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Ford Madox Ford

In response to:

This Happy Breed from the January 9, 1964 issue

To the Editors:

In view of the continuing revival of interest in the life and works of Ford Madox Ford (The New York Review, Jan. 9, 1964), your readers may be pleased to learn that recently new light was thrown upon the circumstances in which Ford gave up, in middle life, the family name of Hueffer.

A young Ford scholar, Mr. Kenneth Gibson, has recorded in a Queen’s University graduate thesis the following anecdote concerning the novelist and M Anton Defandine, the French bibliophile and man of letters (the story is attributed to Mr. Seumas Stewart of Chipping Campden, Glos., a close friend of M. Defandine):

When the author of Ladies Whose Bright Eyes and A Man Could Stand Up—was in Paris, he was much given to walking and would often bring his shoes to the kindly and versatile Defandine to have them repaired on the cheap. After a time, the visits stopped and when he did call on Defandine again it was to show off his new Model T. On seeing it, Defandine observed, “Ah, so you are no longer a hoofer!” And that is how Ford Madox Hueffer came to change his name to Ford Madox Ford.

E. C. Beer

The Douglas Library

Queen’s University

Kingston, Ontario

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