As time is short and my brain somewhat frazzled, instead of a full review today I offer a short acrostic. Enjoy!

Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford

Parade’s End by Ford Madox Ford is a novel that I read recently.
Anticipation was pretty high, as I really love Ford’s The Good Soldier.
Reading this took a while, as Parade’s End is actually a series of four novels (836 pages).
According to one critic, the “best fictional treatment of war in the history of the novel”.
Dramatis personae: Our hero, Christopher Tietjens, who is noble, brilliant, and principled;
Enter next his cruel wife, Sylvia, who spends her days trying to torment our hero; then
Suffragette and pacifist, Valentine Wannop, who is Christopher’s soul mate and true love.

Excellent in parts, this novel is well worth a read, but loses its way towards the end.*
Nevertheless, I shall remember Tietjens – “the last Tory” and last of a dying breed;
Dead but not forgotten, as the saying goes…

 

*Graham Greene controversially omitted Last Post (the fourth and final novel in the series) from his Bodley Head edition of Ford’s writing, calling it “an afterthought which he (Ford) had not intended to write and later regretted having written.” I have to confess that I tend to agree with Graham Greene; I think the series would have been stronger had it been left to stand after the end of the third novel.

If you liked this, you might also enjoy Ford Madox Ford’s The Good Soldier (which is a bit of an acquired taste, but definitely one of my personal favourites).

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