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Additional resources for John Galsworthy’s Life and Art: An Alien’s Fortress
He makes the old man unexpectedly literary: fond of Milton, Byron, George Eliot, and (in later life) Turgenev, critically acute and appreciative about Dickens, Thackeray, Trollope, Mark Twain and Hardy, although finding Meredith "misty", and a sharply knowledgeable critic of acting and the contemporary drama. The old gentleman also enjoyed Mozart, grand opera, and many of the Old Masters. This account of old John Galsworthy's literary and artistic taste is at variance with other sources, which give 34 Apprenticeship, 1867-1905 little indication of any focus on the arts.
He also thought that the changes in name might well indicate illegitimacy somewhere. 8 Some of the possible family connections pointed toward prominence, like the fact that the first William might have been a cousin of Josiah Bartlett (1729-95), one of New Hampshire's signers of the Declaration of Independence and later governor of that state. 9 But Galsworthy could not find clear evidence establishing the relationships the family claimed. He had somewhat more success in tracing back the line from his mother's paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Moore, directly to the squire of the manor in Tardebigge in Worcestershire in the early seventeenth century.
The Galsworthys, more certain of their name and locus, more self-determining and stable intellectually, could afford a flexibility and ease about identity; the Bartleets, perplexed by changes in name and possibly distinguished ancestors they could not establish, held to the visible signs of family and propriety with more rigidity. Almost all the correspondence that survives from John Galsworthy's courtship of Blanche Bartleet consists of his letters to her. These are often long, and he sometimes crossed them, writing a full letter in vertical lines right over the horizontal script, a practice, designed to economize on paper, that was already antiquated by the time he apparently abandoned it late in 1861.