John Galsworthy


John Galsworthy

Kingston upon Thames, Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, Greater London, England
Death 31 Jan 1933 (aged 65)
Hampstead, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England
Cenotaph Highgate, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England
Memorial ID 23469 View Source
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Nobel Prize in Literature Recipient. John Galsworthy, an Englishman, received world-wide notoriety for his writings and awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize in Literature. He was educated at Harrow before studying law at New College, Oxford and being called to the bar in 1890. After being exposed to the unpleasantness of the duties of law, he traveled before he began to write at the age of twenty-eight. At first, he was published using the pseudonym John Sinjohn. His 1904 “The Island Pharisees” is considered his first most important piece. He is well-known as the novelist who wrote “The Forsyte Saga,” a series of three novels and two interludes published between 1906 and 1921. This series was listed in 2003 as Britain's 123rd “most beloved novel.” The series was adapted to a Hollywood movie in 1949, and British TV has done two productions, the first in 1967 and more recently in 2002. He was presented with the Nobel Prize, according to the Nobel Prize committee, "for his distinguished art of narration which takes its highest form in The Forsyte Saga." He was considered a writer with technical skills in stage drama. His plays often had plots that addressed social issues, such as “The Silver Box” in 1906 with the double standard of justice between the upper and lower classes; “Strife” in 1909 with the confrontation of capital and labor; “Justice” in 1910, which was his most famous play and led to a prison reform in England; “The Mob” in 1914, with his reaction to World War I and a war-hungry mob; and “The Skin Game” in 1920 with complex stories of two families. After World War I, he along with Nobel Prize recipients, German, Rudolf Eucken and Frenchman, Anatole France wrote a collection of articles published by the Nobel Library calling upon the United States to develop "such moral strength as will successfully overcome all conflicts and lead to splendid results, for the benefit not only of the American nation, but of all mankind.” He was the brother-in-law of award-winning painter, Georg Sauter, who was interned by the British government during World War I as an enemy alien at Alexander Palace since he was born in Germany and later, he was expelled from Great Britain. Besides the Nobel Prize, he received the British Order of Merit in 1929. After a decade-long affair, he married his first cousin's ex-wife in 1905 and they remained devoted to each other until his death. Since he was in the end-stages of dying from a brain tumor, he was unable to attend the Nobel Prize presentation held on December 10, 1932 in Sweden; he died days later. He donated his Nobel Prize monitory gift to PEN International; he was the first president of this international literary organization. He was cremated with his ashes scattered along the English coastline from an airplane. There is a cenotaph for him at High Gate Cemetery. A memorial plaque was placed for him in the Cloisters of the New College in Oxford, England.

Bio by: Linda Davis


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 28 Jul 2001
  • Find a Grave Memorial 23469
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Galsworthy (14 Aug 1867–31 Jan 1933), Find a Grave Memorial ID 23469, citing Highgate Cemetery West, Highgate, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .