The Good Soldier
By Ford Madox Ford
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The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford ranked # 30 on The Modern Library's Top 100 Novels list as selected by its Board Members.
The Good Soldier is a 1915 novel by English novelist and editor Ford Madox Ford. It is set just before World War I and chronicles the tragedies of the lives of two seemingly "perfect couples" whose lives are far from perfect. The novel is told using a series of flashbacks told in non-chronological order, a literary technique pioneered by Ford. The novel was loosely based on two real-life incidents of adultery and on Ford's own messy personal life.
The novel's original title was The Saddest Story, but after the onset of World War I, the publishers asked Ford for a new title. Ford suggested (perhaps sarcastically) The Good Soldier, and the name stuck.
The date August 4th is significant in the novel, as it is the date of Florence's birth, marriage, suicide, and other important events in her life. Although the novel was written before the war's start, August 4th was also the date on which Germany invaded Belgium, initiating World War I.
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