JOHN GALSWORTHY by Catherine Dupre


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Galsworthy was indeed a ""queer fish,"" as James M. Barrie called him in a letter quoted as an epigraph to this modest biography. Why were the woes of authorship and an unconventional liaison with his cousin's wife, Ada, assumed by this handsome, well-off, good-at-games, fastidiously dressed, not particularly studious graduate of Harrow and Oxford? No satisfactory answer is provided by Miss Dupre, who--throughout--carefully avoids the treacherous deeps of psychological speculation. Her reticence about a man who was himself the very picture of reticence, leaves a nagging feeling that there is more to be said. But, keeping to the surface, she does well enough with this extraordinary nice chronicler of the Forsyte clan and humanitarian playwright. She is perhaps a little unfair to Ada--but interestingly so. In Miss Dupre's view, Galsworthy could have become a more profound writer if he had asserted his independence from the hoveringly helpful love of his life who needed travel and dinner parties while he needed country solitude. Miss Dupre finds Ada affected and superficial and seems to prefer for Galsworthy the young dancer and actress Margaret Morris, who, for a poignant interlude, came between them. The BBC serialization of The Forsyte'Saga aroused interest in Galsworthy again; this biography will satisfy a great deal--but not all--of one's curiosity.

Pub Date: Oct. 4th, 1976
Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan