Ford Madox Ford wrote some of the best English prose of the twentieth century, mastering and metamorphosing all its major forms: the novel, literary criticism, travel writing, even historical and cultural discourse. He was also an innovative and influential poet, as well as the century's greatest literary editor. He collaborated with Joseph Conrad, and advised Ezra Pound; his admirers include novelists as diverse as Sinclair Lewis, Jean Rhys, Graham Greene, Anthony Burgess and Gore Vidal. This volume is a two volume set of Max Saunder's magisterial biography. The first volume takes Ford from his birth as Ford Hermann Hueffer in 1873 to the eve of his departure for France, and war, in 1916. It charts his growth and development as a writer of great complexity, first with the trilogy The Fifth Queen and culminating in his masterpiece The Good Soldier. It also examines his turbulent emotional life, from his elopement and marriage to Elsie Martindale in 1894 to his affair with Violet Hunt in the same year that he founded The English Review.
The second volume takes up the story from Ford's enlistment in the army and departure for France in 1916 and follows Ford's peronsal relationships, which were no less complex than his work. While living with Stella Bowen after the breakup of his partnership with Violet Hunt he had a brief affair with Jean Rhys, but he was to spend his final years until his death in 1939, with the Polish American painter Janice Biala. Max Saunders makes full use of previously unpublished and long-lost material, offering the first biography to establish Ford's importance to modern literature: exploring the relations between a writer's life, autobiography, and fiction, and showing how Ford's case challeneges the conventions of literary biography itself. Saunders provides a ground-breaking reading of Ford's post-war masterpiece, Parade's End , and describes the founding of the transatlantic review, the influential literary journal that published Hemingway, Ezra Pound, Picasso, and many more writers and artists.
Ford said that a writer's life is 'a dual affair', a life enshrined in the writing and Max Saunders's aim is to examine the interconnections between the private and the public life, and the inner life that drove him. This new two volume set is complete with a new foreword considering recent interest in the life and work of Ford Madox Ford.