The first volume in Siegfried Sassoon’s beloved trilogy, The Complete Memoirs of George Sherston, with a new introduction by celebrated historian Paul Fussell
A highly decorated English soldier and an acclaimed poet and novelist, Siegfried Sassoon won fame for his trilogy of fictionalized autobiographies that wonderfully capture the vanishing idylls of Edwardian England and the brutal realities of war.
In this first novel of the semiautobiographical George Sherston trilogy, Sassoon wonderfully captures the vanishing idylls of the Edwardian English countryside. Never out of print since its original publication in 1928, when it won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, Sassoon's reminiscences about childhood and the beginning of World War I are channeled through young George Sherston, whose life of local cricket tournaments and fox-hunts falls apart as war approaches and he joins up to fight. Sassoon's first novel, though rife with comic characters and a jaunty sense of storytelling, presents his own loss of innocence and the destruction of the country he knew and loved.
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A great and moving story
This novel is beautifully written, and captures a bygone era of rural life and a society centered around the horse. The descriptions of countryside, riding, hunting, and atmosphere are skillfully crafted, as are the numerous character sketches throughout. He also beautifully captures the uncertainties and apprehensions of a boy and young man, and looks back from maturity with a clear view and description of his past attitudes and motivations. The descriptions of the war, and of the loss of friends, is heart-wrenching, but is also written with an artist’s eye which captures the sights, sounds, and feelings of that terrible time.