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Parade's End: Volume IV
Last Post: A Novel
Edited by Paul Skinner
ISBN: 978 1 847770 15 8
Categories: 20th Century, British, War writings
Imprint: Carcanet Fiction
Published: July 2011
216 x 135 x 18 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), eBook (Kindle)
A woman intent on getting a man ought to have some sort of system, some sort of scheme at the very least.But Sylvia - he knew it from the interminable talk that he had had with Christopher on Armistice Night - Sylvia delighted most in doing what she called pulling the strings of shower baths. She did extravagant things, mostly of a cruel kind, for the fun of seeing what would happen. Well, you cannot allow yourself fun when you are on a campaign...
Last Post, the fourth and final volume of Parade's End, is set on a single post-war summer's day. Valentine Wannop and Christopher Tietjens share a cottage in Sussex with Tietjens' brother and sister-in-law. Through their differing perspectives, Ford explores the tensions between his characters in a changing world, haunted by the experience of war, facing an insecure future for themselves and for England. The Tietjens' ancestral home has been let to an American, its great tree felled; those like Tietjens who have served in the war find there is no place for them in a demoralised civilian society. The celebrations of Armistice Day have been replaced by the uncertainties of peacetime. 'How are we to live?' asks Valentine, as a death and an imminent birth bring Ford's great sequence to a close.
Last Post includes:
-- the first reliable text based on the hand-corrected typescript of first editions
-- a major critical introduction by Paul Skinner, editor of Ford's novel No Enemy and of Ford Madox Ford: Literary Contacts (International Ford Madox Ford Studies 6)
-- an account of the novel's composition and reception
-- annotations explaining historical references and literary and topical allusions
-- a full textual apparatus including transcriptions of significant deletions and revisions
-- a bibliography of further reading
Praise for Ford Madox Ford 'what Ford conveys above all is less his particular preference than his radical passion for the novel as an instrument and what can be done with it.'
C.H. Sisson 'It displays Ford's dedication to his art; it demonstrates, also, the possibilities of English prose in the hands of a master.'
Peter Ackroyd, The Sunday Times 'The Rash Act ought to be bought and read by all interested in the novel as an art form... The action takes place in the French South which Ford loved, but man no longer sustains the tradition of myth and history which that region once represented... Here in The Rash Act we have the death of morality and responsibility - a forbidding theme, but, in the paradox of art, it is made to serve a tapestry of rich colour and galloping vivacity.'
Anthony Burgess, Observer 'No Enemy is Ford Madox Ford's little-known First World War novel, musing and reflective, published for the first time in Britain by Carcanet and ably edited by Paul Skinner. Congratulations to them both.'
Alan Judd, Sunday Telegraph, Sunday 30th June 2002 'Of the various demands... that he show us the way in which a society works, that he show an understanding of the human heart, that he create characters in 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 craftmanship, there is not one, it seems to me, that Ford does not completely satisfy.'
W. H. Auden
'Ford Madox Ford's Parad's End, arguably the most sophisticated British fiction to come out of that war. Carcanet's reissue of the first volume, Some Do Not (£18.95), is the first reliable text, reconstructing Ford's dramatic original ending. Brilliantly edited by Max Saunders and now to be filmed (scripted by Tom Stoppard), it deserves to be and will be better known.'
Alan Judd, Books of the Year 2010, The Spectator.'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.'
You might also be interested in:
Parade's End: Volume I Ford Madox Ford,
Edited by Max Saunders
Parade's End: Volume II Ford Madox Ford,
Edited by Joseph Wiesenfarth
Parade's End: Volume III Ford Madox Ford,
Edited by Sara Haslam
War Prose Ford Madox Ford,
Edited by Max Saunders
No Enemy: a Tale of Reconstruction Ford Madox Ford,
Edited by Paul Skinner
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