John Galsworthy

John Galsworthy (gôlz´wûrŧħē, gălz´–), 1867–1933, English novelist and dramatist. Winner of the 1932 Nobel Prize in Literature, he is best remembered for his series of novels tracing the history of the wealthy Forsyte family from the 1880s to the 1920s. Of an old and rich family, Galsworthy spent his youth in relative leisure, studied at Oxford, was called to the bar in 1890, and in 1894 began a period of extensive travel. After the publication of his first novel, Jocelyn (1898), he devoted himself entirely to writing. The bulk of his fiction deals with the fortunes of the Forsytes, an upper-middle-class family—complacent, acquisitive, snobbish, and ruled by money. His attitude toward them was not unsympathetic, and he created several memorable characters, notably Soames Forsyte, "the man of property," who treats even his wife as a possession. The Forsyte novels are grouped in three trilogies. The first of these, The Forsyte Saga (1922), includes The Man of Property (1906), In Chancery (1920), and To Let (1921). The second trilogy, A Modern Comedy (1928), includes The White Monkey (1924), The Silver Spoon (1926), and Swan Song (1928). The third group, End of the Chapter (1934), includes Maid in Waiting (1931), Flowering Wilderness (1932), and One More River (1933). Galsworthy also wrote a series of dramas concerned with various social problems. Although their impartiality makes them less than exciting, the plays were remarkably successful. They include The Silver Box (1906), Strife (1909), Justice (1910), The Pigeon (1912), The Skin Game (1920), Loyalties (1922), and Escape (1926).

See his Life and Letters by H. V. Marrot (1935, repr. 1973); his letters to E. Garnett (1934); biographies by R. H. Mottram (1956) and R. Sauter (1967); studies by A. Frechet (tr. 1982) and J. Gindin (1979 and 1987); bibliography by H. V. Marrot (1928, repr. 1973).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

John Galsworthy: Selected full-text books and articles

John Galsworthy By R. H. Mootram The British Council, 1953
The Forsyte Saga By John Galsworthy; Geoffrey Harvey Oxford University Press, 1995
A Modern Comedy By John Galsworthy C. Scribner's Sons, 1929
Librarian’s tip: Includes "The White Monkey," "The Silver Spoon" and "The Swan Song" by John Galsworthy
Plays By John Galsworthy Charles Scribner's Sons, 1928
Librarian’s tip: Includes "The Silver Box," "A Bit O' Love," "The Skin Game," "The Forest," "Escape," and several other plays by John Galsworthy
John Galsworthy as a Dramatic Artist By R. H. Coats C. Scribner's Sons, 1926
FREE! Tatterdemalion By John Galsworthy C. Scribner's Sons, 1920
FREE! Some Modern Novelists: Appreciations and Estimates By Helen Thomas Follett; Wilson Follett H. Holt and Company, 1918
Librarian’s tip: Chap. X "John Galsworthy"
The Freelands By John Galsworthy Heron Books, 1970
The Modern English Novel By Abel Chevalley; Ben Ray Redman A.A. Knopf, 1925
Librarian’s tip: "John Galsworthy" begins on p. 175
Old Gods Falling By Malcolm Elwin The Macmillan Company, 1939
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Eleven "Galsworthy and the Forsytes"
British Playwrights, 1880-1956: A Research and Production Sourcebook By William W. Demastes; Katherine E. Kelly Greenwood Press, 1996
Librarian’s tip: "John Galsworthy (1867-1933)" begins on p. 131
Selected Critical Writings By D. H. Lawrence; Michael Herbert Oxford University Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: "John Galsworthy" begins on p. 210
Patterns in Modern Drama: Ibsen, Chekhov, Galsworthy, O'Neill, Kelly, Thurber, Nugent, Hellman By Lodwick Hartley; Arthur Ladu Prentice-Hall, 1948
Librarian’s tip: "John Galsworthy" begins on p. 157
Four Contemporary Novelists By Wilbur L. Cross The Macmillan Company, 1930
Librarian’s tip: Chap. IV "John Galsworthy"
FREE! Essays on Modern Dramatists By William Lyon Phelps Books for Libraries Press, 1921
Librarian’s tip: "John Galsworthy" begins on p. 99
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