The Forsyte Saga, Paperback
5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


The three novels which make up The Forsyte Saga chronicle the ebbing social power of the commerical upper-middle class Forsyte family between 1886 and 1920.

Soames Forsyte is the brilliantly portrayed central figure, a Victorian who outlives the age, and whose baffled passion for his beautiful but unresponsive wife Irene reverberates throughout the saga.

Written with both compassion and ironic detachment, Galsworthy's masterly narrative examines not only the family's fortunes but also the wider developments within society, particularly the changing position of women in an intensely competitive male world. Above all, Galsworthy is concerned with the conflict at the heart of English culture between the soulless materialism of wealth and property and the humane instincts of love, beauty, and art. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 912 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9780199549894



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

One of those turn-of-the-century novels that feels as though it was written much later. There is a lightness of touch, a preoccupation with interesting events and situations rather than flowery description. Soames is an excellent character; we first encounter him trying to 'look through his own nose'. His difficult relationships with the various women in his life are fascinating. I can see why the TV series was so popular

Review by

"Was there anything, indeed, more tragic in the world than a man enslaved by his own possessive instinct, who couldn't see the sky for it, or even enter fully into what another person felt!" This has to be my favorite line of the whole book which was thought by young Jolyon Forsyte about his tragic cousin Soames. It also sums up what the entire long family saga is about, possessions whether they are tangible or human. This book is so brilliant because it has a little bit of everything including family secrets, adultry, forbidden love, gambling, and scandal. It almost sounds like a soap opera but is only so much better. Another brillant part of the book is the fact that all the characters are so human none of them are perfect and each has their own set of flaws. At first I didn't think I was going to like the fact that there was no real hero but I have to say that it makes for some interesting reading. Another thing I liked about Galsworthy's writing of the book is that readers never really know what Irene is thinking, the only interpretations you get from her are what other characters give you. This makes her as elusive as she is described in the book. You either are going to love her or hate her. I found myself hating her at the beginning of the novel because I pitied poor Soames for receiving no love from her but by the time the interlude had occured, I found myself liking her more, especially because of her treatment of Old Jolyon. I started hating and piting Soames more and more, even his own daughter dislikes him. If you like LONG invloved novels with detailed descriptions about time and places you will love this book. It is really one of the great works of the 20th century and I think this author was way before his time. I look forward to reading the other two novels about the Forsyte family in he future.

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