“A little private hotel over a well-known restaurant near the Gare St Lazare was Jolyon’s haunt in Paris. He hated his fellow Forsytes abroad – vapid as fish out of water in their well-trodden runs: the opera, rue de Rivoli, and Moulin Rouge; their air of having come because they wanted to be somewhere else as soon as possible…”
In Chancery is the second volume of the Forsyte Saga, a groundbreaking work of Victorian literature that chronicles the affairs of the eponymous family, and takes place 12 years after the events of “The Man of Property”.
The title refers to the Court of Chancery – where matters such as divorce were settled.
The man in question, Soames Forsyte, has a new property in Reading, while his cousin, Young Jolyon, continues to live at Robin Hill, with his three children.
This novel opens in 1899 and explores the (still new) married woman’s property act, the Boer War, and the death of Queen Victoria.
Here, Galsworthy concerns himself with the realities of marital disharmony, the difficulties that existed in getting a divorce, and the horror of upper-middle class families over the resulting taint of scandal.
Author John Galsworthy’s take on the limited roles of women within the confines of marriage casts an unforgiving light on traditional marriage at that time, while rendering his household dramas in the luscious prose that would establish him as one of English literature’s brightest luminaries.
JOHN GALSWORTHY (1867–1933) was a British novelist and playwright. His most notable works include The Forsyte Saga (1906–1921) and its sequels, A Modern Comedy and End of the Chapter. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1932.