The Forsythes’ “Father”: If you don’t think about the future, you won’t have a future

Remember the time we were all waiting in front of the TV screens for the film version of his “Forsyth Saga”? The Nobel laureate for literature John Galsworthy graduated in law, but left the legal profession to travel and write real pearls of world literature – as many as 17 novels, including “Brotherhood”, “From All Peaks”, “House Outside the City” and others .; 26 plays: The Silver Box,” “Joey,” “Struggle,” “Justice,” “Family Man,” etc.; and 12 volumes of stories, essays, and poems.

His trilogies, created in the period 1906-1933 – “Forsyth Saga”, “Modern Comedy” and “The End of the Story” remain undisputed classics, timeless.

John Galsworthy, ca. 1927 / Photo: Getty Images

In 1932, John Galsworthy was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, motivated as follows: “For his exquisite narrative art, which reaches its highest peak in the Forsyth Saga.” John Galsworthy did not attend the ceremony in Stockholm, due to his poor health.A month and a half later, on January 31, 1933, the writer died in Hampstead after suffering a stroke.

Exactly 90 years ago.

He wished to be cremated and his ashes were scattered by plane on February 3rd of that year.

John Galsworthy poses for artist David Evans as he works on a sculpture of him, June 7, 1933 / Photo: Getty Images

Galsworthy died at 65. An age at which he was neither young nor old, but just mature enough to continue creating, but fate ended the earthly days of this remarkable man.

He once said: “Without an element of the unknown, the game of life loses its meaning”. He was a sage to leave us insightful thoughts about the most ordinary things and about extraordinary human destinies.


The “Grumpy” British Knight and the Benefit of “Everyday Drinking”

John Galsworthy’s famous Forsyth Saga trilogy, written between 1906 and 1922, is one of his most popular large-scale works. It is a conglomerate of human destinies, formed under the influence of changing morals and criteria in the transition to the modern era. It covers a period of 30 years and has become the most famous, or to put it bluntly, an emblematic family saga of modern world literature.

From January 7 to July 1, 1967, the BBC broadcast 26 episodes of the series “The Forsythe Saga”, and a year and a half later repeated their broadcast.

The series was watched by over 18 million viewers in England alone.


£24 million for a David Hockney painting

£24 million for a David Hockney painting

Galsworthy was born a century before this triumph – on August 14, 1867, in Kingston upon Thames, in a wealthy bourgeois family. As soon as he finished his legal education, he took a trip around the world, after which he worked as a lawyer for a while, and from the year 1900 he categorically abandoned his profession and devoted himself completely to literature.

John Galsworthy (1867 – 1933), c. 1913 g. / Photo: Getty Images

His first published book was a collection of short stories.

Until 1904, when his father died, John Galsworthy published under the pseudonym John Sinjon.

His first significant work was his novel The Island of the Pharisees, written in 1904. It looks like a pamphlet on human manners. Highly critical and vividly written. Literary criticism was impressed by the sincerity and courage of the author of the novel.


British composer Harrison Birtwhistle has died aged 87

British composer Harrison Birtwhistle has died aged 87

In the novel we read the following: “How can the progress of a nation be imposed from without? Give me an example to show that a nation or an individual has achieved something significant without the impetus coming from within! We (the English), we conquer peoples completely different from our own and stop their natural development by replacing their civilization with one created for our own use”.

Already in this novel, the readers discover an honorable human voice, which does not care about the politically correct tone, but writes the true and unadulterated truth as he understands it with his mind and heart.

After “The Island of the Pharisees” appeared the novel “Brotherhood” – one of Galsworthy’s strongest novels. Other famous novels of his are: “To the Winds” (1897), “Joslin” (1898, “Villa Roubaix” 1900), “The Man from Devon” (1901), “A House Outside the Town” (1907), “The Little Man” (1915), “The Way of a Saint” (1919) and others.

From 1906, his spectacular work began on the creation of the trilogies that made him world famous: “The Forsyth Saga” – “The Owner” (1906), “In a Loop” (1920) and “For Rent” (1922) , the second “Modern Comedy” – “The White Monkey” (1924), “The Silver Spoon” (1927) and “Swan Song” (1928), and the third “The End of the Story” – “The Girl Who Waits” (1931), ” Blooming Desert” (1932) and “Across the River” (1933).

Galsworthy is also the author of many plays that are distinguished by dramatic dynamics and natural language. His dialogues are energetic and a real challenge for the actors. In them Galsworthy, born a bourgeois, shows sincere sympathy for the poor. This “paradox” proves the height of his personality as a person and a truthful writer.

His most famous plays are The Silver Box (1906), Joey (1907), Struggle (1908), Justice (1909), Mob (1911), Family Man, No Gloves ” and others.


22.9 thousand British pounds for a gold seal of Catherine the Great

22.9 thousand British pounds for a gold seal of Catherine the Great

Galsworthy is not only an author but also a theorist. He is the author of valuable articles on literature and art. In After the Spectacle (1903) and Misty Thoughts on Art (1911) we find insightful thoughts on the nature of the creative process. These reflections of his are a real handbook for all people who are engaged in creative, spiritual and educational activities.

Young Galsworthy, c. 1890 / Photo: Getty Images

During the First World War, the writer was exempted from military service due to myopia, but in order to be useful, he financed the Red Cross and volunteered to help refugees in France and Belgium. He allocated half of his income to humanitarian aid.

In 1917, he was offered a knighthood, but refused on the grounds that “in order to continue writing honestly, a writer should not receive such honors.”


The PEN Center proposed Georgi Gospodinov for the Nobel Prize

The PEN Center proposed Georgi Gospodinov for the Nobel Prize

Until the end of his life, the writer was a socially and politically engaged author. Galsworthy is the founder and first president of the international PEN. club in 1921. According to some, it is to him that the idea for the name of the club is due – from the abbreviation of “poets, essayists, novelists”.

In fact, when he was informed in November 1932 that he had won the Nobel Prize and the sum of then 9,000 pounds sterling, Galsworthy decided without hesitation to donate the money to PEN. the club.

July 1927: Novelist and playwright John Galsworthy (1887 – 1933) laid a brick at Kingsley Hall’s foundation ceremony. Behind him is the actress Sybil Thorndike (1882 – 1976) and others / Photo: Getty Images

The writer was an ardent admirer of Thackeray, Dickens and Melville, and his favorite composer was Beethoven.


British composer Harrison Birtwhistle has died aged 87

British composer Harrison Birtwhistle has died aged 87

There are few known facts about the personal life of the writer. According to his biographers, he had few romantic moments in his life. He is known to have had an affair with the older Aida Nemesis Pearson Cooper (1864-1956), his cousin’s wife. She is said to be the prototype of Irene from the Forsythes. Their relationship lasted for ten years, during which Aida was unable to divorce her husband. According to some, she and Galsworthy later married, according to others – they continued their relationship without marriage, but this is not so important. Aida remained with the writer until his death.

John Galsworthy with the muse of his life – Aida / Photo: Getty Images

Soon after the death of the writer, his popularity in the world for a certain period of time declined, but it was powerfully resurrected from the screen. In our country, Galsworthy was published in the 1920s and 1930s, but the series about the Forsythes made him more famous than his books.

English writer and playwright John Galsworthy (1867 – 1933) arrives at St. James’s Palace, London / Photo: Getty Images

John Galsworthy – Thoughts

Even independent thinkers become very dependent people when they don’t have a penny in their pocket.

There is nothing more tragic in life than the absolute inability to change what you have already done.

If you don’t think about the future, you won’t have a future.

Respect for people is ultimately respect for yourself.

The book helps a person to go beyond the limits of his “I”.

Psychology is an expression of words that cannot be expressed.

Headlines double the size of events.

Always one kisses and the other gives his cheek.

Without an element of uncertainty, the game of life loses its meaning.

Love! … She never comes when we expect her, she is always an unexpected guest.

Truly great men do not talk in vain and do not push themselves in the crowd – they sail alone in their boats on quiet channels.

I could be happy with any woman if another one didn’t bother me.

A woman always needs someone’s soul – a man, a child, a dog. The body is enough for men.

People who do not live are excellently preserved.



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