Introduction: "Dreaming Territory"

Haslam, Sara (2012). Introduction: "Dreaming Territory". In: Haslam, Sara and O'Malley, Seamus eds. Ford Madox Ford and America. International Ford Madox Ford Studies (11). Amsterdam: Rodopi, pp. 17–44.



This chapter takes its subtitle from one of Ford Madox Ford’s late essays (‘From Boston to Denver’, published in Ford and America for the first time), signifying from the outset of this volume the importance of American territory to his creative life. In what follows, I discuss Ford’s notable American literary influences, focusing on his early relationship with Henry James, and then, after a brief account of America’s ‘creep’ into his fiction, I situate his writing of America in a broader British tradition, beginning with Frances Trollope’s infamous Domestic Manners of the Americans (1832). In a further section, this chapter compares the relative merits of urban and rural America to Ford as an observant traveller, as a traumatized ex-soldier, and as an energized New York dweller, and I conclude with an analysis of Parade’s End, summarising the ways in which Ford might, after all, be said to have been ‘Americanized’ during the course of the twentieth century.

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