Author(s): Ford Madox Ford
Booker Prize-winner Julian Barnes introduces Ford Madox Ford's masterpiece "Parade's End" - now a major new BBC/HBO TV adaptation - in this reissued "Penguin Modern Classics" edition. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Christopher Tietjens, Rebecca Hall as his wife Sylvia and also featuring Rupert Everett, Carey Mulligan, Roger Allam and Miranda Richardson, this lavish production from a screenplay by the legendary playwright Tom Stoppard brings to life for the first time one of the twentieth century's most significant novels. A masterly novel of destruction and regeneration, "Parade's End" follows the story of aristocrat Christopher Tietjens as his world is shattered by the First World War. Tracing the psychological damage inflicted by battle, the collapse of England's secure Edwardian values - embodied in Christopher's wife, the beautiful, cruel socialite Sylvia - and the beginning of a new age, epitomized by the suffragette Valentine Wannop, "Parade's End" is an elegy for both the war dead and the passing of a way of life. Ford Madox Ford (1873-1939) served with the British army in World War I, an experience that was to form the basis of his novel "Parade's End", published in four parts from 1924 to 1928. He wrote over eighty books, including "The Good Soldier (1915)", and divided his time between England, France and America. Julian Barnes' most recent novel is "The Sense of An Ending", for which he won the 2012 Man Booker prize. His other books include "Flaubert's Parrot, "A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters" and "Arthur and George". "The finest English novel about the Great War." (Malcolm Bradbury). "The best novel by a British writer...It is also the finest novel about the First World War. It is also the finest novel about the nature of British society." (Anthony Burgess). "There are not many English novels which deserve to be called great: "Parade's End" is one of them." (W.H. Auden). "The English prose masterpiece of the time." (William Carlos Williams).
Masterly...Ford knows more and sees deeper -- Julian Barnes A neglected masterpiece of twentieth-century fiction - the English War and Peace -- John Gray There are not many English novels which deserve to be called great: Parade's End is one of them -- W. H. Auden [Ford] was the only Englishman who stood alongside the great 'moderns' - Joyce, Eliot and Pound -- Peter Ackroyd
Ford Madox Ford was born Ford Hermann Hueffer in Kent in 1873 and married Elsie Martindale in 1894. In 1915 he published The Good Soldier, and in the same year he enlisted in the army and served as an infantry officer. Parade's End, the culmination of his experiences during the First World War, was published in four parts between 1924 and 1928. He moved to Paris in 1922 and two years later founded the Transatlantic Review, whose contributors included James Joyce, Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein. In his later years he divided his time between France and America, dying in Deauville in 1939.