On the Trail of the Poets of the Great War: Robert Graves & Siegfried Sassoon
(Helen McPhail, Philip Guest)
Siegfried Sassoon and Robert Graves were two of the most famous British authors of the 20th century, but they are remembered by many World War I buffs primarily as officers in the Royal Welch Fusiliers. Both men were critical of the war but had distinguished combat records. Sassoon was committed to a shell-shock hospital after a particularly critical anti-war article, as recounted in the book and film Regeneration. Both men lived on for over 50 years after the war; Graves gaining particular fame for the Claudius public television series. In their prose and poetry on the war both authors at times changed the names of participants, and both men added and deleted material from later editions of their work. This unique guide traces the wartime service of the authors, identifies actual people and places in their works, and gives biographical detail on their long post-war lives and careers. Includes full bibliography.
Siegfried Sassoon : The Making of a War Poet, a Biography
(Jean Moorcroft Wilson
This monumental biography tells in full detail the story of Siegfried Sassoon, one of the finest poets of the First World War. Until now, there has been no full-scale biography of him despite his influence on modern poetry and literature. The long wait for this book now makes it possible to tell his story much more frankly than it would have been at his death thirty years ago. This is particularly true of his struggle to come to terms with his homosexuality, a conflict he wanted to describe himself, but which the law discouraged in his lifetime. With the cooperation of his family and friends and access to an abundance of private and unpublished material, Jean Moorcroft Wilson reveals the fascinating first three decades of Siegfried Sassoon's life. A descendant of merchant princes and farmer-artists, a Jew turned Catholic and a husband and father, Sassoon was at once shy and extremely impulsive. He was one of the few War poets whose daring exploits at the Front earned him a Military Cross, as well as the epithet "Mad Jack". Nonetheless, this decorated War hero emerged as one of the angry young poets who denounced the "Old Men" in scathing satires. His life was one of complexity, yet Wilson tells his story with elegance and grace.