The Bad Nauheim Hotels in The Good Soldier: A Re-evaluation

Gustar, Andrew (2019). The Bad Nauheim Hotels in The Good Soldier: A Re-evaluation. Last Post: A literary journal from the Ford Madox Ford Society, 1(2) pp. 22–52.



Ford Madox Ford’s novel The Good Soldier is partly set in and around the German spa town of Bad Nauheim between the years 1904 and 1913. Three hotels in Bad Nauheim are mentioned in the novel: the Englischer Hof, the Hotel Regina, and the Hotel Excelsior. In the Norton Critical Edition of the novel, they are described as follows:
Englischer Hof: ‘Probably Hotel d’Angleterre, now the Deutscher Hof, a substantial private hotel on a tree-lined street, at 1 Küchlerstrasse, one block from the Kurpark and baths’.
Hotel Regina: ‘A few yards from the Englischer Hof and on the same street at 8 Küchlerstrasse.’ Hotel Excelsior: ‘Grander than the Englischer Hof and Hotel Regina, the Excelsior was within easy walking distance of them but still modest in comparison with Grand-Hotel Kaiserhof or Grand-Hotel Metropole and Monopole. Ford places characters in establishments exactly reflecting their social status rather than their wealth’.
Following a recent visit to Bad Nauheim, I concluded that these locations and descriptions do not appear to be consistent with the historical evidence, or with certain passages in the novel. This essay discusses these inconsistencies and proposes an alternative hypothesis for the locations.

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