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|Brief Galsworthy Bio
Written by Golda
(9/19/2004 8:42 a.m.)
John Galsworthy, born in Surrey in 1867, came from a family whose background is similar to the Forsytes. They were prosperous from farming and moved to London and increased their wealth through property and investment and the practice of law.
Galsworthy had a major scandal in his life. He met Ada Pearson Cooper in 1891 when she was newly married to his cousin Arthur. Four years later they began an affair. Although they were somewhat discreet about the affair, it was known by some family members. Galsworthy lived with the scandal and social stigma. He was cut at his club. After seven years, Ada left her husband and they lived together in Dartmoor, away from London society. Ada was divorced in 1905; they married the same year.
In The Forsyte Saga, Galsworthy wrote about people and circumstances he knew from his upbringing and family including money, marriage, adultery, and divorce. He is critical of his class, but he recognizes their strengths as well. I donít want to say more and create spoilers. We can talk more about this later.
Galsworthy was too old to serve in World War I, but he wanted to participate. He contributed to the running of ambulances and gave cash gifts for the comfort of British soldiers. Galsworthy took a class in massage and then he and Ada worked in a military hospital in France. They stayed until March 1917.
A knighthood was offered to Galsworthy in 1917; he refused it. He received the Order of Merit in 1929. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1932 but was too ill to attend the ceremony in Stockholm.
In his last years, Galsworthy suffered from ill health. He died in 1933, possibly of a brain tumor, although this isnít certain. Ada lived another 20 years.
Source: The Forsyte Saga Ė The Official Companion by Rupert Smith, 2002
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