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Novel to Film | Bosinney meets the family

Novel | Script | Film


Bosinney meets the family
From The Forsyte Saga/The Man of Property by John Galsworthy
from Part I, Chapter 1, ''At Home' at Old Jolyon's'
Oxford University Press, New York

... Philip Bosinney was known to be a young man without fortune, but Forsyte girls had become engaged to such before, and had actually married them. It was not altogether for this reason, therefore, that the minds of the Forsytes misgave them. They could not have explained the origin of a misgiving obscured by the mist of family gossip. A story was undoubtedly told that he had paid his duty call to Aunts Ann, Juley, and Hester, in a soft grey hat -- a soft grey hat, not even a new one -- a dusty thing with a shapeless crown. 'So extraordinary, my dear -- so odd!' Aunt Hester, passing through the little, dark hall (she was rather short-sighted), had tried to 'shoo' it off a chair, taking it for a strange, disreputable cat -- Tommy had such disgraceful friends! She was disturbed when it did not move.

Like an artist for ever seeking to discover the significant trifle which embodies the whole character of a scene, or place, or person, so those unconscious artists -- the Forsytes -- had fastened by intuition on this hat; it was their significant trifle, the detail in which was embedded the meaning of the whole matter; for each had asked himself: 'Come, now, should I have paid that visit in that hat?' and each had answered 'No!' and some, with more imagination than others, had added: 'It would never have come into my head!'

George, on hearing the story, grinned. The hat had obviously been worn as a practical joke! He himself was a connoisseur of such.

'Very haughty!' he said, 'The wild Buccaneer!'

And this mot, 'The Buccaneer,' was bandied from mouth to mouth, till it became the favourite mode of alluding to Bosinney...

... This 'very singular-looking man,' as Mrs. Small afterwards called him, was of medium height and strong build, with a pale, brown face, a dust-coloured moustache, very prominent cheekbones, and hollow cheeks. His forehead sloped back toward the crown of his head, and bulged out in bumps over the eyes, like foreheads seen in the lion-house at the Zoo.* He had sherry-coloured eyes, disconcertingly inattentive at times. Old Jolyon's coachman, after driving June and Bosinney to the theatre, had remarked to the butler:

'I dunno what to make of 'im. Looks to me for all the world like an 'alf-tamed leopard.'

'And every now and then a Forsyte would come up, sidle round, and take a look at him.

June stood in front, fending off this idle curiosity -- a little bit of a thing, as somebody once said, 'all hair and spirit,' with fearless blue eyes, a firm jaw, and a bright colour, whose face and body seemed too slender for her crown of red-gold hair.

A tall woman, with a beautiful figure, which some member of the family had once compared to a heathen goddess, stood looking at these two with a shadowy smile.

Her hands, gloved in French grey, were crossed one over the other, her grave, charming face held to one side, and the eyes of all men near were fastened on it. Her figure swayed, so balanced that the very air seemed to set it moving. There was warmth, but little colour in her cheeks; her large, dark eyes were soft. But it was at her lips -- asking a question, giving an answer, with that shadowy smile -- that men looked; they were sensitive lips, sensuous and sweet, and through them seemed to come warmth and perfume like the warmth and perfume of a flower.

The engaged couple thus scrutinized were unconscious of this passive goddess. It was Bosinney who first noticed her, and asked her name.

June took her lover up to the woman with the beautiful figure.

'Irene is my greatest chum,' she said: 'Please be good friends, you two!'

At the little lady's command they all three smiled; and while they were smiling, Soames Forsyte, silently appearing from behind the woman with the beautiful figure, who was his wife, said:

'Ah! introduce me too!'

He was seldom, indeed, far from Irene's side at public functions, and even when separated by the exigencies of social intercourse, could be seen following her about with his eyes, in which were strange expressions of watchfulness and longing.

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The Script

Bosinney meets the family
US episode 1.2
Written by Stephen Mallatratt

Sc 13. Ext. Stanhope Gate. Day.

Bosinney and June approaching the house.
Soames & Irene are approaching on foot from the other direction.

Soames: That must be the architect. What on earth's he wearing?

Irene: It's a hat.

Soames: Yes. I can see it's a hat.

And June sees them.

June: (particularly to Irene) You're here! How splendid! I've so wanted you to meet Phil. Phillip Bosinney .. Irene Forsyte.

Irene: I'm very pleased to make your acquaintance Mr. Bosinney.

They shake.

Bosinney: Pleasure to meet you.

June: Irene is my greatest chum. Please be good friends, you two.

Bosinney: (smiling) I'm sure we will.

June: She's beautiful isn't she Phil?

Irene looks away, embarrased.

June: Didn't I tell you?

Bosinney: Yes, yes, she is.

Sc 14. Int. Stanhope Gate. Drawing room. Day.

Bosinney and Irene enter the drawing room together, followed by June and Soames.

Irene: Architecture? It's an admirable profession.

Bosinney: I don't heal the sick or clothe the naked.

Irene: No, but beauty and proportion, these are vital concerns.

Groups have formed. Winifred & Dartie have joined. also James & Emily. James is with Old Jolyon

James: Oh -- you'd let a man with no money into the family.

Old Jolyon: No I wouldn't, till he's got some. (pause) Not like you let in Dartie.

James is uncomfortable

Old Jolyon: Or Soames's wife.

James is pained. Old Jolyon moves away. June brings Bosinney to James.

June: Uncle James, allow me to introduce my fiancé. Mr. Phillip Bosinney, Mr. James Forsyte.

Bosinney: How d'you do, sir.

James: Very well.

June: (speaking with a laugh in her voice) Phil's the most marvellous architect, Uncle James. You should consider building. He'd draw you wonderful plans.

James: Good gracious. Building? What am I supposed to build!

James turns away.

Bosinney: (laughing quietly with June) What are you doing .. the poor old chap!

June: We need four hundred a year.

Bosinney: But we can't expect it today.

June: Yes, but what fun to frighten the uncles!

Find Swithin with George, Dartie & Winifred -- looking across to Bosinney.

Swithen: Bumpy looking beggar. But it can't come to anythin' -- hasn't a bean, I'm told.

George: I'll wager he wants it to. With Young Jolyon off the stage, June's lookin' at a cool hundred thou. So enter the Buccaneer.

Dartie: (laughing) Buccaneer.

Winifred: George, really.

George: (nudging Dartie) Well I would, wouldn't you?

Dartie: (man-of-the-world) I probably would.

George: No probably about it. You did!

Swithen finds this highly amusing.

Winifred: (genuinely hurt & angry) George, that is unspeakable.

George: Sorry old girl..

Dartie: (lamely -- an attempt at indignation) Unspeakable, yes.

There's an awkward silence

Dartie: (at length) Mind you, that's amusin' .. Buccaneer .. I like that.

He laughs.

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The Film

Bosinney meets the family
From the film as directed by Christopher Menaul

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