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England and the English
Edited by Sara Haslam
RRP: GBP 18.95
Available from: Buy now from Amazon
ISBN: 978 1 847778 94 9
Categories: 20th Century
Imprint: Lives and Letters
Published: November 2003
280 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), Paperback, eBook (PDF)
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England and the English is Ford Madox Ford’s three-volume exploration of what it means to be English, here published in a single volume for the first time in the United Kingdom. Starting with the brilliantly impressionistic evocations of the chaotic energy of modern London in the first part, Ford proceeds to delve into the rural past that has always been identified as being at the heart of England, before concluding with an investigation of the formation of the English character. Throughout, Ford is the watchful outsider, perceptive, humorous and affectionate towards the complexities of Englishness. A fascinating introduction to the style and preoccupations of this seminal Modernist writer, England and the English has particular resonance for our own times when the sense of national identity is again under scrutiny.
This edition includes Ford’s preface to the one-volume American edition. Sara Haslam’s introduction sets the trilogy in its contemporary context and outlines its significance in Ford’s work.
'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 'One of the best books I have ever read about Englishness.'
AS Byatt, The Guardian
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
'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.'
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