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The Forsyte Saga chronicles the ebbing social power of the upper-middle-class Forsyte family through three generations, beginning in Victorian London during the 1880s and ending in the early 1920s. The saga begins with Soames Forsyte, a successful solicitor who buys land at Robin Hill on which to build a house for his wife, Irene, and future family. Eventually, the Forsyte family begins to disintegrate when Timothy Forsyte, the last of the old generation, dies at the age of one hundred.
In the three novels (The Man of Property, In Chancery, and To Let) and two interludes (“Awakening” and “Indian Summer of a Forsyte”) that comprise the saga, Galsworthy documented a departed way of life, that of the affluent middle class that ruled England before the 1914 war. Galsworthy’s masterly narrative examines not only their fortunes but also the wider developments within society, particularly the changing position of women.