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This article is taken from PN Review 262, Volume 48 Number 2, November - December 2021.

Ford, Biala and Politics Martin Stannard
In the 1929 Who’s Who in Literature, Ford Madox Ford is sandwiched quietly between William Byron Forbush (author of The Kindergarten Manual, 1921), and the Rev. Harold Ford (author of Art of Extempore Speaking, then in its 12th edition). If Ford had ever glanced at these entries while checking the proofs of his own, he might have wished for a less confused childhood and envied the Rev. Ford’s literary popularity. Ford is listed as the author of twenty-one books, and co-author (with Conrad and Violet Hunt) of another four. He was a major figure of English and American letters, and had had considerable sales over the last fourteen years with The Good Soldier and the Parade’s End tetralogy, but none of his works had run to twelve editions, and he was about to plunge off the cliff of recent success with the Wall Street Crash and alimony. His address is given as South Lodge, 80 Campden Hill Road, London, W.8., the house he had shared with Hunt. That was long out of date. Since then, indeed since 1919, he had been living with Stella Bowen, the Australian painter, in England, Paris, Cap Ferrat and Toulon, and they had had his third child, Julia, in 1920. It was when Julia was just two that Ford and Stella had decamped to France. He had, in effect, been on the run from the previous women in his life since deserting his wife, Elsie Martindale, and their two daughters, during 1909.

By the time we ...


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