*DR. SRINIVAS S (CORRESPONDING AUTHOR)
SSN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING, CHENNAI
**DR. RAMESH KRISHNAMOORTHY
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR (SENIOR GRADE)
VELLORE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
***MS. VISHAKHA KUDVA
GRADUATE STUDENT IN PSYCHOLOGY
INDIRA GANDHI NATIONAL OPEN UNIVERSITY
EMERALD PUBLISHERS. 139 PAGES. ISBN: 978-81-7966-424-7
If one is to study a specific human society as a microcosm of humanity, one may well start with Victorian England. Diving deeper into Victorian England, one may come to focus on the “upper middle class” for it is they that “set the standard for…national life” (34). One may then look for perfect specimens of the Victorian Upper Middle Class and settle on the Forsytes from John Galsworthy’s novels The Man of Property, In Chancery and To Let which constitute the The Forsyte Saga. Each of these novels is subjected to a rigorous New Historicist analysis in Varadharajan’s book.
The book, which is compact and well-researched, opens with a six-page prelude and is followed by five chapters. The prefatory material includes the author’s own account of what drove him to study the works of Galsworthy, followed by an incisive foreword about the book by M.S. Natarajan. Chapter 1 then introduces John Galsworthy’s literary work and New Historicism to the readers. Chapters 2, 3 and 4 present New Historicist analyses of The Man of Property, In Chancery and To Let respectively. Chapter 5 brings the book to a close, accentuating both on Galsworthy’s worth “as a writer…with a strong sense of history” and on the need to study literature in New Historicist terms.