Skip to main content Skip to search results Skip to Facets & Filters

Galsworthy, John, 1867-1933



  • Existence: 1867 - 1933


John Galsworthy was born in August 1867 in Surrey, England. He attended Harrow and New College, Oxford. He took a Second in Law (Jurisprudentia) at Oxford in 1889, and then trained as a barrister. He was called to the bar in 1890. Galsworthy was not interested in practising law and instead travelled abroad to look after the family's shipping business. During these travels he met Joseph Conrad. He published his first collection of short stories "From the Four Winds" in 1897 under the pen name of John Sinjohn. His first publication under his own name of "The Island Pharisees" in 1904. Galsworthy's first play "The Silver Box" was published in 1906. Among his many other publications is "The Forsyte Saga," a trilogy which deals with social class and upper middle class lives. A theme that was prominent in his writings. Through his writings Galsworthy campaigned for a variety of causes, including prison reform, women's rights, and animal welfare, and also against censorship. During the First World War he worked in a hospital in France as an orderly, after being passed over for military service, and in 1917 turned down a knighthood, for which he was nominated by Prime Minister David Lloyd George, on the precept that a writer's reward comes simply from writing itself. In 1921 he was elected as the first president of the PEN International literary club and was appointed to the Order of Merit in 1929. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1932. Galsworthy died on December 10, 1932.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

John Galsworthy papers

Identifier: MS-97
Date(s): 1908 to 1943

Correspondence (1908-1932), with Frank Vernon concerning production of The Pigeon, and other plays, W.S. Baddeley, J.F. Peake, H.C. Duffin, et. al. mss. of West Country and other verses, with dedicatory letter to Edward Garnett tipped in, short stories, essays, and public letters contract for filming rights to The white monkey includes letter to Louis H. Cohn enclosing a facsimile of Galsworthy's letter on behalf of the Royal Literary Fund refers to his sister, Ada Galsworthy

Back to top