Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Ford, Ford Madox

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(1873-1939) UK writer and editor, born Joseph Leonard Ford Hermann Madox Hueffer; he signed his work Ford Madox Hueffer until 1919, changing then to FMF as a protest against German behaviour in WWI. He was a man of letters, founder and editor of the great English Review 1908-1909 and the Transatlantic Review after WWI; of his 75 books, the best-known remain The Good Soldier (1915) and the four Tietjens novels assembled as Parade's End (omni 1950 US). He had a pronounced bent towards the fantastic, beginning with his first story, The Brown Owl (1892 chap), a Fairytale for younger children.

After The Inheritors: An Extravagant Story (1901) with Joseph Conrad, which is sf, FMF's first novel of fantasy interest was Mr Apollo: A Just Possible Story (1908). In this fantasy, the god Apollo returns to the contemporary UK in human form and contests for the soul of a sceptic, who is converted when Apollo destroys some slums that keep the sun from reaching him. Next came The "Half Moon": A Romance of the Old World and the New (1909), a Supernatural Fiction featuring a Witch who, sexually obsessed by the man who rejects her, bedevils him with various forms of Magic. Ladies Whose Bright Eyes (1911), a Timeslip tale, is similar in some ways to Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889). The contemporary protagonist, a businessman, finds himself in 1326, and tries at first to modernize medieval life; but far more interestingly becomes involved in a kind of erotic tournament with two ladies who are Avatars of the White Goddess. A similar progression occurs in The Young Lovell: A Romance (1913), whose protagonist timeslips backwards from medieval times into a Golden Age, drawn there by the goddess Aphrodite in the guise of the White Lady. [JC]

other works: The Simple Life Limited (1911) and The New Humpty-Dumpty (1912), both as by Daniel Chaucer; Vive le Roy (1936 US).

For children: The Feather (1892 chap); The Queen Who Flew (1894 chap); Christina's Fairy Book (coll 1906).

Ford Madox Ford


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.