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


Frayn, A. (2021). Ford Madox Ford, Parade’s End (tetralogy, 1924–1928). In R. Schneider, & J. Potter (Eds.), Handbook of British Literature and Culture of the First World War (253-266). Berlin: De Gruyter.



Class, family saga, bureaucracy, gender, relationships

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