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I have read this and the next two books, and without giving any of the plot away, Soames does become more sympathetic in the later books. The TV series also portrayed him sympathetically.

Claire (The Captive Reader)

I definitely agree with Ed's comment above, the Soames does become more sympathetic as you progress through the series. Indeed, by the last book...well, you must read it for yourself.


I loved the 2002 Forsyte Saga and have wanted to read it ever since. You've encouraged me!

Dorothy W.

I definitely plan on reading this at some point. I really like the idea of having nine novels to read! I think I will read the slowly, one at a time, when I get there, much like you describe doing.


Sticks hand up and confesses to having watched the 1967 version. Can I seriously be that old...


I'm glad you enjoyed The Man of property Danielle, I've read and enjoyed all nine novels of the saga and would also recommend the 2002 adaption. I agree that the plot summary can sound melodramatic but reading it you are invested in the characters and given plenty to think about.

Virgina Woolf wrote an interesting essay about Galsworthy and other realist English novels called Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown whih you might like to read and partially explains why Galsworthy lost popularity- modernism arrived!

Amanda A.

I read the first 3 books and loved them! I need to get to the rest of the novels.


Oh, I love a good saga! Will have to add this to my TBR list!


What an excellent review! Galsworthy is such a great writer, and I'm so happy to see you writing about his masterpiece. I enjoyed the Masterpiece Theater adaptations, too.


Ed--He's not a nice person to say the least in the first book, but I did feel sorry for him despite his bad behavior. I'm really looking forward to picking up the next book and will do so very soon!
Claire--I like characters who are so multifaceted and make you think--I have a feeling more of the Forsytes are going to elicit just such a response! And I can't wait to find out more...
Tricia--I caught part of the series, but knew I wanted to read the books. It's taken me a while, but I can highly recommend the first one anyway--and I expect the other books just get better. And I have heard excellent things about the film!
Dorothy--I'd love to get them all read this year, but if I don't that's okay, too. At least with the first book--once you start you don't want to put the book down. So I will space them out a bit but just keep going I hope.
Cath--I've heard the 1967 version is really good, too. I might have to rejoin Netflix to see if I can get my hands on the episodes as I think they filmed the entire saga!
Sarah--It verges on melodrama, but it's definitely above that. He was an excellent writer and his characters are so interesting. I have read a little about Virginia Woolf's remarks on his work. He came at a bad time--he doesn't seem to be part of that Victorian era really (since he seems to satirize their behavior), but he wasn't a modernist either. I might wait to read VW's thoughts and just enjoy the books--modernism sort of rolled over everything in the arts!
Amanda--I can't believe I waited so long--what was I thinking? What was I afraid of?!
Marg--Yes, do. I think you'll like this. I think the other books are going to just get better.
Kat--I didn't write half of what I wanted--how do you talk about a book without giving too much away? Thank you for your post which made me pick these up in the first place. I went back and looked at your other posts and think it's cool you read this when you were studying!


I've seen these books before (different editions) but for some reason, they never captured my attention as much as your review has. I enjoy reading about architects and houses and will add these to the TBR list!


I'm with Cath - and admit to watching the 1967 version! I also watched in 2002. I was captivated both times. I've yet to read the books though.


I've said it before but I still mean it - I really want to read this! I have a big penguin omnibus edition with three novels in it, I think. I'll have to start there.

Jennifer Dee

I remember watching the original television series which was showed on the BBC on Sunday nights in 1967. It was riviting TV so much so that I have not attempted the books. Maybe I should now give them a try.


I watched the 2002 version and went straight out and bought the books. But I haven't read them yet...I must. You've summarised the plot so well, considering how complex it is.


Love the series and I even felt a little sorry for Soames later ageing and seeing his daughter twist him round her finger.

Margaret Powling

By coincidence, A Man of Property arrived in the post yesterday!
I loved the 1967 TV drama version far better than the more recent one. Anyone who can remember the 1967 version may also remember Michael Mont, who was played by actor Nicholas Pennell. In the 1950s, when I was a girl and Nicholas and his parents and brothers and sister, were our next door neighbours. He was about 17 then and he used to come into our home to play the piano as his family did not have one. He went to RADA and we thought he had made his big break with the Forsyte Saga but although he had a small part in David Hemmings' film, Blow Up, an iconic 1960s movie, nothing else much happened. Then he went to Canada, to Stratford, Ontario, where he became a Shakespearian actor. Sadly, he died several years ago, but thinking of the Forsyte Saga always makes me think, also, of Nicholas.


I watched the movie and then read the omnibus edition. Loved it!

Mary Ellen

After seeing the miniseries, I picked up a copy at an estate sale. The sheer size left me intimidated. Your post has given me a little confidence. Thanks.


Your post reminded me I've been meaning to read The Forsyte Saga since I saw the miniseries ages ago, and then something about the first photo in this blog post ( reminded me of it again, and now I'm seriously considering ignoring the two books I'm already in the middle of and starting it. I loved the miniseries.


I've read the first 6 books & have an omnibus with the final 3 sitting on the tbr shelf. Maybe this will be the year for me to finish the Saga? I also loved the 1990s series although everyone who was around for the 1960s series says it doesn't compare. Did you know that in the UK, church attendances went down on Sunday evenings because that's when it was broadcast? It was a phenomenon! Lovely review, Dani.


I think I must have an edition that has all the novels in it because it is really fat. I've not read it yet because of the isze but now that you said it is actually 9 novels, well that seems so much more doable and they sound so good too!


I saw both versions on PBS. Loved them both. Liked the color in the newer version.

I don't feel like reading the novels, though


I loved the mini-series but I haven't read the book yet. I'm afraid to spoil the magic of the movie. I'd love to see it again.


Debby--The house plays a big role in the first book actually and Bosinney is part of the unhappiness in the book, but one of the few really likable characters!
BooksPlease--I've heard many good things about the movies and I wanted to try and read the books first. I've enjoyed what I've read but can't wait to finish the next book so I can watch the first part of the 2002 adaptation. I should probably read all three of the book from the first group, but I'm not sure I can wait.
Litove--I think you will like this. I have an omnibus edition, too, but I love these individual editions as it makes it easier to squeeze them in with my other reading.
Jennifer--I can easily tell from the story that this would make a great film. I want to get my hands on that 1967 version, too. Maybe Netflix has it?
Sakura--I have a feeling it is going to get more complex as I go. It's hard talking about the story without giving things away. I love these sorts of family dramas, though. And of course there is lots to think about as well within the story.
Jodie--Soames is such an interesting character. I wonder if he will ever loosen up. He's sort of the epitome of Victorian gentleman (though am using 'gentleman' loosely really), yet you can tell he's bothered too by the attitudes of the time--or at least his actions.
Margaret--Wow, that's a really wild story--to have played with him as a child! Which part did he play in the movie? I'm looking forward to picking up the second book soon.
Amy--Yes, there is lots to love with this one. I can't wait to read more.
Mary Ellen--The book put me off initially, too, but once you start you'll find you won't want to put it down.
Anna--I do that often--see a book I really want to read and know the timing is right, so just start it even though I am already reading something else!! Thanks for the link--unfortunately it went to a 'page not found' but I am in the general area so must take a look about.
Lyn--I'm almost not surprised that everyone would rather watch the Forsytes than go to church! Isn't that awful, but I am sure I would, too. I'd love to read the whole set by the end of the year, but that may be pushing it. I at least want to read the trilogies close together, so will start the second book soon.
Stefanie--That would be a chunkster of a book to have them all--I bet the print is tiny, too! :) It's seriously addicting reading, so don't let the size put you off.
Isabel--I've done that before-seen a good movie adaptation and then not felt the need to read the book. In this case I'm reading before watching, and the story is making me want to see the movie sooner than later.
Mrs. B.--I think they had to tinker with the story a bit on the 2002 version--not change it but tell it in a slightly different order as some things are learned through flashbacks that don't work well in film I have heard many good things about the film, but hopefully the books will stand up well against it!


I have both adaptations of the Forsythe Saga(1967 and 2002)on DVD and now I am seriously tempted to read the books too. New project?!


Catharina--It's my new project for this year! I'm not sure I'll get all the books read but I am going to try! I have the newer adaptation but will look for the older one as well at some point.


You may want to see if your library has this (or similar) book/s, I always think of Bosinney's Robin Hill as something similar to one of Lutyens' designs.


Citronyella--I'll have to see if my library has the book, so I can take a better look. I was wondering what it looked like--it sounded very modern and airy and open. I am looking forward to seeing the film as I expect they'll show the house and am curious about it. Thanks for the link!

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