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About The Good Soldier:
The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion is a 1915 novel that was written by English novelist Ford Madox Ford. It is just set before World War I and chronicles the tragedy of Edward Ashburnham, the soldier to whom the title refers, and his own seemingly perfect marriage and that of two American friends. The novel is told using series flashbacks in non-chronological order, a literary technique that formed part of Ford’s pioneering view of literary impressionism. The original title of the novel was The Saddest Story, but after the onset of World War I, the publisher asked for Ford for a new title. Ford suggested new title “The Good Soldier” and the name stuck. In 1998, the Modern library ranked The Good Soldier 30th on its list of the 100 best English language novels of the 20th century. In 2015, the BBC ranked The Good Soldier on 13th number on the list of the 100 greatest British novels. The Good Soldier is narrated by the character John Dowell, half of one of the couples who dissolving relationships from the subject of the novel. The novel opens with the famous line, “This is the saddest story I have ever heard”. Dowell tells the stories of those dissolutions as well as the deaths of three characters and the madness of a fourth, in a rambling, non-chronological fashion that leaves gaps for the reader to fill. The plot is not then the real story; the reader is asked to consider whether they believe Dowell and what part he truly played in how this saddest story ever told actually plays out.
About Ford Madox Ford:
Ford Madox Ford was born on 17th December, 1873 and died on 26th June, 1939. He was an English novelist, poet, critic and editor whose journals, The English Review and The Transatlantic Review, were instrumental in the development of early 20th century English literature. Ford is now remembered for his novels The Good Soldier (1915), the Parade’s End Tetralogy (1924-28). Ford wrote dozens of novels as well as essays, poetry, memoirs and literary criticism. He collaborated with Joseph Conrad on three novels, The Inheritors (1901), Romance (1903) and The Nature of a Crime (1924). Ford also published works with Thomas Hardy, H.G. Wells, Joseph Conrad, Henry James and William Butler Yeats.
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