The first volume of a major new critical biography Ford Madox Ford wrote some of the best English prose of the twentieth century, mastering and metamorphosing all its major forms: the novel, literary criticism, travel writing, even historical and cultural discourse. He was also an innovative and influential poet, as well as the century's greatest literary editor. He collaborated with Joseph Conrad, and advised Ezra Pound; his admirers include novelists as diverse as Sinclair Lewis, Jean Rhys, Graham Greene, Anthony Burgess and Gore Vidal. This first volume of a two-volume life takes Ford from his birth as Ford Hermann Hueffer in 1873 to the eve of his departure for France, and war, in 1916. It charts his growth and development as a writer of great complexity, first with the trilogy The Fifth Queen and culminating in his masterpiece The Good Soldier. It also examines his turbulent emotional life, from his elopement and marriage to Elsie Martindale in 1894 to his affair with Violet Hunt in the same year that he founded The English Review. Ford said that a writer's life is 'a dual affair', a life enshrined in the writing and Max Saunders's aim is to examine the interconnections between the private and the public life, and the inner life that drove him. The discovery of new manuscripts, and of letters unavailable to previous biographers ensure that this is the most important and exhaustive critical biography of Ford to appear in the last twenty years.