The Plays of John Galsworthy

John Galsworthy (1867-1933) was educated at Harrow and studied law at New College, Oxford. He travelled widely and at the age of twenty-eight began to write, at first for his own amusement. His first stories were published under the pseudonym John Sinjohn and later were withdrawn. He considered The Island Pharisees (1904) his first important work. As a novelist Galsworthy is chiefly known for his roman fleuve, The Forsyte Saga. The first novel of this vast work appeared in 1906. The Man of Property was a harsh criticism of the upper middle classes, Galsworthy’s own background. Galsworthy did not immediately continue it; fifteen years and with them the First World War intervened until he resumed work on the history of the Forsytes with In Chancery (1920) and To Let (1921). Meanwhile he had written a considerable number of novels, short stories, and plays. The Forsyte Saga was continued y the three volumes of A Modern Comedy, The White Monkey (1924), The Silver Spoon (1926), Swan Song (1928), and its two interludes A Silent Wooing and Passersby (1927). To these should be added On Forsyte Change (1930), a collection of short stories. With growing age Galsworthy came more and more to identify himself with the world of his novels, which at first he had judged very harshly. This development is nowhere more evident than in the author’s changing attitude toward Soames Forsyte, the «man of property», who dominates the first part of the work. (more…)

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The Works of Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–1797) was a moral and political theorist whose analysis of the condition of women in modern society retains much of its original radicalism. One of the reasons her pronouncements on the subject remain challenging is that her reflections on the status of the female sex were part of an attempt to come to a comprehensive understanding of human relations within a civilization increasingly governed by acquisitiveness. Her first publication was on the education of daughters; she went on to write about politics, history and various aspects of philosophy in a number of different genres that included critical reviews, translations, pamphlets, and novels. Best known for her Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), her influence went beyond the substantial contribution to feminism she is mostly remembered for and extended to shaping the art of travel writing as a literary genre and, through her account of her journey through Scandinavia, she had an impact on the Romantic movement.Mary eventually recovered her courage and went to live with William Godwin in Somers-town with whom she had first met at the home of Joseph Johnson in 1791. Although both Godwin and Mary abhorred marriage as a form of tyranny, they eventually married due to Mary’s pregnancy. In August Mary gave birth to a daughter Mary, who later became the wie of the poet Shelley. Regrettably May Wollstonecraft died 10 moths after giving birth on September 1797.

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The Novels of Edith Wharton

EDITH WHARTON (1862-1937), born Edith Newbold Jones, was an American novelist, short story writer, and designer. She combined her insider’s view of America’s privileged classes with a brilliant, natural wit to write humourous and incisive novels and short stories. Wharton was well-acquainted with many of her era’s literary and public figures, including Henry James and Theodore Roosevelt. Besides her writing, she was a highly regarded landscape architect, interior designer, and taste-maker of her time. The Age of Innocence (1920), perhaps her best known work, won the 1921 Pulitzer Prize for literature, making her the first woman to win the award. Her other works include: The Greater Inclination (1899), The Touchstone (1900), Sanctuary (1903), The House of Mirth (1905), Madame de Treymes (1907), Ethan Frome (1912), Tales of Men and Ghosts (1910), and The Glimpses of the Moon (1921).

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