Ford Madox Ford (1873–1939,) previously Ford Madox Hueffer, was an English novelist, poet, critic. An exceptional editor, he published the works by many noteworthy writers of his era, and was influential in the development of early 20th-century English literature.
Ford was born in Merton, Surrey, the son of German music critic Francis Hueffer, and grandson of the Pre-Raphaelite painter Ford Madox Brown. Brought up in Pre-Raphaelite circles, Ford published his first book when he was only 18, a fairy story titled The Brown Owl (1891;) a novel, The Shining of the Fire, appeared the next year. In 1894, he eloped with and married Elsie Martindale, foreshadowing a life of emotional upheaval—in 1910, she sued him for reinstatement of conjugal rights.
Ford met the Polish-British writer Joseph Conrad in 1898 and they co-authored various works, including The Inheritors (1901,) Romance (1903,) and The Nature of a Crime (1924, written earlier.) In 1908, Ford founded the English Review, which he edited for 15 months and in which he published Thomas Hardy, H. G. Wells, D. H. Lawrence, Wyndham Lewis, among others.
Ford fought in the World War I, but was gassed and shell-shocked. Subsequently he changed his name from Hueffer to Ford and tried agriculture in Sussex and Left Bank life in Paris. In 1924, while living in Paris, he co-founded and edited The Transatlantic Review, which gave space to James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and Jean Rhys.
Ford wrote almost 80 books in a prolific career but is chiefly remembered for three novels—the The Fifth Queen trilogy (1906–08,) The Good Soldier (1915,) and Parade’s End (1924–28.) The latter is the title Ford gave to what is often known as the “Tietjens War” tetralogy: Some Do Not (1924,) No More Parades (1925,) A Man Could Stand Up (1926,) and Last Post (1928.)