“The Forsyte Saga” by John Galsworthy
One of the greatest works of literature, there’s a reason why Mr. Galsworthy won the Nobel Prize for Literature for this work. An epic saga of a single extended family which spans several generations, Galsworthy creates characters that are human and fallible, noble, kind and cruel. The story is deeply moving, funny, infuriating and completely compelling. This is a huge work, but, as with all great novels, the better it is, the more you want it to continue on and on. This one does! The Saga comprises of three novels and two “interludes” or short stories between the novels. The first interlude of the saga, “Indian Summer of a Forsyte,” is one of the most beautiful and poignant works I have ever read.
In addition to this first work, Galsworthy continued the story of the Forsytes for another two complete epics, creating nine novels in all. He also created a series of short stories to fill in elements of the characters backstories.
If you intend to embark on this wonderful journey into the heart of middle class Brits at turn of the 20th century, I recommend the Oxford University Press edition, which has an extensive glossary included. Galsworthy includes a large amount of slang of the period, and this edition explains those terms. Its available at the Madison Library District for patron use.