978-1-86066-151-8 / 9781860661518

Siegfried Sassoon:(1886-1967)


Publisher:Richard Cohen Books



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About the book:

Siegfried Sassoon is mostly remembered for the devastating poetry he wrote during World War One as a result of leading his troops "over the top" to certain death. This episode in his life--when he was sent to military hospital suffering from shell-shock and his heroic return to the Front--is covered extensively in his own writing, and has overshadowed his later literary output. But his more mature poetry is resuscitated in this sensitive, exhaustively researched biography. As well as recounting the friendships "Siggy" famously had with fellow poets Robert Graves and Wilfred Owen, Roberts delves into the more private arena of Sassoon's covert homosexuality and his ill-fated marriage. We learn about Sassoon the passionate golfer and bloodthirsty fox-hunter, all of which adds greater depth to this complex man. Roberts also digs deep into his subject's psyche to reveal a fixation with father figures which started during the War when he was under analysis (and arose from the early death of his father); and uncovers new sources of information concerning Sassoon's conversion to Catholicism. This fresh material means that the earlier life is somewhat neglected, but, then, as Sassoon himself said "My real biography is my poetry." --Lilian Pizzichini

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