Classics Club May Meme

The Classics Club

I recently joined the The Classics Club. Each month there is a meme – a question to answer and this is my first one.

Tell us about the classic book(s) you’re reading this month. You can post about what you’re looking forward to reading in May, or post thoughts-in-progress on your current read(s).

I’ve just started to read A Man of Property the first book in the Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy, a book I’ve been meaning to read for some years. My copy contains this first novel plus Indian Summer of a Forsyte. It begins in June 1886 with an ‘at home’ at the house of old Jolyon Forsyte to celebrate the engagement of Miss June Forsyte, old Jolyon’s granddaughter, to Mr Philip Bosinney, an architect. The rest of the family all attend and are introduced to the reader, explaining their relationships. There is a family tree at the beginning of the book that helps me to understand who they all are.

I watched the first TV dramatisation of The Forsyte Saga way back in 1967 and the later production in 2002, so I know the story – or at least I remember the gist of it and can visualise Damien Lewis as Soames Forsyte and Gina McKee as Irene (I even remember Nyree Dawn Porter as Irene!)

I think the sequence of books in the Saga is a little confusing, so I’ve listed the books to clarify the sequence for myself:

The first trilogy, comprising:

  1. A Man of Property published in 1906 followed by Indian Summer of a Forsyte: a short interlude, published in 1918 (I have this book, which is the version shown above).
  2. In Chancery published in 1920 and another short interlude: Awakening (1920) – I don’t have this.
  3. To Let published in 1921 – I don’t have this.

A Modern Comedy, written between 1924 and 1928. I have these books in one volume,  called The Forsyte Saga Volume Two comprising:

  1. The White Monkey (1924)
  2. The Sliver Spoon (1926)
  3. Swan Song (1928)

But there are also Two Forsyte Interludes: A Silent Wooing / Passers By (1928)
On Forsyte Change (1930), which I don’t own.

And a further trilogy called End of the Chapter (I don’t own this), comprising:

  1. Maid in Waiting (1932)
  2. Flowering Wilderness (1933)
  3. Over the River (1933)

I think I’ve got that sorted out now!

11 thoughts on “Classics Club May Meme”

  1. I remember the 1967 production too. It was very popular here because of Nyree Dawn Porter being a New Zealander. I have the Forsyte Saga on my CC list too but I didn’t realise there was so much to it.

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    1. Cat, I hadn’t realised it either. It was only when I looked at the book called ‘The Forsyte Saga Volume Two’ that I saw it wasn’t the second book following on from ‘A Man of Property’ and I found out there are more books in the Saga.

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  2. That sounds like a hefty reading project–I’ve heard of this series for years, but have never read it or seen the either dramatization.

    Sounds like that family tree will come in handy! 🙂

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    1. Jane, I think this will have to be a long term reading project! And the family tree is very handy. There’s also a plan of the ‘Forsyte’s London’, showing where they all live.

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  3. It is very confusing, I’m almost at the end of the books though and still enjoying them. I remember the 1967 version too and the lovely Nyree. I’m surprised I was allowed to watch it as I was only 8 and there was a stooshie about that scene with Irene and Soames, it seems tame now. I have both versions on DVD.

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  4. I also watched the 2002 adaptation as Damien Lewis has got to be one of my favourite actors! I look forward to hearing what you think of the books, which I haven’t really considered reading before.

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  5. The Forsyte Saga is so good! I was obsessed with the (2002) series. Damien Lewis IS Soames, as far as I’m concerned 🙂 The book surprised me because it’s so funny. Old Jolyon is hilarious. I enjoy both the book and the series equally, for different reasons. How often can you say that?

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