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Fools

P.N. Furbank, 15 October 1981

Ford MadoxFordProse and Politics 
by Robert Green.
Cambridge, 218 pp., £16.50, July 1981, 9780521236102
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... FordMadox Ford has been lucky in his admirers, if ‘luck’ is the word. It is no small thing to have inspired two such magnificent poems as Lowell’s ‘FordMadox Ford’ and William Carlos Williams’s ‘To FordMadox Ford in Heaven ...

Many-Modelled

Ian Hamilton, 20 June 1996

Ford MadoxFordA Dual Life 
by Max Saunders.
Oxford, 632 pp., £35, February 1996, 0 19 211789 0
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... In 1915, FordMadox Hueffer became FordMadox Ford – by deed poll. Around the same time, at the age of 41, he enlisted for active service in the British Army: ‘I have never felt such an entire peace of mind as I have felt since I wore the King’s uniform ...

Grandiose Moments

Frank Kermode, 6 February 1997

Ford MadoxFordA Dual Life, Vol. II 
by Max Saunders.
Oxford, 696 pp., £35, September 1996, 0 19 212608 3
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... FordMadox Ford, an appealingly talented and gossipy subject, has naturally attracted biographers. In 1971 Arthur Mizener’s The Saddest Story seemed adequately exhaustive, but now Max Saunders comes along with two vast volumes, even more thorough and more than doubling the page count ...

Lemon and Pink

David Trotter: The Sorrows of Young Ford, 1 June 2000

Return to Yesterday 
by Ford MadoxFord, edited by Bill Hutchings.
Carcanet, 330 pp., £14.95, August 1999, 1 85754 397 1
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War Prose 
by Ford MadoxFord, edited by Max Saunders.
Carcanet, 276 pp., £14.95, August 1999, 1 85754 396 3
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... One day in 1914, FordMadox Ford, then 40 years old and feeling it, found himself for a while in the custody of the youthful Percy Wyndham Lewis, a writer whose work had appeared in Ford’s magazine, the English Review, and who was about to launch a magazine of his own, the rather more intemperate Blast ...

Conrad’s Complaint

Frank Kermode, 17 November 1983

The Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad. Vol. I: 1861-1897 
edited by Frederick Karl and Laurence Davies.
Cambridge, 446 pp., £19.50, September 1983, 0 521 24216 9
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... certainly lots of unpublished letters, including a hundred-odd to Galsworthy, the same quantity to FordMadox Ford, ‘several dozen’ to Thomas Wise, an unspecified but obviously vast number to the agent Pinker, and so on. Moreover, the core ...

Dangerous Liaisons

Frank Kermode, 28 June 1990

Ford MadoxFord 
by Alan Judd.
Collins, 471 pp., £16.95, June 1990, 0 00 215242 8
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... Attitudes to FordMadox Ford (né Hueffer) vary; some think he wrote some very good novels, and some do not; some aren’t bothered by his lies, and some are. And while some find his personal conduct endearing others demur ...

Platz Angst

David Trotter: Agoraphobia, 24 July 2003

Repressed Spaces: The Poetics of Agoraphobia 
by Paul Carter.
Reaktion, 253 pp., £16.95, November 2002, 1 86189 128 8
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... take the edge off their spaciousness. In July 1904, Olive Garnett spent ten days in Salisbury with FordMadox Ford and his wife, Elsie, at Elsie’s request; Ford, it ...

Superplot

Frank Kermode, 1 March 1984

The Paper Men 
by William Golding.
Faber, 191 pp., £7.95, February 1984, 0 571 13206 5
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William Golding: A Critical Study 
by Mark Kinkead-Weekes and Ian Gregor.
Faber, 291 pp., £3.50, February 1984, 0 571 13259 6
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... refinement, one might have the story told by somebody unaware of its larger plot, which is what FordMadox Ford arranged. Ford was a Catholic of sorts, but it may be that it ...

Fictioneering

Frank Kermode: J.M. Coetzee, 8 October 2009

Summertime 
by J.M. Coetzee.
Harvill Secker, 266 pp., £17.99, August 2009, 978 1 84655 318 9
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... when he joins a government computer project. Meanwhile he continues his work on a thesis about FordMadox Ford, who disappoints him – five good novels and a heap of trash. His main interest remains literary, however, and he chooses as his ...

Bananas Book

Eric Korn, 22 November 1979

Saturday Night Reader 
edited by Emma Tennant.
W.H. Allen, 246 pp., £5.95
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... Chelsea Herbert? Lloriston Grant? Caroline Blackwood and Robert Lowell have a conversation about FordMadox Ford? (Well, all right, but what’s it doing among ‘Traveller’s Tales’?)Chelsea Herbert is real too, and writes the best piece in ...

Petal by Petal

C.K. Stead, 27 May 1993

E.E. Cummings: Complete Poems 1904-1962 
edited by George Firmage.
Liveright, 1102 pp., £33, January 1993, 0 87140 145 2
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... into a tight traditional scheme of rhymes or half-rhymes. Here, for example, is his tribute to FordMadox Ford (to whom Lowell also has a sonnet): possibly thrice we glimpsed –                              more ...

Mistrial

Michael Davie, 6 June 1985

The Airman and the Carpenter: The Lindbergh Case and the Framing of Richard Hauptmann 
by Ludovic Kennedy.
Collins, 438 pp., £12.95, April 1985, 0 00 217060 4
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... Lindbergh baby. Among the three hundred-odd reporters present, besides Mencken, were Damon Runyon, FordMadox Ford, Edna Ferber, Alexander Woollcott, Heywood Broun, Walter Winchell and Joseph Alsop, who was required to write no less than ten ...

Modern Masters

Frank Kermode, 24 May 1990

Where I fell to Earth: A Life in Four Places 
by Peter Conrad.
Chatto, 252 pp., £16, February 1990, 0 7011 3490 9
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May Week was in June 
by Clive James.
Cape, 249 pp., £12.95, June 1990, 0 224 02787 5
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... are exotic industry, autobiographical fluency and, to adapt what somebody once said about FordMadox Ford, a desire to write well so strong that it shows. According to his own listing, this is James’s 24th book. So at 50, despite his ...

Short Cuts

Christopher Tayler: Costume Drama, 11 October 2012

... When FordMadox Ford published No More Parades, the second of the four novels that make up Parade’s End, in 1925, he was likened to Proust and Joyce. Three years later the final instalment, Last Post, was the biggest commercial success of his career ...

In praise of work

Dinah Birch, 24 October 1991

Ford Madox Brown and the Pre-Raphaelite Circle 
by Teresa Newman and Ray Watkinson.
Chatto, 226 pp., £50, July 1991, 0 7011 3186 1
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... FordMadox Brown’s greatest picture is called Work, and it depicts the laying of a sewer. It is not beautiful. But that is part of Brown’s point, for he was after qualities that counted for more than beauty. Its subject was carefully chosen ...

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