TRAINED FOR GENIUS by Douglas Goldring


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A biography of Ford Madox Ford which- in its presentation of the man and his work- attempts to cancel out many of the prejudiced misjudgments he received in his lifetime, and to restore a certain perspective on his ""private life"" which was fully- if not wholly objectively- recorded by two of the women who shared it with him. Born into a circle of celebrities, Ford had an early conditioning in the literary life, displayed as a child that ""sensitivity to impressions"" which was to be his greatest gift as a writer, greatest weakness as a man. Eloping at 20 with Elsie Martindale, these first years of marriage brought the uneven friendship with Conrad with whom he collaborated , the more formal friendship with Henry James, and an acquaintance with the greats of the time. His editing of the periodical which lost him money, and Elsie, had its importance in his discovery of new writers- Lawrence, Pound, etc. Followed the strange and combustible association with Violet Hunt; the manage- in Paris-with Stella Bowen; and the last years of best seller success in America after a lifetime of the occupational hazards peculiar to the artist- humiliations, disappointments, and financial failures... Even if based in friendship, this is always a just estimate of the man, though one may question the interest Ford Madox Ford holds for the reader of today.

Pub Date: May 23rd, 1949
Publisher: Dutton