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Ford Madox Ford

Born 17 December 1873(1873-12-17)
Merton, Surrey
Died 26 June 1939 (aged 65)
Deauville, France
Pen name Ford Hermann Hueffer, Ford Madox Hueffer
Occupation novelist, publisher
Nationality United Kingdom
Period 1892 - ????

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.[citation needed] He is now best remembered for The Good Soldier (1915) and the Parade's End tetralogy.

Born Ford Hermann Hueffer, the son of Francis Hueffer, he was Ford Madox Hueffer before he finally—in 1919, at a time when German connotations proved unpopular—settled on the name Ford Madox Ford in honour of his grandfather, the Pre-Raphaelite painter Ford Madox Brown, whose biography he had written.

Contents

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 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).

After writing the two propaganda books, Ford enlisted in the Welsh Regiment on 30 July 1915, and was sent to France, thus ending his cooperation with the War Propaganda Bureau. His combat experiences and his previous propaganda activities inspired his tetralogy Parade's End (1924-1928), set in England and on the Western Front before, during and after World War I.

Ford also wrote dozens of novels as well as essays, poetry, memoir and literary criticism, and collaborated with Joseph Conrad on two novels, The Inheritors (1901) and Romance (1903).

His novel Ladies Whose Bright Eyes (1911, extensively revised in 1935)[1] is, in a sense, the reverse of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.

Ford's promotion of literature

In 1908, he founded The English Review, in which he published Thomas Hardy, H. G. Wells, Joseph Conrad, Henry James, John Galsworthy and William Butler Yeats, and gave debuts to Wyndham Lewis, D. H. Lawrence and Norman Douglas. In 1924, he founded The Transatlantic Review, a journal with great influence on modern literature. Staying with the artistic community in the Latin Quarter of Paris, France, he made friends with James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound and Jean Rhys, all of whom he would publish (Ford is the model for the character Braddocks in Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises). Known in his role as critic for the statement "Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you." In a later sojourn in the United States, he was involved with Allen Tate, Caroline Gordon, Katherine Anne Porter and Robert Lowell (who was then a student). Despite his deep Victorian roots, Ford was always a champion of new literature and literary experimentation. He had an affair with Jean Rhys, which ended bitterly.[2]

Later life

Ford spent the last years of his life teaching at Olivet College in Michigan, and died in Deauville, France, at the age of 65.

Name

  • Ford went through several name changes. He was baptized Ford Hermann Hueffer, but later adopted his mother's name of Madox. Later he claimed he was Baron Hueffer von Aschendorf, but, after World War I, wanting to disavow his German background, he finally settled on Ford Madox Ford.[3]

Selected works

  • The Shifting of the Fire, as H Ford Hueffer, Unwin, 1892.
  • The Brown Owl, as H Ford Hueffer, Unwin, 1892.
  • The Queen Who Flew: A Fairy Tale, Bliss Sands & Foster, 1894
  • The Cinque Ports, Blackwood, 1900.
  • The Inheritors: An Extravagant Story, Joseph Conrad and Ford M. Hueffer, Heinemann, 1901.
  • Rossetti, Duckworth, [1902].
  • Romance, Joseph Conrad and Ford M. Hueffer, Smith Elder, 1903.
  • The Benefactor, Langham, 1905.
  • The Soul of London, Alston, 1905.
  • The Heart of the Country, Duckworth, 1906.
  • The Fifth Queen, Alston, 1906.
  • Privy Seal, Alston, 1907.
  • An English Girl, Methuen, 1907.
  • The Fifth Queen Crowned, Nash, 1908.
  • Mr Apollo, Methuen, 1908.
  • The Half Moon, Nash, 1909.
  • A Call, Chatto, 1910.
  • The Portrait, Methuen, 1910.
  • The Critical Attitude, as Ford Madox Hueffer, Duckworth 1911 (extensively revised in 1935).
  • The Simple Life Limited, as Daniel Chaucer, Lane, 1911.
  • Ladies Whose Bright Eyes, Constable, 1911 (extensively revised in 1935).
  • The Panel, Constable, 1912.
  • The New Humpty Dumpty, as Daniel Chaucer, Lane, 1912.
  • Henry James, Secker, 1913.
  • Mr Fleight, Latimer, 1913.
  • The Young Lovell, Chatto, 1913.
  • Between St Dennis and St George, Hodder, 1915.
  • The Good Soldier, Lane, 1915.
  • Zeppelin Nights, with Violet Hunt, Lane, 1915.
  • The Marsden Case, Duckworth, 1923.
  • Women and Men, Paris, 1923.
  • Mr Bosphorous, Duckworth, 1923.
  • The Nature of a Crime, with Joseph Conrad, Duckworth, 1924.
  • Some Do Not..., Duckworth, 1924.
  • No More Parades, Duckworth, 1925.
  • A Man Could Stand Up, Duckworth, 1926.
  • New York is Not America, Duckworth, 1927.
  • New York Essays, Rudge, 1927.
  • New Poems, Rudge, 1927.
  • Last Post, Duckworth, 1928.
  • A Little Less Than Gods, Duckworth, [1928].
  • No Enemy, Macaulay, 1929.
  • The English Novel, Constable, 1930.
  • When the Wicked Man, Cape, 1932.
  • The Rash Act, Cape, 1933.
  • It Was the Nightingale, Lippincott, 1933.
  • Henry for Hugh, Lippincott, 1934.
  • Provence, Unwin, 1935.
  • Ladies Whose Bright Eyes(revised version), 1935
  • Great Trade Route, OUP, 1937.
  • Vive Le Roy, Unwin, 1937.
  • The March of Literature, Dial, 1938.
  • Selected Poems, Randall, 1971.
  • Your Mirror to My Times, Holt, 1971.

References

  1. ^ Richard A. Cassell, "The Two Sorrells of Ford Madox Ford", in Modern Philology, Vol. 59, No. 2, November 1961, pp. 114-121 [1]
  2. ^ Jean Rhys
  3. ^ Henry James: A Life, Leon Edel, c. 1985, p. 523.

Further reading

  • John Attridge, "Steadily and Whole: Ford Madox Ford and Modernist Sociology," in Modernism/modernity 15:2 ([2] April 2008), 297-315.
  • Humphrey Carpenter (1987). Geniuses Together: American Writers in Paris in the 1920s. Unwin Hyman. ISBN 0-04-440-331-3.  Contains a sharp, critical biographical sketch of Ford.
  • Thirlwell, Angela, Into the Frame: The Four Loves of Ford Madox Brown. London, Chatto & Windus, 2010. ISBN 9780701179021

External links

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