~ Parade’s End ~

by FORD MADOX FORD (Also available: The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion)

  • The Parade’s End tetralogy is available for the first time in separate digital editions or in a single edition comprising all four novels in the series
  • Each volume is accompanied by a brief Note on the Text, embedded explanatory notes and Links to Further Reading

Parade’s End is Ford Madox Ford’s celebrated four-novel sequence tracing the trauma of the First World War through the experiences of Christopher Tietjens. Tietjens, a brilliant civil servant from a wealthy Yorkshire land-owning background, is troubled by the reckless infidelities of his wife, Sylvia, and his own feelings for Valentine Wannop, a suffragette. On the Western Front in northern France he finds himself under fire from the enemy and yet unable to escape the turmoil in his private life. How will he, Valentine and Sylvia cope with the harsh realities of the postwar world?

The 2012 BBC adaptation of Parade’s End features Benedict Cumberbatch in the role of Christopher Tietjens.

The four volumes comprising Parade’s End are:

  1. Some Do Not . . .
  2. No More Parades
  3. A Man Could Stand Up—
  4. The Last Post 

EXTRACT

“His mind was at rest because there was going to be a war. From the first moment of his reading the paragraph about the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand he had known that, calmly and with assurance. Had he imagined that his country would come in he would not have known a mind at rest. He loved this country for the run of its hills, the shape of its elm trees and the way the heather, running uphill to the skyline, meets the blue of heavens. War for this country could only mean humiliation, spreading under the sunlight, an almost invisible pall, over the elms, the hills, the heather, like the vapour that spread from . . . oh, Middlesbrough! We were fitted neither for defeat nor for victory: we could be true to neither friend nor foe. Not even to ourselves!”

FORD MADOX FORD ON PARADE’S END

“This is what the late war was like: this is how modern fighting of the organized, scientific type affects the mind. If, for reasons of gain, or, as is still more likely out of dislike for collective types other than your own, you choose to permit your rulers to embark on another war, this – or something very accentuated along similar lines – is what you will have to put up with! I hope, in fact, that this series of books, for what it is worth, may make war seem undesirable.”

REVIEWS OF PARADE’S END

“There are not many English novels which deserve to be called great: Parade’s End is one of them.” – W. H. Auden

“The best novel by a British writer . . . It is also the finest novel about the First World War” – Anthony Burgess

“The finest English novel about the Great War” – Malcolm BradburyGuardian

“If Parade’s End is due for a revival it’s not for its large historical or philosophical truths but because it is panoramic and beautifully written. It is a condemnation of the brutal senselessness and stupid waste of war.” – Edmund WhiteNew York Review of Books

“Together [the four novels] constitute the English prose masterpiece of their time . . . They are written in a style that must be the envy of every thinking man. The pleasure in them is infinite.”  – William Carlos Williams

“In the greatest war novel of the 20th century, Ford Madox Ford’s Parade’s End tetralogy, the First World War destroys both a man and a civilisation.” – Bryan AppleyardSunday Times

“I’d love to find the time to reread Ford Madox Ford’s Parade’s End – possibly the greatest 20th-century novel in English, I’ve come to think.” – John GrayNew Statesman

“I started reading it and pretty damn quickly I wanted the job. It’s a trenenduously unputdownable book.” – Tom Stoppard, screenwriter of the 2012 BBC adaptation

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ford Madox Ford (1873–1939) was a novelist and editor who published over eighty books, both fiction and non-fiction. Apart from Parade’s End, he is mainly remembered for The Good Soldier (1915).

Purchase the single-volume edition of Parade’s End here

Purchase the individual volumes:

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