Ford Madox Ford is one of the most important, but overlooked, literary figures of the early
20th centuruy. He was a poet and novelist who wrote more than 60 books, but he is remembered
as much for his literary associations as for his own writings.
He was born Ford Madox Hueffer in Marton, England into a family of German artists and
writers and began his writing career at an early age. Ford befriended Joseph Conrad and the
two collaborated on three novels, The Inheritor (1903), Romance (1903), and The Nature of
Crime (1924). His own early works were well-received and critics predicted a
promising career for Ford. He founded The English Review in
1908 and published Conrad, Thomas Hardy, Henry James, H. G. Wells, T. S. Elliot, and others.
After serving in Wolrd War I, Ford settled in Paris. There he founded The Transatlantic Review and introduced the work of James Joyce and Ernest
Hemingway. Other authors of note with whom Ford was associated as editor or friend include
Ezra Pound, D. H. Lawrence, Wyndham Lewis, and Gertrude Stein. He spent his later years in
the United States and in France where he died in 1939.
While he is remembered most often for his friendships with Pound, Conrad, Joyce, and
others, Ford was also a major force in the development of the modern English novel. He was
especially adept at new techniques involving narration and the shifting of time within his
works. These innovative approaches to writing are best seen in his most famous novels, The Good Soldier (1915) and a quartet of novels written between
1924 and 1928 which were gathered into one volume, Parades End
(1950). Ford was a distinguished critic and wrote numerous essays, reviews, and monographs
about contemporary art and literature.