Faith of a novelist : religion in John Galsworthy's work

Leiden Repository

Faith of a novelist : religion in John Galsworthy's work

Type: Doctoral Thesis
Title: Faith of a novelist : religion in John Galsworthy's work
Author: Knoester, Maarten Willem
Publisher: Faculty of Arts, Leiden University
Issue Date: 2006-02-23
Keywords: Galsworthy
Early twentieth century
English literature
Man of property
Abstract: Most readers are familiar with the British author John Galsworthy (1867-1933) through his The Forsyte Saga (1922), A Modern Comedy (1929) and The End of the Chapter (1934). He wrote many other novels as well, and in his own times he was also known as a leading dramatist. Literary criticism and scholarly publications on Galsworthy’s work have focused predominantly on social abuse, hypocrisy and Victorian morality and the typically fin-de-siècle theme of the changing times. Less attention has been given to Galsworthy’s religious and philosophical development. This dissertation aims to fill this gap. It describes Galsworthy’s development from a biographical, literary, cultural and historical perspective and determines what writers and thinkers have influenced his thinking. The most important writers in this connection are Dickens, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Flaubert, De Maupassant and France. The thinkers that had a significant influence on Galsworthy are Emerson, Arnold, Huxley and Spencer. However, it was especially Henri Bergson’s L’Evolution créatrice (1907) that was to have a marked influence on Galsworthy’s philosophical views on such concepts as determinism versus free will, creation and man’s place within the grand design of the universe.
Description: Promotor: Th.L. D'haen.
With summary in Dutch
Faculty: Faculteit der Letteren
Citation: Knoester, M.W., 2006. Doctoral thesis, Leiden University
ISBN: 9789090201658

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