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In Chancery by John Galsworthy

In Chancery (1920)

by John Galsworthy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Forsyte Chronicles (2)

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
I found this really very good. The line about each family being uniquely unhappy is apt, as the extended Forsyte family is not a happy ship. In this book, set at the turn of the 20th century, there is a sense of change. There is the understandable changing of the guard, Old Jolyon has died before the book starts, one sister and James pass on during the book, all having achieved a ripe old age. The middle generation, of which young Jolyon & Soames are the main protagonists, are moving towards being the elders of the family. They are, in a sense stepping into their father's shoes. The younger generation are the ones trying to move out and into the world, rather than simply follow their fathers.
I still can't like Soames. His behavior towards Irene and his new wife strikes me as reminiscent of Henry VIII - I must have a son and any lengths will I go to. The way he goes about his divorce of Irene strikes me as being almost vengeful. I accept that at the time adultery was the main way in which a divorce could be sought, however he wants the divorce, but not his name to be associated with the scandal of being the guilty party (despite the fact that he has been taking prostitutes, whereas Irene says she has not been having affairs) feels like he wants his take and to eat it. It feels that he, in fact, precipitates the relationship between Irene & Jolyon that he quotes as evidence in the divorce. I don;t like the way he treats his new wife either. She, similarly to Irene, seems to have signed a pact with her happiness for security. I don't envy her her lot.
The younger generation are a mixed bag. Young Dartie and Jolly get to show their teeth to each other, then end up in deeper trouble than anticipated, with not backing down resulting in them heading off to fight a war. That the precipitates the girls to follow suit and nurse them. They feel more impetuous, but that is probably both their age and the age they come of age in, there's a raft of social changes at this time.
Overall, this is turning into a really good read. I was intimidated by the size of the task, but the idea of a book a month breaks the saga down into manageable chunks and I look forward to finding out what lies in store for the family in the new century. ( )
  Helenliz | Jul 14, 2018 |
This is the second book in the Forsyte Saga trilogy and is the weakest of the three books as it mostly deals with Soames stubbornly refusing to believe that his relationship with Irene is irretrievably broken and Irene's growing relationship with young Jolyn. Mostly this book sets the reader up for the third volume where all the interesting things happen. ( )
  etxgardener | Apr 24, 2018 |
Very enjoyable continuation of Soames and Irene's disastrous relationship. I had to gave this one a half-star lower rating than the five stars I gave to the first book, even though this book concentrates on Old Jolyon's family who were mostly the characters I liked best.

In modern times, it is shocking to read of the divorce laws and realize a married woman was regarded as "owned". And divorce was not so easy to attain.

Soames doesn't come out well here, but I still can't warm to Irene. The younger generation play a bigger part of the story with the passing of the old generation being portrayed by Queen Victoria's funeral. ( )
  VivienneR | Apr 16, 2018 |
The saga continues with Soames coming to the realization that he wants an heir. To avoid any scandal, he had declined to pursue a divorce from Irene twelve years earlier, when he would have had no trouble doing so. But now, it is almost impossible unless she gives him a reason. He still feels that Irene is his possession. They are still married, after all. Again, that word scandal. His sister fights her own scandalous situation. This book is mostly about his desire for freedom, his passion for Irene, jealousy of his cousin, young Jolyon. We are introduced to the next generation, while we say goodbye to some of the elder generation. Soames is a more sympathetic character in this installment, and his love for his father is touching. The Boer War and the death of Queen Victoria provide some of the backdrop. ( )
2 vote NanaCC | May 16, 2016 |
A continuation of the Forsyte Chronicles, I think I liked this one a little bit less than The Man of Property, but it was still enjoyable. I missed some of the characters from the previous book, but there was still plenty of drama to keep things interesting. I do wish there were more of Irene's perspective, rather than treating her as a thing of beauty and not a whole person (which I think was one of Virginia Woolf's criticisms of these books).

This series continues to be a bit of a guilty pleasure, as it's a rather richly done -- and engrossing -- soap opera. The historical tidbits interspersed throughout make it more interesting and help make the time period more vivid. ( )
  digitalmaven | Mar 31, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Galsworthy, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Case, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Two households both alike in dignity, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny. Romeo and Juliet
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To Jessie and Joseph Conrad
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The possessive instinct never stands still.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0755340868, Paperback)

Separated from his wife Irene for some years now, Soames Forsyte has resigned himself to the fact that she's never coming back. But as he grows older and richer, he yearns for an heir. When he confronts Irene, the raw wounds of his past passion are exposed and he will do anything to claim back what is his. Then his cousin Jolyon Forsyte moves in to protect and champion Irene and the old rift in the family splinters into new jealousy, hatred, and fear. But this time it runs too deeply for forgiveness!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:08 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

The moving story of a wealthy English clan and the infidelities and intrigues threatening to tear one marriage apart. In Chancery begins where The Man of Property ?and its subsequent interlude?left off, pursuing Soames and Irene Forsyte across Edwardian England, meanwhile highlighting the failing marriage of Soames?s sister, Winifred. Galsworthy juxtaposes the two relationships while bringing more members of the Forsyte clan into the drama, making for one of the most thought-provoking and entertaining satires on marriage and social class in the annals of British literature. Following the events of The Man of Property and the brief and profoundly touching interlude Indian Summer of a Forsyte , siblings Soames and Winifred find themselves facing marital discord. Both Forsytes contemplate divorce, though Soames finds he is unwilling to let go of Irene, stalking her at home and abroad despite her reluctance to reconcile. When Irene inherits money from a patriarch within the Forsyte clan, Soames begins to suspect infidelities between his wife and his cousin Jolyon. But are his suspicions based on reality or the possessiveness that has haunted his marriage all along? Meticulously detailed and deliciously suspenseful, In Chancery is the pivotal second installment in the acclaimed Forsyte Saga and one of Nobel laureate John Galsworthy?s finest novels. This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.… (more)

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