Thursday, 19 July 2012

John Galsworthy "The End of the Chapter"

We know the works of John Galsworthy. But it is perhaps only to "The Forsyte Saga". Meanwhile, the closing cycle of the Forsyte chronicles “The end of the chapter” stays in a shadow. The cycle includes three novels: “Maid in Waiting”, “Flowering Wilderness”, “One More River”.

Maid in Waiting” is a story of the struggle, elegant, but full of Dinny Cherrell’s desire to not let her family be insulted and to restore the reputation of her brother Hubert. Mr. Hallorsen, an American Professor, invites Hubert to an expedition to Latin America and then actually leaves all the things to no one but Hubert.

Hubert, though a former military officer, is a very humane man, when he sees the muleteers torture mules, he first makes a remark to the most negligent one, then he flogs him, and when finally the muleteer attacks him, Hubert cannot restrain himself and kills the villain. Hubert faces trial and imprisonment; unless it is proved that he acted within the limits of self-defense. Hubert himself is in depression, so two brave girls take up the struggle: Dinny, his sister, who decides to publish and present Hubert’s diary to the society, and the bride, Jean Tasburgh, who is ready for everything, even to steal the fiancĂ© and take him away to another country.

Then Professor Hallorsen arrives from the United States to England, unaware that his statements set Hubert up. Mr. Holorsen arrives and… falls in love with Dinny! And she does not want that the Professor testify and save her brother just because he loves her, she seeks the uncompromising English truth.

Dinny is too English, and Hallorsen is a typical American. She resists the Americanization of English life, which began during the life of the author, Galsworthy. She refuses also a proposal of Alan Tasburgh, a sailor, as she finds it impossible to give up life in her estate Condaford. She is, not less than her parents, concerned with preserving her estate. A true noble Englishwoman!

The second novel “Flowering
Wilderness" can be defined as the most dynamic part of the trilogy. It talks about John Galsworthy’s favorite topic, which is the conflict between the traditional England and a new generation passed through the trenches of the World War I and which is likely not to return to the "good old England."

As an echo from "The Forsyte Saga" is perceived the appearance of Wilfrid Desert, a talented poet, cosmopolitan, for whom national ideals are not so important. It is known in the society that, being taken as a prisoner, Wilfrid converted to Islam. For him, it is quite immaterial, he is not religious; the Muslim who imprisoned Desert forced him to change the religion in order to save his soul. But in England it is shocking - Wilfrid regarded as a traitor of the white race and British civilization.

Tender love between Dinny and Wilfrid is not destined to bloom; the desert of community dries the young shoots too quickly. Desert sees in a gentle, aristocratic Dinny a part of England, which he rejected. Dinny is ready to rebel against her family - her brother Hubert, and an aristocrat, Jack Maskhum, the line of struggle passes through the soul of the girl. For love she is ready to give up all that surrounds her, to go against tradition. But Wilfrid can not take her sacrifice. Trying to make Hubert, Mont and Maskhum agree in what will give Dinny happiness, he loses a fight. They convinced him that Dinny could not be divorced from England, like a flower from its roots and he gives up the girl. No wonder he is given the name Desert (from the "desert"), he prefers to disappear. And the girl's heart turned into a dried up desert.

Dinny has a younger sister Clare, the heroine of the novel
“One More River”married to a senior diplomat Sir Gerald Corven. She stays with him at his place of service abroad. One day she suddenly returns to England. Parents can not understand her, but she does not explain anything: she is back - that's all. Dinny from the words of her sister understands that a polished impeccable aristocrat is a real sadist, who goes down to beating a young wife with a whip.

The theme of the outdated institution of marriage that gives to a man all the rights over a woman is raised by Galsworthy not for the first time. And still the woman has no other choice but to plead guilty in conjugal infidelity, in fact she really falls in love with a young, poor, but worshipful of her Tony Kroom. The dirt of divorce, the true cause of which a self-respecting woman must hide, or a preservation of the outer shell of the marriage with a villain? Clare prefers to rebel openly against her husband, find a job and settle herself in life. This is a new woman, not idealized, as Irene, a vibrant, lively and active.
Times change, people change. And yet charming sisters, Dinny, who at the end of the third book gained her happiness, and Clare who challenged the traditional English society, can not but excite our sympathy, even today, hundred years later.


  1. Isn't any of the old characters in this book? Not even Fleur and Michael? And nothing about Jon, Irene etc?

  2. This is the great novel and simultaneously the ending of The Forsyte Saga. I was really happy while reading these novels by John Galsworthy; he truly inspired me. And when the book captures, it is in very deed true that its mission is accomplished.