The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion (Starbooks Classics Editions)

3.72 avg rating
( 19,750 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9781500922375: The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion (Starbooks Classics Editions)
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion

“I know nothing - nothing in the world - of the hearts of men. I only know that I am alone - horribly alone.”

The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion is a 1915 novel by English novelist Ford Madox Ford. It is set just before World War I and chronicles the tragedy of Edward Ashburnham, the soldier to whom the title refers, and his own seemingly perfect marriage and that of two American friends. The novel is told using a series of flashbacks in non-chronological order, a literary technique that formed part of Ford's pioneering view of literary impressionism. Ford employs the device of the unreliable narrator to great effect as the main character gradually reveals a version of events that is quite different from what the introduction leads the reader to believe. The novel was loosely based on two incidents of adultery and on Ford's messy personal life.

The novel’s original title was The Saddest Story, but after the onset of World War I, the publishers asked Ford for a new title. Ford suggested (sarcastically) The Good Soldier, and the name stuck.

In 1998, the Modern Library ranked The Good Soldier 30th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.

Major characters

John Dowell: The narrator, husband to Florence. Dowell is an American Quaker, a gullible and passionless man who cannot read the emotions of the people around him.

Florence Dowell: John Dowell’s wife and a scheming, manipulative, unfaithful woman who uses Dowell for his money while pursuing her affairs on the side. She fakes a heart ailment to get what she wants out of her husband and has a lengthy affair with Edward Ashburnham.

Edward Ashburnham: Friend of the Dowells and husband of Leonora. Ashburnham is a hopeless romantic who keeps falling in love with the women he meets; he is at Nauheim for the treatment of a heart problem but it’s unclear whether the ailment is real. He is Dowell’s opposite, a virile, physical, passionate man.

Leonora Ashburnham: Edward’s wife by a marriage that was more or less arranged by their fathers. Leonora comes to resent Edward’s philandering as much for its effect on her life as on her marriage and asserts more and more control over Edward until he dies.

Nancy Rufford: The young ward of the Ashburnhams; Edward falls in love with Nancy after he tires of Florence. Eventually Nancy is sent by Ashburnham to India to live with her father, but she goes mad en route when she learns of Edward’s death.

La Dolciquita: A Spanish dancer (The Grand Duke's mistress) who is Edward's first sexual affair. Although he believes himself to be romantically attached to her, he quickly becomes disillusioned by her thirst for his money. She is not at all interested in Edward's "sentimental" gestures, and asks for money and expensive gifts in exchange for sex.

Maisie Maidan: Edward's third affair. Maisie was a young, pretty, married woman whom Leonora purchases from her "child husband" and brings back to Europe for Edward's sake. Maisie has a true heart defect and it takes her life as she tries to flee from Edward.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

First published in 1915, Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier begins, famously and ominously, "This is the saddest story I have ever heard." The book then proceeds to confute this pronouncement at every turn, exposing a world less sad than pathetic, and more shot through with hypocrisy and deceit than its incredulous narrator, John Dowell, cares to imagine. Somewhat forgotten as a classic, The Good Soldier has been called everything from the consummate novelist's novel to one of the greatest English works of the century. And although its narrative hook--the philandering of an otherwise noble man--no longer shocks, its unerring cadences and doleful inevitabilities proclaim an enduring appeal.

Ford's novel revolves around two couples: Edward Ashburnham--the title's soldier--and his capable if off-putting wife, Leonora; and long-transplanted Americans John and Florence Dowell. The foursome's ostensible amiability, on display as they pass parts of a dozen pre-World War I summers together in Germany, conceals the fissures in each marriage. John is miserably mismatched with the garrulous, cuckolding Florence; and Edward, dashing and sentimental, can't refrain from falling in love with women whose charms exceed Leonora's. Predictably, Edward and Florence conduct their affair, an indiscretion only John seems not to notice. After the deaths of the two lovers, and after Leonora explains much of the truth to John, he recounts the events of their four lives with an extended inflection of outrage. From his retrospective perch, his recollections simmer with a bitter skepticism even as he expresses amazement at how much he overlooked.

Dowell's resigned narration is flawlessly conversational--haphazard, sprawling, lusting for sympathy. He exudes self-preservation even as he alternately condemns and lionizes Edward: "If I had had the courage and the virility and possibly also the physique of Edward Ashburnham I should, I fancy, have done much what he did." Stunningly, Edward's adultery comes to seem not merely excusable, but almost sublime. "Perhaps he could not bear to see a woman and not give her the comfort of his physical attractions," John surmises. Ford's novel deserves its reputation if for no other reason than the elegance with which it divulges hidden lives. --Ben Guterson

From the Back Cover:

'A Tale of Passion', as its sub-title declares, The Good Soldier tells of the complex social and sexual relationships between two couples, one English, one American, and the growing awareness by the American narrator John Dowell of the intrigues and passions behind their orderly Edwardian facade. It is the attitude of Dowell, his puzzlement and uncertainty, and the seemingly haphazard manner of his narration that make the book so powerful and mysterious. Ford called it 'the only novel of mine that I considered...at all to count' and it has perplexed and delighted commentators since its publication in 1915. The novel has many comic moments, despite its catalogue of death, insanity, and despair, and has been read as both a comedy and a tragedy. It has inspired the works of many later, distinguished writers, including Graham Greene.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780141441849: The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion (Penguin Classics)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0141441844 ISBN 13:  9780141441849
Publisher: Penguin Classics, 2007
Softcover

9781840226539: The Good Soldier (Wordsworth Classics)

Wordsw..., 2010
Softcover

9780393927924: The Good Soldier (Second Edition) (Norton Critical Editions)

W. W. ..., 2012
Softcover

9780679406655: The Good Soldier (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics Series)

Everym..., 1991
Hardcover

9780199585946: The Good Soldier (Oxford World's Classics)

Oxford..., 2012
Softcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Ford, Ford Madox
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (2014)
ISBN 10: 1500922374 ISBN 13: 9781500922375
New Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller:
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014. PAP. Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # IQ-9781500922375

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 6.79
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Ford Madox Ford
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (2014)
ISBN 10: 1500922374 ISBN 13: 9781500922375
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Print on Demand
Seller:
Book Depository International
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion I know nothing - nothing in the world - of the hearts of men. I only know that I am alone - horribly alone. The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion is a 1915 novel by English novelist Ford Madox Ford. It is set just before World War I and chronicles the tragedy of Edward Ashburnham, the soldier to whom the title refers, and his own seemingly perfect marriage and that of two American friends. The novel is told using a series of flashbacks in non-chronological order, a literary technique that formed part of Ford s pioneering view of literary impressionism. Ford employs the device of the unreliable narrator to great effect as the main character gradually reveals a version of events that is quite different from what the introduction leads the reader to believe. The novel was loosely based on two incidents of adultery and on Ford s messy personal life. The novel s original title was The Saddest Story, but after the onset of World War I, the publishers asked Ford for a new title. Ford suggested (sarcastically) The Good Soldier, and the name stuck. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked The Good Soldier 30th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. Major characters John Dowell: The narrator, husband to Florence. Dowell is an American Quaker, a gullible and passionless man who cannot read the emotions of the people around him. Florence Dowell: John Dowell s wife and a scheming, manipulative, unfaithful woman who uses Dowell for his money while pursuing her affairs on the side. She fakes a heart ailment to get what she wants out of her husband and has a lengthy affair with Edward Ashburnham. Edward Ashburnham: Friend of the Dowells and husband of Leonora. Ashburnham is a hopeless romantic who keeps falling in love with the women he meets; he is at Nauheim for the treatment of a heart problem but it s unclear whether the ailment is real. He is Dowell s opposite, a virile, physical, passionate man. Leonora Ashburnham: Edward s wife by a marriage that was more or less arranged by their fathers. Leonora comes to resent Edward s philandering as much for its effect on her life as on her marriage and asserts more and more control over Edward until he dies. Nancy Rufford: The young ward of the Ashburnhams; Edward falls in love with Nancy after he tires of Florence. Eventually Nancy is sent by Ashburnham to India to live with her father, but she goes mad en route when she learns of Edward s death. La Dolciquita: A Spanish dancer (The Grand Duke s mistress) who is Edward s first sexual affair. Although he believes himself to be romantically attached to her, he quickly becomes disillusioned by her thirst for his money. She is not at all interested in Edward s sentimental gestures, and asks for money and expensive gifts in exchange for sex. Maisie Maidan: Edward s third affair. Maisie was a young, pretty, married woman whom Leonora purchases from her child husband and brings back to Europe for Edward s sake. Maisie has a true heart defect and it takes her life as she tries to flee from Edward. Seller Inventory # APC9781500922375

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 11.76
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

3.

Ford Madox Ford
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (2014)
ISBN 10: 1500922374 ISBN 13: 9781500922375
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Print on Demand
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion I know nothing - nothing in the world - of the hearts of men. I only know that I am alone - horribly alone. The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion is a 1915 novel by English novelist Ford Madox Ford. It is set just before World War I and chronicles the tragedy of Edward Ashburnham, the soldier to whom the title refers, and his own seemingly perfect marriage and that of two American friends. The novel is told using a series of flashbacks in non-chronological order, a literary technique that formed part of Ford s pioneering view of literary impressionism. Ford employs the device of the unreliable narrator to great effect as the main character gradually reveals a version of events that is quite different from what the introduction leads the reader to believe. The novel was loosely based on two incidents of adultery and on Ford s messy personal life. The novel s original title was The Saddest Story, but after the onset of World War I, the publishers asked Ford for a new title. Ford suggested (sarcastically) The Good Soldier, and the name stuck. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked The Good Soldier 30th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. Major characters John Dowell: The narrator, husband to Florence. Dowell is an American Quaker, a gullible and passionless man who cannot read the emotions of the people around him. Florence Dowell: John Dowell s wife and a scheming, manipulative, unfaithful woman who uses Dowell for his money while pursuing her affairs on the side. She fakes a heart ailment to get what she wants out of her husband and has a lengthy affair with Edward Ashburnham. Edward Ashburnham: Friend of the Dowells and husband of Leonora. Ashburnham is a hopeless romantic who keeps falling in love with the women he meets; he is at Nauheim for the treatment of a heart problem but it s unclear whether the ailment is real. He is Dowell s opposite, a virile, physical, passionate man. Leonora Ashburnham: Edward s wife by a marriage that was more or less arranged by their fathers. Leonora comes to resent Edward s philandering as much for its effect on her life as on her marriage and asserts more and more control over Edward until he dies. Nancy Rufford: The young ward of the Ashburnhams; Edward falls in love with Nancy after he tires of Florence. Eventually Nancy is sent by Ashburnham to India to live with her father, but she goes mad en route when she learns of Edward s death. La Dolciquita: A Spanish dancer (The Grand Duke s mistress) who is Edward s first sexual affair. Although he believes himself to be romantically attached to her, he quickly becomes disillusioned by her thirst for his money. She is not at all interested in Edward s sentimental gestures, and asks for money and expensive gifts in exchange for sex. Maisie Maidan: Edward s third affair. Maisie was a young, pretty, married woman whom Leonora purchases from her child husband and brings back to Europe for Edward s sake. Maisie has a true heart defect and it takes her life as she tries to flee from Edward. Seller Inventory # APC9781500922375

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 12.22
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

4.

Ford, Ford Madox; Zambrano, Angie [Cover Design]
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2014)
ISBN 10: 1500922374 ISBN 13: 9781500922375
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # INGM9781500922375

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 10.07
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

5.

Ford Madox Ford
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN 10: 1500922374 ISBN 13: 9781500922375
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller:
BuySomeBooks
(Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Paperback. Condition: New. This item is printed on demand. 192 pages. Dimensions: 9.0in. x 6.0in. x 0.5in.The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion I know nothing - nothing in the world - of the hearts of men. I only know that I am alone - horribly alone. The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion is a 1915 novel by English novelist Ford Madox Ford. It is set just before World War I and chronicles the tragedy of Edward Ashburnham, the soldier to whom the title refers, and his own seemingly perfect marriage and that of two American friends. The novel is told using a series of flashbacks in non-chronological order, a literary technique that formed part of Fords pioneering view of literary impressionism. Ford employs the device of the unreliable narrator to great effect as the main character gradually reveals a version of events that is quite different from what the introduction leads the reader to believe. The novel was loosely based on two incidents of adultery and on Fords messy personal life. The novels original title was The Saddest Story, but after the onset of World War I, the publishers asked Ford for a new title. Ford suggested (sarcastically) The Good Soldier, and the name stuck. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked The Good Soldier 30th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. Major characters John Dowell: The narrator, husband to Florence. Dowell is an American Quaker, a gullible and passionless man who cannot read the emotions of the people around him. Florence Dowell: John Dowells wife and a scheming, manipulative, unfaithful woman who uses Dowell for his money while pursuing her affairs on the side. She fakes a heart ailment to get what she wants out of her husband and has a lengthy affair with Edward Ashburnham. Edward Ashburnham: Friend of the Dowells and husband of Leonora. Ashburnham is a hopeless romantic who keeps falling in love with the women he meets; he is at Nauheim for the treatment of a heart problem but its unclear whether the ailment is real. He is Dowells opposite, a virile, physical, passionate man. Leonora Ashburnham: Edwards wife by a marriage that was more or less arranged by their fathers. Leonora comes to resent Edwards philandering as much for its effect on her life as on her marriage and asserts more and more control over Edward until he dies. Nancy Rufford: The young ward of the Ashburnhams; Edward falls in love with Nancy after he tires of Florence. Eventually Nancy is sent by Ashburnham to India to live with her father, but she goes mad en route when she learns of Edwards death. La Dolciquita: A Spanish dancer (The Grand Dukes mistress) who is Edwards first sexual affair. Although he believes himself to be romantically attached to her, he quickly becomes disillusioned by her thirst for his money. She is not at all interested in Edwards sentimental gestures, and asks for money and expensive gifts in exchange for sex. Maisie Maidan: Edwards third affair. Maisie was a young, pretty, married woman whom Leonora purchases from her child husband and brings back to Europe for Edwards sake. Maisie has a true heart defect and it takes her life as she tries to flee from Edward. This item ships from La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9781500922375

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 16.96
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

6.

Ford, Ford Madox
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (2014)
ISBN 10: 1500922374 ISBN 13: 9781500922375
New Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller:
Books2Anywhere
(Fairford, GLOS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014. PAP. Condition: New. New Book. Delivered from our UK warehouse in 4 to 14 business days. THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # IQ-9781500922375

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 7.18
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 11.94
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds