|About the Book|
Siegfried Sassoon was one of the great poets associated with Britains involvement in World War I (e.g., Robert Graves, Wilfred Owen, Rupert Brooke). He also wrote prose, notably the autobiographical Sherston trilogy: Memoirs of a Fox-hunting Man, Memoirs of an Infantry Officer, and Sherstons Progress, published 1928-36. These novels, while ostensibly fiction, present a fairly accurate study of Sassoons early life -- his obsession with fox hunting before the World War, his experiences as an officer in the trenches, and his recovery back in England from shell-shock.These three volumes are so detailed, and so well written, that we finish them with a pretty good picture of Sassoons life into his 30s. Siegrieds Journey (1945), a frank memoir rather than fiction, was apparently written for the purpse of filling in some of the missing details, and correcting some of the chronology, found in the trilogy. I found it interesting, but I think it would have a strong appeal only to those who have read the trilogy and are sufficiently fascinated by Sassoons life to seek out additional details, or to those who have not read the trilogy and want to read a more condensed version of Sassoons biography.In Siegfrieds Journey, Sassoon names individuals for whom he used pseudonyms in the trilogy. One of the attractive and amazing features of English life before World War II was the social interaction among highly talented individuals from politics, the arts, and the sciences. Only in England would a young poet not find it strange to interact socially, repeatedly, with the likes of Bertrand Russell, Winston Churchill, Thomas Hardy, and the Poet Laureate.Siegfrieds Journey is limited to the years 1916-20, and therefore does not duplicate the events described in Memoirs of a Fox-hunting Man. At times, he refers the reader to the trilogy for an explanation of events that he chooses not to re-hash in Siegfrieds Journey. If youre interested in Sassoon -- or his era and society -- and have the time, I suggest you read first his Sherston trilogy.