The Good Soldier

Front Cover
Wordsworth Editions, Limited, 2010 - Fiction - 192 pages
With an Introduction and Notes by Sara Haslam, Department of English, The Open University. 'The Good Soldier' is a masterpiece of twentieth-century fiction, an inspiration for many later, distinguished writers, including Graham Greene. Set before the First World War, it tells the tale of two wealthy and sophisticated couples, one English, one American, as they travel, socialise, and take the waters in the spa towns of Europe. They are 'playing the game', in style. That game has begun to unravel, however, and with compelling attention to the comic, as well as the tragic, results the American narrator reveals his growing awareness of the sexual intrigues and emotional betrayals that lie behind its facade. AUTHOR: One of the primary reasons for the works of Ford Madox Ford (1873-1939) being undervalued was his own endless self-promotion - truly a legend in his own mind - which tended to produce the opposite effect with his critics. In truth, 'The Good Soldier' is one of the great modern novels, ranking alongside Conrad, Joyce and James, and his fine tetralogy which makes up 'Parade's End' has been the subject of a recent TV adaptation.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
11
4 stars
20
3 stars
11
2 stars
1
1 star
2

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AlisonY - LibraryThing

Written in 1914, with the title The Good Soldier you'd be forgiven for expecting this classic to be a war novel. However, the nearest we come to notions of war in this novel are those of the domestic ... Read full review

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

Other editions - View all

About the author (2010)

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.

Bibliographic information