Good Soldier

by Ford, Ford Madox

The Good Solider: A Tale of Passion by Ford Madox Hueffer (later, Ford Madox Ford) is set just before World War I. The “good solider” of the title is Captain Edward Ashburnman, a retired Indian army veteran, who — along with his wife Leonora — from relationships with two Americans, John and Florence Dowell. The novel follows the unraveling of Ashburman’s and Dowell’s marriages through a series of flashbacks and deals with issues, such as adultery, betrayal, and moral confusion, which often go unmentioned in polite society.

The Good Soldier was originally titled The Saddest Story, a reference to the first line: “This is the saddest story I have ever heard.” However, with the onset of the war, the publisher requested a title revision. Ford sarcastically suggested The Good Soldier, as he himself had already enlisted in the war, and the name stuck. Ford left to serve in World War I as an infantry solider later on in 1915, the same year the book was published. The Good Solider is ranked 30th on Modern Library’s list of “100 Best” English-language novels of the 20th century.

First Edition Identification and Notes

John Lane of the Bodley Head first published The Good Soldier in the UK in 1915. The first edition is bound in brick red cloth and has the same date listed on the title page as the copyright page.

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THE GOOD SOLDIER.

by Ford, Ford Madox (as Ford Madox Hueffer).

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London: John Lane, 1915. First edition of the authors magnum opus. Hardcover. An especially fine copy that belies its 100-years-plus age. 8vo. Harvey A46. . With the requisite 16 pages of publishers ads at the rear of the book. In the red cloth binding as called for.
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The Good Soldier; a Tale of Passion

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New York: Albert & Charles Boni 1927, 2nd US Edition - limited. (12mo, cloth) 260pp. Fine. A highly superior copy. SIGNED. No.29 of 300 copies. Harvey A46b..
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New York: Albert & Charles Boni, 1927. Limited Edition . Hardcover. Very Good/No Dust Jacket. Signed. A Very Good copy in paper-covered boards and cloth spine, with light wear at the tips of the spine and corners. Number 241 of 300 copies signed by the author.
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The Good Soldier.

by FORD, FORD MADOX.

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A fine book in a near fine dust jacket with some tanning to spine panel and a few minor nicks at edges. Uncommon in this condition. A limited edition of 300 numbered and signed copies was published simultaneously with this trade edition. Prints for the first time the "Dedicatory Letter" addressed from Ford to his wife Stella in which… Read more
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The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin)

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Unknown Binding. Very Good. How appropriate and wonderful that FMF formerly F M Hueffer sent the dedication to Stella from New York in 1927, the year of the first publication, for this most transatlantic of French novels written in English. New York: Albert and Charles Boni, 1927. Original green cloth with gilt lettering and rules… Read more
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