The Man of Property, 1906

(Great Characters in Literature)

Soames Forsyte

Soames Forsyte, the son of James Forsyte and the grandson of the founder of the family fortune, Jolyon Forsyte (“Superior Dosset”). Soames cannot understand why his wife, whose every material need is met, is not happy with him. When he finds out about her affair with Philip Bosinney, Soames sues him, determined to drive him bankrupt. Asserting his marital rights, he rapes Irene.

Irene Heron Forsyte

Irene Heron Forsyte, Soames’s beautiful wife. After marrying Soames, she discovered that she found him sexually repellent. In the architect Philip Bosinney, she finds a man she can love. After the rape, she leaves Soames; however, when Bosinney is run over after she has told him about the rape, she feels responsible for her lover’s death. Near collapse, she returns home.

Jolyon Forsyte (Old Jolyon)

Jolyon Forsyte (Old Jolyon), an eighty-year-old man who is especially fond of children. Because of his love for his little granddaughter June Forsyte, he sided with his daughter-in-law against his only son, Young Jolyon. After not seeing him for fourteen years, however, Old Jolyon seeks out his son, reestablishes their old relationship of total trust, and becomes close to the two young grandchildren he has never known. To please June and to spite his brother James, he buys the house at Robin Hill, which Bosinney had built for Soames.

Jolyon Forsyte (Young Jolyon)

Jolyon Forsyte (Young Jolyon), the son of Old Jolyon, a painter, who like his father is not a typical Forsyte. When he left his wife for another woman, young Jolyon and his father became estranged. After they begin to see each other again, they soon become as close as before.

June Forsyte

June Forsyte, Young Jolyon’s daughter by his first wife. After her engagement to Bosinney has been formally announced, June is humiliated by his well-known involvement with Irene. Because she still loves Bosinney, she urges her grandfather to help him extricate himself from his financial difficulties.