John Galsworthy's epic
Forsyte Chronicles, a nine-volume series of novels dramatizing the fictional but entirely representative family of propertied Victorians, the Forsytes, has become established as one of the most popular and enduring works of 20th century literature. He made their lives and times, loves and losses so real that readers accused him of including real individuals whom they knew as the characters in his drama.
Flowering Wilderness is the middle novel in the third trilogy of the series, called End of the Chapter, which concerns the cousins of the younger Forsytes, the Cherrells. A story of individual emotional struggle within the impositions of society, the plot concerns the unconventional Wilfrid Desert, a Great War veteran and poet who renounced Christianity for Islam at pistol point, and his adoring fiancée, Dinny Cherrell, who was prepared to defy her world's moral code for him.
John Galsworthy received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1932.
"A social satire of epic proportions and one that does not suffer by comparison with Thackeray's
Vanity Fair...the whole comedy of manners [is] convincing both in its fidelity to life and as a work of art." (
The New York Times)
"[Galsworthy] has carried the history of his time through three generations, and his success in mastering so excellently his enormously difficult material, both in its scope and in its depth, remains an extremely memorable feat in English literature." (Anders Osterling, Nobel Prize presentation speech, 1932)
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