Places Discussed

(Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)

Branshaw Teleragh

Branshaw Teleragh. Edward Ashburnham’s English country estate. The physical manifestation of the glory of the English gentry, the upper class of England, has been, for centuries, the country house surrounded by acres of woods and working farm land. In the lush countryside of Hampshire, southeast of London, John Dowell lives in the dream house of his deceased wife, Florence. She never lived there, not because the couple were not wealthy enough, but because she had been living a life of lies, and adding to them, until eventually she thought that suicide was her only way out. For both of them the great country house represents the finest example of civilized living. However, the magnificent house becomes, as Dowell says, a prison. His wife is dead, and the man he most admired, Edward Ashburnham, the former owner, has committed suicide, finding himself in various ways constantly betraying the obligations of the ideal English gentleman that Dowell thought he was, and which he often was when his wife allowed him to practice his duty as a benevolent landlord.


*Nauheim (now-HIM). Health resort in western Germany, usually called Bad Nauhiem, that was popular with the wealthy for rest, recreation, and often as an elegant refuge for the ill and the aged to soothe and sometimes heal their illnesses, serious or trivial. The Ashburnhams and the Dowells meet here on a regular basis over several years to cosset the heart problems of Edward Ashburnham and Florence Dowell, although both parties, for different reasons, are only pretending to be ill. Only the “best” people can afford to spend time there, in expensive hotels, enjoying the international company, and the occasional naughty dalliance. Nauheim is not so much a symbol of upper-class extravagance as it is the real thing—a place where Dowell’s wife and the English gentleman whom Dowell...

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(Critical Guide to British Fiction)

Hoffmann, Charles G. Ford Madox Ford. Boston: Twayne, 1967. Short, concise, for students, with sensible analysis of The Good Soldier.

Lid, R. W. Ford Madox Ford: The Essence of His Art. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1964. Definitive study, with emphasis placed on technique.

MacShane, Frank, ed. Ford Madox Ford: The Critical Heritage. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1972. Collection of essays by several Ford scholars on several topics, including The Good Soldier.

Mizener, Arthur. The Saddest Story: A Biography of Ford Madox Ford. New York: World Publishing, 1971. There is a close relationship between Ford’s personal life and the themes in his novels, and this is the best critical biography. There is substantial discussion of The Good Soldier.

Stang, Sondra J. Ford Madox Ford. New York: Frederick Ungar, 1977. One of Ford’s best critics discusses the novel in terms of method of construction, point of view, and experimentation.