George H. Ford Papers

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Collection Overview
Title: George H. Ford papers
Creator: Ford, George H. (George Harry), 1914-1994
Call Number: D.326
Dates: 1967-1994
Physical Description: 1 container [.5 Cubic feet]
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation

Biographical/Historical Note
George H. Ford (1914-1994) came to the University of Rochester as Professor in 1958 and served as the Chairman of the English Department from 1960-1972. He provided leadership for the development of the graduate program in English; he brought greater visibility to the department through his subsequent faculty appointments and through the establishment of lecture and conference series of campus-wide interest. His classes were favorites among undergraduate and graduate students, and he served as faculty adviser for the writing of many Ph. D. dissertations.

Professor Ford was an internationally known Dickens scholar and authority on Victorian literature. He authored Keats and the Victorians (1944), The Pickersgill Letters (1948), Selected Poems of John Keats (1955), Double Measure: A Study of the Novels and Stories of D.H. Lawrence (1965), The World of Dickens' Hard Times: A Guide for the Viewer with Steven Marcus (1977), Victorian Fiction: A Second Guide to Research (1978), and The Making of a Secret Agent (1978). His 1955 study, Dickens and His Readers, was especially well received by scholars and lay readers alike. With Sylvere Monod, he edited three Charles Dickens novels: David Copperfield (1958), and both Hard Times (1966) and Bleak House (1977). Professor Ford also edited other works, including W.M. Thackeray's novel Vanity Fair (1958), Dickens Criticism with Hillis Miller and others (1962), and The Dickens Critics with Lauriat Lane, Jr. (1961). He was a founding editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature and continued to edit the Anthology's Victorian section for the next six editions. Professor Ford also wrote many articles and reviews, which appeared in journals and publications such as the University of Toronto Quarterly, Modern Language Notes, Nineteenth-Century Fiction, and the New York Times. Professor Ford was a longstanding friend of the library and with his wife, Kathleen (Pat) Ford, he was a founding member of the University of Rochester Friends of the Library. Rush Rhees Library holds Professor Ford's Dickens Collection.

A native Canadian, Professor Ford received his bachelor's degree from the University of Manitoba, his master's degree from the University of Toronto, and a doctorate in English from Yale University. He taught at the University of Manitoba, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of British Columbia in addition to the University of Rochester, where he was the Joseph H. Gilmore Professor of English from 1967 until his retirement in 1984. He was an ACLS Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, a Huntington Library Fellow, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Other honors include the John Addison Porter Prize (Yale) in 1942, the Literary Award from the Friends of the Rochester Public Library in 1976, the Alumni Citation from the University of Rochester in 1977, and the Wilbur Cross Medal from Yale in 1983. Further, he was made a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 1979 and was the first American elected president of the International Dickens Fellowship (1975).

Professor Ford and his wife, Kathleen, had two children, Leslie M. and Harry S. Ford. At the time of his death in 1994, English Department Chair Morris Eaves commented, "Dr. Ford was the kind of professor emeritus that we all dream of being: still actively engaged in sorting out the major issues, well-informed, participating up to the very last in what he thought of as an ongoing professional conversation." English Professor Jarold Ramsey said, "Dr. Ford's vision of what an English Department could be continues to shape the university."


1914, December 21 - George H. Ford born in Winnipeg, Canada.

1936 - Receives a B.A. from the University of Manitoba.

1938 - Receives his M.A. from the University of Toronto.

1940-1942 - Lectures at the University of Manitoba.

1942 - Receives his Ph.D. in English and the John Addison Porter Prize from Yale University.

1944 - Keats and the Victorians is published by Yale University Press.

1945 - Becomes an instructor at the University of Manitoba.

1946 - Becomes an associate professor at the University of Cincinnati.

1948 - The Pickersgill Letters is published by Ryerson Press. "The Governor Eyre Case in England" appears in University of Toronto Quarterly (Apr 1948, pg. 219-233)

1949 - Serves as a visiting professor at the University of Chicago (1948) and John Hopkins University (1949).

1951 - "Keats and Proctor: A Misdated Acquaintance" appears in Modern Language Notes (Dec 1951, pg. 532-536).

1952 - "Dickens's Notebook and Edwin Drood" appears in Nineteenth-Century Fiction (Mar 1952, pg. 275-280).

1953 - Serves as a visiting professor at the University of British Columbia.

1955 - Granted professorship by the University of Cincinnati. Selected Poems of John Keats is published by Appleton-Century-Crofts. Dickens and His Readers is published by Princeton University Press.

1958 - Leaves Cincinnati to become a professor at the University of Rochester. Dickens's David Copperfield , edited by George Ford, is published by Houghton Mifflin. George Ford's edition of Thackeray's Vanity Fair is published by Harper & Row. "Student-Faculty Relations" appears in Profile (Spring 1958). "Self-Help and the Helpless in Bleak House" appears in From Jane Austen to Joseph Conrad (pg. 92-105).

1960 - Selected Chairman of the English Department at the University of Rochester.

1961 - The Dickens Critics is published by Cornell University Press.

1962 - Dickens Criticism, a symposium by Ford, Hillis Miller, and others is published. The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Vol. 2 The Victorian Age by Ford, M. H. Adams, and others is published by W. W. Norton. "Shelley or Schiller? A Note on D. H. Lawrence at Work" appears in University of Texas Studies (Summer 1962, pg. 154-156).

1965 - Double Measure: A Study of the Novels and Stories of D.H. Lawrence is published by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.

1966 - Dickens's Hard Times, edited by George Ford and Sylvere Monod, is published by W. W. Norton.

1967 - Becomes Joseph H. Gilmore Professor of English, University of Rochester. "Not So Shameful Graduate Schools" appears in Rochester Review (Winter 1967, pg. 20-23).

1969 - "The Titles for Bleak House" appears in Dickensian (May 1969, pg. 84-89).

1970 - "Dickens and the Voices of Time" appears in centennial issue of Nineteenth-Century Fiction (Mar 1970, pg. 428-448). "Dickens in the 1960's" appears in centenary number of Dickensian (May 1970, pg. 163-183).

1971 - "Leavises, Levi's and Some Dickensian Priorities" appears in Nineteenth Century Fiction (Jun 1971, pg. 95-113). "Critical Exchange on Lawrence" appears in Novel (Fall, 1971, pg. 54-55)

1973 - "Jessie Chambers' Last Tape on D. H. Lawrence" appears in Mosaic (Spring 1973, pg. 1-13).

1975 - Elected first American President of the International Dickens Fellowship.

1976 - "The London Birthday Dinner" appears in Dickensian (May 1976, pg. 120-125). "Stern Hebrews Who Laugh... Carlyle and Dickens" appears in Carlyle Past and Present: A Collection of New Essays (1976, pg. 112-125).

1977 - The World of Dickens' Hard Times: A Guide for the Viewer by George Ford and Steven Marcus is published. Dickens's Bleak House, edited by Sylvere Monod is published by W. W. Norton. "Jane Austen, Emma," "W. M. Thackeray, Vanity Fair," "George Eliot, Middlemarch" lectures are released on cassette-tape by Everett-Edwards.

1978 - Victorian Fiction: A Second Guide to Research is published by The Modern Language Association. The Making of a Secret Agent is published by McClelland & Stewart. "Felicitous Space: The Cottage Controversy" appears in Nature and the Victorian Imagination edited by U. C. Knoepflmacher and G. B. Tennyson, published by University of California Press (1978, pg. 29-48).

1979 - "The Eternal Moment in D. H. Lawrence's The Rainbow and Women in Love" appears in The Study of Time III, edited by J. T. Fraser (1979, pg. 512-539).

1980 - "Gas, Oil, and Tallow in Dickens' Bleak House" appears in From Smollet to James... Essays Presented to Edgar Johnson edited by Samuel Mintz, published by University of Virginia Press (1980)

1984 - Retires, but continues teaching at the University part-time.

1994, December 8 - Dies of pneumonia at the age of 79.

Ford, George H. (George Harry), 1914-1994
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The George H. Ford Letters were given to Rare Books and Special Collections by Mrs. Kathleen (Pat) Ford.Access
The George H. Ford papers is open for research use. Researchers are advised to contact Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation prior to visiting. Upon arrival, researchers will also be asked to fill out a registration form and provide photo identification.Use
Reproductions are made upon request but can be subject to restrictions. Permission to publish materials from the collection must currently be requested. Please note that some materials may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information contact rarebks@library.rochester.eduCitation
[Item title, item date], George H. Ford papers, D.326, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Administrative Information
Author: Finding aid prepared by Rare Books and Special Collections staff
Publisher: Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation
Rush Rhees Library
Second Floor, Room 225
Rochester, NY 14627-0055

Content List
Obituary from The New York Times, December 10, 1994
Box 1, Folder 1Correspondence, Allen - Castle
Allen, Walter (2 letters)
Amis, Kingsley (1 letter)
Baker, Joan (1 letter)
Bates, Alan (1 letter)
Bell, Charles (1 letter)
Brett, Dorothy (1 letter)
Briggs, Lord (1 letter)
Brodsky, Joseph (1 letter)
Burgess, Anthony (4 letters)
Castle, Verlin (2 letters)
Box 1, Folder 2Correspondence, Clune, Henry, 1980-1991
17 letters

Box 1, Folder 3Correspondence, Davis, Robertson, 1983-1994
23 letters

Box 1, Folder 4Correspondence, Edel - Frye
Edel, Leon (1 letter)
Fowles, John (6 letters)
Frye, Northrop (1 letter)
Box 1, Folder 5a;
Box 1, Folder 5b
Correspondence, Hecht, Anthony, 1967-1982 1983-1998
5a - 48 letters
5b - 50 letters

Box 1, Folder 6Correspondence, Holloway - Kennedy
Holloway, John (1 letter)
Heller, Joe (1 letter)
Kennedy, X.J. (1 letter)
Box 1, Folder 7Correspondence, Lane, Margaret, 1972-1987
29 letters

Box 1, Folder 8Correspondence, Laurence - Ricks
Laurence, Margaret (2 letters)
MacDonald, Dwight (1 letter)
Mankowitz, Wolf (1 letter)
Merwin, W.S. (1 letter)
Ramsey, Jarold (2 letters)
Ricks, Christopher (2 letters)
Box 1, Folder 9Correspondence, Scott, Joanna
9 letters

Box 1, Folder 10Correspondence, Sexton - Snodgrass
Sexton, Anne Sexton (1 letter)
Sharrer, Honore (1 letter)
Snodgrass, W.D. (1 letter)
Box 1, Folder 11Correspondence, Spender, Steven
36 letters

Box 1, Folder 12Correspondence, Stallworthy - Wilbur
Stallworthy, Jon (1 letter)
Staples, Leslie (1 letter)
Tennyson, Sir Charles (1 letter)
Wilbur, Richard (3 letters)
Box 1, Folder 13Correspondence, Wilson, Angus
36 letters

Box 1, Folder 14Correspondence, Wilson, Edmund
7 letters

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