John Galsworthy, the son of a solicitor, was born in 1867 and educated at Harrow and the New College, Oxford. He was called to the Bar in 1890, but a chance meeting with Joseph Conrad, and the strong influence of his future wife, turned him to writing. A collection of short stories, From the Four Winds (1897), was followed by a novel entitled Jocelyn (1898), The Man of Property appeared in 1906 and, together with In Chancery and To Let, completed the first volume of the Forsyte trilogy, The Forsyte Saga, published in 1922.
His playwrighting career began in 1906 with The Silver Box, the first of a long line of plays with social and moral themes. The second Forsyte trilogy, which included The White Monkey, The Silver Spoon and Swan Song, was published as A Modern Comedy in 1929.
In 1931 Galsworthy followed the immense success of the Forsyte books with a further collection of stories, On Forsyte Change. The final Forsyte trilogy, containing Maid in Waiting, Flowering Wilderness and Over the River, was published posthumously as The End of the Chapter in 1934. The nine novels in his three Forsyte trilogies are published in Penguins. A television serial of the Forsyte chronicles, presented by the BBC in 1967, received great critical acclaim in Great Britain and over the world.