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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $15.50
  • March 2012
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-92792-4
  • 448 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

The Good Soldier

Norton Critical Editions

Second Edition


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Ford Madox Ford (Author), Martin Stannard (Editor, University of Leicester)


Heralded by Graham Greene as “one of the finest novels of our century,” Ford Madox Ford’s 1915 modernist masterpiece of passion and deceit is now available in a revised and expanded Norton Critical Edition.

Originally titled “The Saddest Story” and heralded by Graham Greene as “one of the finest novels of our century,” Ford’s 1915 tale of passion and deceit in the lives of two married couples is a modernist masterpiece. The Norton Critical Edition of The Good Soldier allows the reader to thoroughly study Ford’s great work and unravel its mysteries and meanings. This Second Edition is again based on the meticulously edited first text of the novel and offers detailed annotation, a note on the text, and sections on textual variants and manuscript development along with pertinent illustrations.

"Backgrounds and Contexts" brings together important appraisals of the work directly following its publication. Reactions from Rebecca West and Theodore Dreiser are included among the reviews. The section also collects critiques on literary impressionism, including one by Ford, and related writings by Henry James and by frequent Ford collaborator Joseph Conrad, among others.

"Biographical and Critical Commentary" collects differing assessments of The Good Soldier. Contributions from Richard Aldington, Samuel Hynes, John A. Meixner, Frank Kermode, Carol Jacobs, Thomas C. Moser, Ann Barr Snitow, and Vincent J. Cheng are joined by new selections from Colm Toibin, John G. Peters, Max Saunders, Karen A. Hoffman, and Julian Barnes.

A Selected Bibliography is also included.




    The Text of The Good Soldier

    • Dedicatory Letter to Stella Ford
    • The Good Soldier


    • Map of Bad Nauheim, c. 1916
    • Deutsches Hof today
    • Hotel Excelsior today
    • Victorian and Edwardian Bad Nauheim
    • The Old Kurhaus
    • The Marburg Schloss
    • Memorandum of Philip of Hesse, April 1521
    • Signatures of the Marburg Reformers

    Textual Appendices

    • Abbreviations
    • Cornell manuscript page
    • A Note on the Text
    • Manuscript Development and Textual Variants

    Contemporary Reviews

    • The New York Times Book Review [U.S.] (March 7, 1915)
    • Boston Transcript [U.S.] (March 17, 1915)
    • Independent[U.S.] (March 22, 1915)
    • Times Literary Supplement[U.K.] (March 25, 1915)
    • Observer [U.K.], March 28, 1915)
    • Rebecca West    Daily News and Leader[U.K.] (April 2, 1915)
    • Morning Post[U.K.] (April 5, 1915)
    • Athaeneum [U.K.] (April 10, 1915)
    • Outlook [U.K.] (April 17, 1915)
    • C. E. Lawrence    Daily Chronicle[U.K.] (April 28, 1915)
    • Nation[U.S.] (April 29, 1915)
    • Thomas Seccombe    New Witness[U.K.] (June 3, 1915)
    • Theodore Dreiser    New Republic[U.S.] (June 12,1915)
    • Saturday Review(Supplement) [U.K.] (June 19, 1915)
    • Bookman [U.K.] (July 1915)

    Literary Impressionism

    • John G. Peters    Science and the Epistemological Origins of Literary


    • Ian Watt   [Impressionism and Symbolism in Ford, Conrad, and Crane]
    • John A. Meixner   [Ford’s Literary Technique]
    • Joseph Conrad    Preface to The Nigger of the “Narcissus” (1897)
    • Henry James   [The House of Fiction]
    • Ford Madox Hueffer [Ford]    On Impressionism   
      • First Article
      • Second Article
    • Ford Madox Ford   [Developing the Theory of Impressionism with Conrad]

    Biographical and Critical Commentary

    • Richard Aldington    [Homage to Ford Madox Ford]
    • Mark Schorer   [The Good Soldier as Comedy]
    • Samuel Hynes    The Epistemology of The Good Soldier
    • John A. Meixner   [The Good Soldier as Tragedy]
      • [Ford, Dowell, and the Sex Instinct]
    • Grover Smith   [Dowell as Untrustworthy Narrator]
    • Frank Kermode   [Recognition and Deception]
    • Carol Jacobs   [The Passion for Talk]
    • Thomas C. Moser   [The Narrative Stance of Marlow and Dowell]
    • Michael Levenson    Character in The Good Soldier
    • Ann Barr Snitow   [The Tragedy of Desire]
    • Eugene Goodheart    What Dowell Knew
    • Vincent J. Cheng    A Chronology of The Good Soldier
    • Max Saunders   [Desiring, Designing, Describing: Sexuality in The GoodSoldier]
    • Karen A. Hoffmann    “Am I no better than a eunuch?”: Narrating Masculinity and Empire in The Good Soldier
    • Colm Toibin    Outsiders in England and the Art of Being Found Out
    • Julian Barnes    The Saddest Story


    Selected Bibliography