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John ​Galsworthy’s nine Forsyte novels span fifty years of family decline, from the 1880s to the 1930s. In seeking to insulate themselves by property from the reality and the disintegration of their class,the Forsytes are gradually blinded to the threats of social change and ‘the stealthy march of passion’. Galsworthy tackles his huge theme – the death of the upper middle classes – with a unique blend of irony and understanding.
1920: The old Forsytes are dead except Timothy, now a centenarian reverting to petulant babyhood, and the Forsytes are split into two camps: those of Soames, the tight-lipped lawyer, ; and of Jolyon, his opposite in temperament. When Soames’s daughter, Fleur, and Jolyon’s son, Jon, fall in love, the Forsyte armistice is over, and old wounds are mercilessly reopened.

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