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Thread: John Galsworthy and War

  1. #1
    Senior Member ChrisGeorge's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    Baltimore, Maryland, USA

    Default John Galsworthy and War

    Hi all

    A southerner and not a Liverpool man, Nobel Prize-winning novelist and playwright John Galsworthy (1867-1933), most famous as author of The Forsyte Saga series of books, nonetheless had a number of Liverpool connections and the city of Liverpool features in a number of his works.

    Although born to an upper class family, and educated at Harrow and Oxford, Galsworthy had a marked social conscience, as noted in the Nobel Prize page on him:

    "His plays often took up specific social grievances such as the double standard of justice as applied to the upper and lower classes in The Silver Box (1906) and the confrontation of capital and labour in Strife (1909). Justice (1910), his most famous play, led to a prison reform in England. Galsworthy's reaction to the First World War found its expression in The Mob (1914), in which the voice of a statesman is drowned in the madness of the war-hungry masses; and in enmity of the two families of The Skin Game (1920)."

    Leo VanBergen wrote the following review of a new book by Jeffrey S. Reznick on Galsworthy and the war wounded for a Western Front Association site and has given me permission to post it here.

    "John Galsworthy and Disabled Soldiers of the Great War has three parts. Part 1 contains reprints of the non-fiction work on the disabled and part 2 of the fictional work. The third part is an outstanding essay of Jeffrey S. Reznick. It sheds a light on the work, not only in writing but also in action, of the writer of The Forsyte Saga and literature Noble Prize winner to be, John Galsworthy, in favor of the men who left the trenches disabled, psychologically and (mainly) physically. Galsworthy, a humanitarian who utterly despised war but wanted to do all he could for those victimized by it, donated the money he earned with his writings on the disabled - in which he wanted to counterpart propaganda - he went to France as a masseur, offered his family house as a hospital, financially backed up the Kitchener House for wounded British soldiers and sailors and set up a magazine (Reveille) on the disabled. And last but not least, he fought bitter battles with the Pensions Committee - perhaps not his greatest, but certainly his bravest and most frustrating achievement."
    Christopher T. George
    Editor, Ripperologist
    Editor, Loch Raven Review
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  2. #2
    Pablo42 pablo42's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
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    Nice one Chris.

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