Prose & Poetry - Ford Madox Ford

Ford Madox Ford Ford Hermann Hueffer, who changed his named in 1919 to Ford Madox Ford (1873-1939), was born in 1873 in Surrey, and was educated at University College School, London.

The son of The Times music critic, Dr Francis Hueffer he published his first book at the age of 18 in 1891, The Brown Owl, which was followed by The Shifting of Fire in 1892.  Collaborating with Joseph Conrad, the pair wrote The Inheritors (1901) and Romance (1903).

Ford began his famous trilogy The Fifth Queen in 1906 (completed in 1908), the story of Catherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII.  In 1908 he founded the English Review, publishing the works of Hardy, Wells and D. H. Lawrence; he lost control of the magazine in 1910.

After leaving his first wife, Elsie Martindale whom he married in 1894, and refusing to pay her an allowance for their two children, in 1910 Ford served a brief sentence of eight days in Brixton prison.

With the outbreak of war in 1914, Ford was recruited by Charles Masterman, head of the War Propaganda Bureau; Ford wrote pamphlets attacking German literature, art and music, as well as British pacifists.  He subsequently joined a Welsh infantry regiment in Flanders in 1916 as lieutenant; he was gassed in France.

He is chiefly remembered today for his series of war novels which he began in 1915 with the publication of The Good Soldier, still considered by many as his finest work, and which continued after the war with a series of four novels detailing the career of Christopher Tietjens (published from 1924-28).

Ford also published several volumes of autobiography, including Return to Yesterday (1931) and It was the Nightingale (1933).

Ford Madox Ford died at Deauville in France on 26 June 1939.

Download "The Good Soldier" (Project Gutenberg Text)

Download "The Inheritors" (Project Gutenberg Text)

The Austro-Hungarian declaration of war was the first ever delivered by telegram.

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Prose & Poetry