Ford Madox Ford has been referred to as that hybrid figure of paradoxes. Ford's conflicting preoccupation with national identity has long been at the forefront of academic research. In 2004, the Ford Madox Ford Society dedicated an entire conference, held in Manchester, to the study of Ford and Englishness. The England and the English trilogy is Ford's first and most consistent engagement with Englishness divided into individual books dedicated to London, the countryside and English men and women. For Ford, the flexible' attitude to national identity meant that Englishness itself was a diverse and much-encompassing concept something to fit everybody, so to speak. He explained this idea with the help of the composite photograph'. Ford's pre-war challenges to and liberties with national identity are forgotten in his writing about the First World War: in times of national crises, Englishness, for him, is inviolable.