John Galsworthy was born August 14, 1867, in Surrey, England, the son of a well-to-do solicitor. He had a typical childhood of that time, was sent away to public school and then went to Oxford, where he studied law and graduated in 1889. In 1891 he met his cousin's wife, Ada Pearson Cooper Galsworthy, and four years later they initiated an affair, later marrying in 1905 after Ada Galsworthy was divorced. They had a close, inter-dependent relationship. It ended only with Galsworthy's death in 1933.
Galsworthy showed little interest in being a lawyer, and in 1892 he met Joseph Conrad, with whom he developed a lifelong friendship. Conrad, among other friends, encouraged Galsworthy to attempt writing. In 1897 Galsworthy had his first book of short stories published, and in 1898 his first novel was published, "Jocelyn." Conrad introduced Galsworthy to several important and influential literary men, including Ford Madox Ford and Edward Garnett, the latter having a strong influence on Galsworthy, encouraging and editing his writings.
In 1906 Galsworthy published "The Man of Property", the first novel in the series "The Forsyte Saga." This novel placed Galsworthy among the pre-eminent novelists of his day. However, it was his plays that brought him public recognition, starting with "The Silver Box." Galsworthy continued writing steadily, gaining more and more fame and celebrity, culminating in his winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1932. John Galsworthy died on January 31, 1933.