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The Man of Property


The Man of Property


The Man of Property is the first book in The Forsyte Saga, a series that chronicle the affairs of the eponymous family.

Widely regarded as the finest novel in the exemplary series, The Man of Property is a groundbreaking work of Victorian literature and a delightful read from first page to last.

The opening story is set in the late 1880s, and we find the Forsytes are a large and wealthy London family, truly representative of the Victorian growth of the mercantile, upwardly-mobile classes characterized by the acquisition of riches and influence through hard-nosed, ruthless and inflexible ambition.

As the novel opens, we are introduced to Jolyon Forsyte, about 80 and the recognized head of the family. He was not born a man of property, but became a very successful tea merchant and earned a sizeable fortune.

The plot highlights the marital problems between Soames and Irene Forsyte, and Irene’s scandalous affair with Philip Bosinney, an architect engaged to Soames’ cousin, June Forsyte.

The collective Forsyte pride in their ownership of property leads to the view that they never really die: instead, their identity is bound up in what they own—and what they pass on when they pass on.

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.

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