, their circumstances have changed and their relationships have become even more complex. Galsworthy writes with a subtle touch. The materialistic and socially snobbish Forsytes are thoroughly satirized, and the narrative tone is archly comic. But we still sympathize with these characters' dilemmas-- ...more
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Twelve years after the end of the first installment, we return to the Forsytes, on the verge of a new century. Galsworthy published this just after WWI, and the book is suffused with a sense of a world on the edge of disappearing, its inhabitants uncertain of what will succeed it and not too sure about their place in it. Soames clings to the life raft of property, as he always has, although it's looking like a worryingly unstable one. Although this is set at the turn of the century (with Victori ...more
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This second volume in 'The Forsyte Saga' is almost as good as the first. I did miss the authorial mocking of the family's pretensions, but the ambiguity of the author's position on the morality of his characters nearly makes up for it. Soames Forsyte has the moral high ground: his wife did have an affair in the first book and he doesn't want his private life to appear in all the newspapers. However, his treatment of his 'property' is presented negatively. On the other hand, Irene, his estranged ...more
Nancy Welbourn
This review is by my grandmother, from her "Books I Have Read" diary, started in 1938. It is on page 15. She also reviews "The Forsyte Saga" as a whole.

This continues with Irene, Soames- feels want of children and gets a divorce - also marries and has a child - Irene marries Jolyon Forsyte - a cousin of Soames - one of his children falls in love (Holly - Val) and gets married.

Additional information:
Publisher: Charles Scribners Sons
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked this better than the first book. The character development was better and the action more compelling for the most part. I'm not terribly interested in the third generation yet, so the bits that focused on them weren't nearly as good. Still, I'm invested in the story enough to care what happens to them all at this point so I'll stick to it to the bitter end.
Meirav Rath
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
The third installment of the Forsyte Saga. Beautifully written, with rich and complex characters. Lovely.
Also, Irene has got somw weird voodoo because no male can not fell automatically in love with her.. which is weird.
It's really interesting to read the turn of the centuries from the 19th and the 20th via the lives and deaths of characters. Very nice.
Carinne Gee
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
The next section of The Forsyte Saga, and I liked it even better than the first one. We get to know Sommes even more, and he’s the perfect character to love to hate. He’s absolutely fascinating! I adore all these miserable characters. Such a wonderful book. Looking forward to the last book of this series.
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Book two of the Forsyte Saga, and this time I had an easier time remembering who's who in the family. Engaging, witty, and biting, it is a lot of fun.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is the second book of the Forsyte Chronicles. A lot happens, or rather, very nearly happens. It feels like everything is lining up for a grande finale.

Ali Miremadi
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
An odd combination of realism and experimentation. Also the best fictional account I know of 19th interest rates and their impact on British society, which may not sound compelling but is a triumph.
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished-in-2019
Some of this is pretty grim reading - it's quite hard to be in the mind of Soames Forsyte - but all of it is beautifully written and compelling.
Dec 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting to see how the family's are changing.
Maria S
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
loved it
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John Galsworthy (alias John Sinjohn) 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 sou

Other books in the series

The Forsyte Chronicles (9 books)
  • The Man of Property (The Forsyte Chronicles, #1)
  • To Let (The Forsyte Chronicles, #3)
  • The White Monkey (The Forsyte Chronicles, #4)
  • The Silver Spoon (The Forsyte Chronicles, #5)
  • Swan Song (The Forsyte Chronicles, #6)
  • Maid In Waiting (The Forsyte Chronicles, #7)
  • Flowering Wilderness (The Forsyte Chronicles, #8)
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38 likes · 3 comments
“Curious how he jibbed away from sight of his wife and child!
One would have thought he must have rushed up at the first moment. On the contrary, he had a sort of physical shrinking from it — fastidious possessor that he was. He was afraid of what Annette was thinking of him, author of her agonies, afraid of the look of the baby, afraid of showing his disappointment with the present and — the future.”
“«Qual è la vostra ricetta per conservare la giovinezza, Irene?»
«Quando non si vive ci si conserva meravigliosamente».”
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