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Edited by Max Saunders
RRP: GBP£ 18.95
Available from: Buy now from Amazon
ISBN: 978 1 847778 78 9
Categories: War writings
Imprint: Lives and Letters
Published: August 2011
292 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), Paperback
Yes, I have just one War Picture in my mind: it is a hurrying black cloud, like the dark
cloud of the Hun shrapnel. It sweeps down at any moment. Over Mametz Wood: over the Veryd
Range, over the grey level of the North Sea; over the parade ground in the sunlight, with
the band, and the goat shining like silver and the R.S.M. shouting: 'Right Markers! Stead
aye!' A darkness out of which shine - like swiftly obscured fragments of pallid moons -
white faces of the little, dark, raven-voiced, Evanses, and Lewises, and Joneses and
Thomases. Our dead!'
from 'Arms and the Mind'
Ford Madox Ford's post-war masterpiece, Parade's End, is recognised as one of the great British novels about the First World War. This selection from his other extensive writings about the war, published and unpublished, sheds light on the tetralogy. It includes reminiscences, an unfinished novel, stories and excerpts from letters. Ford was in his forties when he enlisted: this made him one of the few writers of his maturity to fight on the Western Front. His experience of combat was limited, but he was in the Battle of the Somme, was often under bombardment, and suffered from shell-shock. His largely psychological response to the war anticipates the recent renewal of interest in trauma and shell-shock (as, for example, in Pat Barker's Ghost Road trilogy). This book provides important testimony by one of the best writers of his generation.
MAX SAUNDERS is Reader in English at King's College, London, where he teaches nineteenth- and twentieth-century British, American and European literature. He wrote Ford Madox Ford: a dual life, published by Oxford University Press in two volumes (1996).
Programme editor: Bill Hutchings
Praise for Ford Madox Ford 'Of the various demands one can make of the novelist, that he show us the way in which a society works, that he show an understanding of the human heart, that he create characters whose reality we believe and for whose fate we care, that he describe things and people so that we feel their physical presence, that he illuminate our moral consciousness, that he make us laugh and cry, that he delight us by his craftsmanship, there is not one, it seems to me, that Ford does not completely satisfy. There are not many English novels which deserve to be called great: Parade's End is one of them.'
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