The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion

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John Lane Company, 1915 - Adultery - 294 pages
42 Reviews
A chronicle of the tragedies in the lives of two seemingly ''perfect couples'' whose lives are far from perfect, this novel was loosely based on two real-life incidents of adultery and on Ford's own messy personal life.
 

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User Review  - madepercy - LibraryThing

Reading classic literature is always full of surprises. I did not know that Ford Madox Ford was considered an impressionist. He seems to have moved beyond the more formal yet (then) modern prose of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Dorritt - LibraryThing

Ford Madox Ford begins the tale with the words “This is the saddest story I have ever heard,” which is a little nervy, I think – kind of like Babe Ruth stepping up to the plate and calling his shot ... Read full review

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Page 291 - For I can't conceal from myself the fact that I loved Edward Ashburnham — and that I love him because he was just myself.
Page 213 - ... hearing between the gusts of the wind and amidst the noises of the distant sea, the story as it comes. And, when one discusses an affair —a long, sad affair —one goes back, one goes forward. One remembers points that one has forgotten and one explains them all the more minutely since one recognizes that one has forgotten to mention them in their proper places and that one may have given, by omitting them, a false impression. I console myself with thinking that this is a real story and that,...
Page 9 - ... unusual in human beings who have witnessed the sack of a city or the falling to pieces of a people to desire to set down what they have witnessed for the benefit of unknown heirs or of generations infinitely remote; or, if you please, just to get die sight out of dieir heads.
Page 17 - I DON'T know how it is best to put this thing down — whether it would be better to try and tell the story from the beginning, as if it were a story; or whether to tell it from this distance of time, as it reached me from the lips of Leonora or from those of Edward himself.
Page 16 - I don't know. And there is nothing to guide us. And if everything is so nebulous about a matter so elementary as the morals of sex, what is there to guide us in the more subtle morality of all other personal contacts, associations, and activities? Or are we meant to act on impulse alone? It is all a darkness.
Page 9 - You may well ask why I write. And yet my reasons are quite many. For it is not unusual in human beings who have witnessed the sack of a city or the falling to pieces of a people...
Page 292 - Deity or she will utter the one word 'shuttlecocks,' perhaps. It is very extraordinary to see the perfect flush of health on her cheeks, to see the lustre of her coiled black hair, the poise of the head upon the neck, the grace of the white hands — and to think that it all means nothing — that it is a picture without a meaning.
Page 16 - ... so they said, in Hampshire, England. To the poor and to hopeless drunkards, as I myself have witnessed, he was like a painstaking guardian. And he never told a story that couldn't have gone into the columns of the Field more than once or twice in all the nine years of my knowing him. He didn't even like hearing them; he would fidget and get up and go out to buy a cigar or something of that sort. You would have said that he was just exactly the sort of chap that you could have trusted your wife...
Page 16 - If poor Edward was dangerous because of the chastity of his expressions — and they say that that is always the hall-mark of a libertine — what about myself? For I solemnly avow that not only have I never so much as hinted at an impropriety in my conversation in the whole of my days; and more than that, I will vouch for the cleanness of my thoughts and the absolute chastity of my life.
Page 35 - I had forgotten about his eyes. They were as blue as the sides of a certain type of box of matches. When you looked at them carefully you saw that they were perfectly honest, perfectly straightforward, perfectly, perfectly. stupid...

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