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The First World War and British Fiction: Ford Madox Ford's Parade's End

2018 makes the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. Ford Madox Ford’s Parade’s End tetralogy is unequaled in its portrayal of the convulsive effects of that war on modern civilization. When an exemplary British infantry officer, Christopher Tietjens, finds that his wife Sylvia is having an affair, his convictions and world view change in dramatic and unexpected ways. The world of England’s stately homes begins to teeter, as does Christopher’s life. The calculating wife, the idealistic feminist Valentine Wannop who is his new love, the bureaucratic opportunist Macmaster, and the classic cad Major Perowne each add rich dimensions to this exploration of the emerging modern times that will carry Tietjens along with them. We will examine the way in which Christopher’s tangled relationships speak to that era’s transformations, and the way Ford’s own innovative style is itself inflected by the changes it depicts.

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You'll Walk Away with

  • An understanding of how Ford’s work chronicled the social upheaval of his time while simultaneously disrupting literary conventions
  • Familiarity with how WWI upended societal conventions and forever changed England

Ideal for

  • All members of the community—working, retired, and in between
  • Professionals who use critical thinking
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.