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Ford Madox Ford, Parade’s End (tetralogy, 1924–1928)

Frayn, Andrew



Ralf Schneider

Jane Potter


A key figure in the modernist network, Ford published new writers as the editor of two important journals, The English Review (1908–1910) and the transatlantic review (1924) (Wulfman 2009; Gasiorek 2012). Older than the modernist “jeunes,” who both appreciated him and held him in mostly good-natured contempt, Ford’s writing is on the cusp of the Victorian and the modern. His great post-war novel tetralogy Parade’s End (1924–1928) combines the historical sweep of the then-fashionable family saga with modernist narrative techniques. The four volumes are Some Do Not... (1924), which takes us from 1912 to war’s midst; No More Parades (1925), which deals with front line experience; A Man Could Stand Up– (1926), which culminates in the Armistice; and Last Post (1928), which looks to the future. The tetralogy follows several narrators, but the most prominent of these is Christopher Tietjens, the youngest son of an aristocratic Yorkshire family who tries to resist the depredations of the modern world by a masochistic devotion to his eighteenth-century moral code (Haslam 2014; Radford 2002). The importance of revitalising hierarchical and leadership structures is present in romantic relationships with his wife, Sylvia, a modern society woman who is beautiful but malicious and cruel, and Valentine Wannop, the daughter of a declined county family who is athletic, politically progressive, and by the end of the tetralogy is Tietjens’s partner and carrying his child.

Acceptance Date May 10, 2021
Online Publication Date Sep 20, 2021
Publication Date Sep 20, 2021
Deposit Date Sep 5, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 21, 2022
Publisher De Gruyter
Pages 253-266
Book Title Handbook of British Literature and Culture of the First World War
Chapter Number 14
ISBN 9783110426670
Keywords Class, family saga, bureaucracy, gender, relationships
Public URL
Publisher URL


Ford Madox Ford, Parade’s End (tetralogy, 1924–1928) (accepted version) (275 Kb)

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