Ford Madox Ford

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Ford Madox Ford (17 December 1873 – 26 June 1939) was an English novelist, poet, critic and editor whose journals, The English Review and The Transatlantic Review, were instrumental in the development of early 20th-century English literature. He is now best remembered for The Good Soldier (1915), the Parade's End tetralogy (1924-28) and The Fifth Queen trilogy (1906-08). The Good Soldier is frequently included among the great literature of the past century, including the Modern Library 100 Best Novels[1], The Observer's '100 Greatest Novels of All Time'[2], and The Guardian's '1000 novels everyone must read'[3].

Contents

Biography

He was born as Ford Hermann Hueffer on 17 December 1873 to Francis Hueffer, and he had a brother, Oliver Madox Hueffer. He went by the name of Ford Madox Hueffer and in 1919 changed it to Ford Madox Ford in honour of his grandfather, the Pre-Raphaelite painter Ford Madox Brown, whose biography he had written.

Ford's literary life

One of his most famous works is The Good Soldier (1915), a novel set just before World War I which chronicles the tragic lives of two "perfect couples" using intricate flashbacks. In a "Dedicatory Letter to Stella Ford” that prefaces the novel, Ford reports that a friend pronounced The Good Soldier “the finest French novel in the English language!” Ford pronounced himself a "Tory mad about historic continuity" and believed the novelist's function was to serve as the historian of his own time. [4]

Ford was involved in the British war propaganda after the outbreak of World War I. He worked for the War Propaganda Bureau managed by C. F. G. Masterman with other writers and scholars who were popular in those years, such as Arnold Bennett, G. K. Chesterton, John Galsworthy, Hilaire Belloc and Gilbert Murray. Ford wrote two propaganda books for Masterman, namely When Blood is Their Argument: An Analysis of Prussian Culture (1915), with the help of Richard Aldington, and Between St. Dennis and St. George: A Sketch of Three Civilizations (1915).

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