The Good Soldier

Front Cover
Courier Corporation, Nov 2, 2011 - Fiction - 151 pages

Leonora and Edward Ashburnham were "good people" from England, as John Dowell, the narrator of this tale, explains: and Dowell and his wife, Florence leisured Americans of solid stock were, like their English friends, a "model couple."
For a dozen years, the foursome cultivated and maintained a friendship reinforced with yearly meetings at a fashionable German health resort, which Dowell visited with his "ailing" wife and the Asburnhams traveled to because of Edward's "heart problems." Their marriages seemed exemplary studies of permanence, stability, and tranquility. That is, until the day Dowell learned that for the previous nine years his wife had been the mistress of his friend Captain Ashburnham, the apparently honorable "good soldier."
A provocative study of deception and betrayal and of convention and desire, "The Good Soldier" was also formally innovative. Along with Ford's "Parade's End" tetralogy, this powerful novel first published in 1915 has earned him a reputation as one of the major writers of the 20th century.
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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DinadansFriend - LibraryThing

A classic novel dealing with the dissection of three marriages. But the narrator himself is revealed as unreliable, so where is the reader left by the tales? In addition Ford writes this novel in a ... Read full review

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User Review  - TanyaRead - LibraryThing

Published in 1915. It details the interactions of (basically) two couples. I found it often "how on earth could anyone behave in this way" but it was engrossing and gave a picture of life in a time ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Born Ford Hermann Madox Hueffer in England in 1873, Ford Madox Ford came from a family of artists and writers that included his grandfather, the pre-Raphaelite painter Ford Madox Brown, and his uncles Gabriel Dante Rossetti and William Michael Rossetti. Ford's early works were published under the name Ford Madox Hueffer, but in 1919 he legally changed his name to Ford Madox Ford due to legal complications that arose when he left his wife, Elsie Martindale, and their two daughters. He also used the pen names Daniel Chaucer and Fenil Haig. Ford's early works include The Brown Owl, a fairy tale, children's stories, romances, and The Fifth Queen, a historical trilogy about Katherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII. He also collaborated with Joseph Conrad, whom he first met in 1898, on three novels: The Nature of Crime, The Inheritors, and Romance. Ford is best known for his novels The Good Soldier, which he considered both his first serious effort at a novel and his best work, and Parade's End, a tetralogy set during World War I. Both of these books explore a theme that appears often in Ford's writing, that of a good man whose old-fashioned, gentlemanly code is in conflict with modern industrial society. Ford also published several volumes of autobiography and reminiscences, including Return to Yesterday and It Was the Nightengale, as well as numerous works of biography, history, poetry, essays, travel writing, and criticism of literature and art. Although Ford and Martindale never divorced, Ford had significant, long-term relationships with three other women, all of whom took his name; he had another daughter by one of them. He died in Deauville, France, in 1939.

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