Ford Madox Ford, France and Provence
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The controversial British writer Ford Madox Ford (1873-1939) is increasingly recognized as a major presence in early twentieth-century literature. This series of International Ford Madox Ford Studies was founded to reflect the recent resurgence of interest in him. Each volume is based upon a particular theme or issue; and relates aspects of Ford’s work, life, and contacts, to broader concerns of his time. Ford is best-known for his fiction, especially The Good Soldier, long considered a modernist masterpiece; and Parade’s End, which Anthony Burgess described as ‘the finest novel about the First World War’; and Samuel Hynes has called ‘the greatest war novel ever written by an Englishman’. After the war Ford moved to France, beginning Parade’s End on the Riviera, founding the transatlantic review in Paris, taking on Hemingway as a sub-editor, discovering another generation of Modernists such as Jean Rhys and Basil Bunting, and publishing them alongside James Joyce and Gertrude Stein. From the late 1920s he spent more time in his beloved Provence, where he took a house with the painter Janice Biala. The present volume, combining contributions from eighteen British, French and American experts on Ford, and Modernism, has two connected sections. The first, on Ford’s engagement with France and French culture, is introduced by an essay by Ford himself, written in French, about France, and republished and also translated here for the first time; and includes an essay on literary Paris of the 1920s by the leading biographer Hermione Lee. The second, on Ford and Provence, is introduced in an essay by the novelist Julian Barnes, and includes a selection of previously unpublished letters from Janice Biala about her life with Ford in Provence. The volume also contains 16 pages of illustrations, including previously unseen photographs of Ford and Biala, and reproductions of Biala’s paintings and drawings of Provence.
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