Ford Madox Ford (the name he adopted in 1919: he was originally Ford Hermann Hueffer) was born in 1873 in Merton, Surrey. His father, Francis Hueffer, who was an author and musicologist, died when Ford was fifteen. Ford’s mother, Catherine, was the daughter of the Pre-Raphaelite painter Ford Madox Brown. Ford quickly took to writing: his first book, a children’s fairy-tale, was published when he was seventeen, and his first novel, The Shifting of the Fire, came out in 1892. After the death of Ford Madox Brown in 1893, Ford wrote a biography of his grandfather, which was published in 1896. He was therefore an experienced author before (now married to Elsie Martindale) he encountered Joseph Conrad in 1898, and began a literary relationship which proved highly fruitful for the development of both writers’ conception of the novelist’s task. Conrad and Ford collaborated on The Inheritors (1901) and other books, and Ford wrote an instalment of Nostromo when Conrad was too ill to meet the deadline. Ford continued to write prolifically on his own account in a variety of forms: art criticism (books on Rossetti and Hans Holbein in 1902 and 1905), poetry, essays and novels. His trilogy of historical novels about Henry VIII and Katherine Howard began with The Fifth Queen in 1906, followed by Privy Seal in 1907 and The Fifth Queen Crowned in 1908. In 1908, he founded the English Review, which proved a literary success if a financial failure, publishing works by many major writers (such as Conrad, Hardy, Wells, James, Bennett and Forster) and helping to begin the careers of such as Wyndham Lewis and Lawrence. Ford’s complicated private life became a matter of public notoriety when first The Daily Mirror and then a magazine called The Throne referred to Violet Hunt, for whom Ford had left his wife, as Mrs Hueffer, and Elsie set in train legal proceedings. Meanwhile, Ford’s literary output continued with further novels (including A Call in 1910), his Collected Poems in 1913, and a critical study of Henry James. He wrote the novel which he called his best book, The Good Soldier, in 1913–14, and it was published in 1915. In the same year, Ford took a commission in the army. His experience of the battle of the Somme in 1916, during which he was wounded, furnished him with material for his Tietjens tetralogy, Parade’s End, which began with the publication of Some Do Not in 1924. By then Ford had begun a relationship with Stella Bowen, by whom he had a daughter (he had two previous daughters by Elsie Martindale), had moved to France, and had begun to edit the Transatlantic Review. This journal published the work of, among others, Pound, Gertrude Stein, Hemingway and Joyce. A book of