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Ford Madox

The Good Soldier

At the height of belle époque Europe, an American couple⁠—the narrator John Dowell and his wife Florence⁠–⁠and a British couple⁠–⁠Leonora and the titular “good soldier” Edward Ashburnham⁠—meet and become firm friends. Travelling and socialising together, it’s a full nine years before the cracks start to show, but when they do the whole edifice starts tumbling to reveal the secrecy and lies concealed within.
The Good Soldier is a classic example of the unreliable narrator genre. With a charitable view, everything John Dowell retells is plausible, but it doesn’t take much critical thinking to reframe the story’s events as something entirely more sinister.
The novel is now frequently ranked by critics as one of the great pieces of twentieth-century literature. Ford Madox Ford, already published many times over by this novel’s release, and along with collaborations with both Joseph Conrad and Ernest Hemingway, went on to create and edit the influential literature journals The English Review and The Transatlantic Review.
259 printed pages
Have you already read it? How did you like it?


  • Vitalik Savonevskyshared an impression2 years ago
    👍Worth reading


  • indiana delcloshas quoted3 months ago
    “Do you know who that is?” he asked. “The last time I saw that girl she was coming out of the bedroom of a young man called Jimmy at five o’clock in the morning. In my house at Ledbury. You saw her recognize me.” He was standing on his feet, looking down at me. I don’t know what I looked like. At any rate, he gave a sort of gurgle and then stuttered:
  • indiana delcloshas quoted3 months ago
    ard and settle in California. … I do not suppose that she was really serious in this. It would have meant the extinction of all hopes of Branshaw Manor for her.
  • indiana delcloshas quoted3 months ago
    She would not let either of the others see her. She wanted, you know, to spare poor dear Edward’s feelings. He never could bear the sight of a corpse. And, since she never gave him an idea that Maisie had written to her, he imagined that the death had been the most natural thing in the world. He soon got over it. Indeed, it was the one affair of his about which he never felt much remorse.

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