Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Who on Earth Was Ford Madox Ford? A Culture Show Special

Alan Yentob looks at the life and work of Ford Madox Ford, the author of Parade's End and one of the forgotten greats of British fiction.

Ford Madox Ford is one of the forgotten greats of British fiction. With Tom Stoppard's dramatisation of Ford's unusual First World War love story Parade's End showing on BBC Two, Alan Yentob reveals Ford to be one of the most likeable characters in literature - humorous, overweight and with a deeply complicated love life that lit the fire under his greatest novels. A radical and a modernist, Ford was friend and collaborator to the great experimenters, Conrad, Lawrence, Pound and Joyce, and he wrote over 80 books including the masterpiece The Good Soldier.

Yentob follows Ford through scandal, prison, exile and into the army, where he was injured by an explosion while serving in the Somme. He reveals how the shockwaves from this explosion reverberated through the rest of Ford's life, providing the inspiration for his visceral, unique and spectacular wartime epic Parade's End.

Contributors include fans John Simpson, the Booker winner Ben Okri and academic Hermione Lee, as well as eminent chef Rowley Leigh, cooking some of Ford's favourite food.

1 hour, 5 minutes

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Alan Yentob
Participant Tom Stoppard
Participant John Simpson
Participant Rowley Leigh
Participant Clare Davidson
Participant Max Saunders
Participant Alan Judd
Participant Sara Haslam
Director Rupert Edwards
Producer Rupert Edwards

Broadcast

BBC Arts

BBC Arts

The best of British art and culture at your fingertips