Biography / Women's Studies / Art / Literature & Criticism
Ford Madox Ford
and the Regiment of Women
Violet Hunt, Jean Rhys, Stella Bowen, Janice Biala
The authoritative text on Ford and the women in his life
Engaging and energetic, this biography of Ford Madox Ford presents the modernist writer in a previously unexplored way. Other biographies have approached Ford as an author; indeed, his memoirs give almost no indication that the women in his life were of any importance or, in fact, that they ever existed. Literary scholar Joseph Wiesenfarth revises this approach by tracing Ford's relationships with four women central to his life.
Wiesenfarth shows how these womenViolet Hunt, Jean Rhys, Stella Bowen, and Janice Bialaestablished themselves as artists in their own right and depicted Ford in their works as different than the "proper man" he thought himself to be. For the women, he was both a lover and a leaver, a collaborator and a companion. Wiesenfarth examines the artistic and romantic interplay among these writers, painters, and lovers. This book features a beautifully illustrated color and black-and-white gallery of Bowen and Biala paintings.
Joseph Wiesenfarth is professor emeritus of English at the University of WisconsinMadison. He is the editor of two collections of essays on Ford and the author of six books, including Gothic Manners and the Classic English Novel, also published by the University of Wisconsin Press.
Excerpts from Reviews
“Wiesenfarth’s book offers a much needed introduction to the work of Violet Hunt, Jean Rhys, Stella Bowen, and Janice Biala and fills in the context within which Ford lived and worked as a ‘proper man’—an artist.”
—Raymond Brebach, Conradiana
“Joseph Wiesenfarth’s book is an outstanding work of scholarship that teases out all the fraught complexities and contradictions in this quintic interrelation; and it adds greatly to our understanding of Ford, these four remarkable women and modernism itself.”
—Paul Kane, The Compulsive Reader
“Beautifully written and subtly constructed . . . . In this excellent serial biography we learn much about the lives and works of the women in Ford’s life but we learn a great deal as well about Ford, his works and his literary period.”
—Alastair Davies, English Literature in Transition
“This book is written with clarity and wit, and is handsomely produced with good illustrations. It belongs in college collections and would be enjoyed outside academic circles.”
—Martha S. Vogeler, Choice
“Joseph Wiesenfarth is supremely qualified to write this book. For some four decades . . . he has been producing a series of indispensable essays on Ford Madox Ford. . . . Grant him his convincing donnée—that these are the most important, interesting female artists with whom Ford was closely involved—he has written a fine, sensitive book.”
—Max Saunders, Biography
A “testament to the vibrancy of current work on Ford Madox Ford, and to Wiesenfarth’s particular contribution to this area.” —Victoria Stewart, Journal: Literature and History
“Wiesenfarth’s book makes us imagine, and see, how much things hurt. In what it says about the best of the art, and how it is made, it directs us to finding importance elsewhere.”
—Sara Haslam, Victorian Studies
“Ford Madox Ford and the Regiment of Women is fully and meticulously researched, allowing the reader to form insights into the development of these varying personae.”
—Jenny Plastow, Ford Madox Ford Newsletter
“Publications about Bloomsbury and the 1920s Anglo-American Paris abound. Ford Madox Ford and the Regiment of Women offers an intriguing and valuable insight into a contiguous coterie.”
—Helen Hewitt, Australian Humanities Review
“a perceptive, erudite and engaging account”
—Alan Judd, The Spectator
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LC: 2004025674 PR
264 pp. 6 x 9
28 color illus., 10 b/w illus.
Cloth $34.95 t
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