Siegfried Sassoon's Long Journey: Selections from the Sherston Memoirs

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9780195033090: Siegfried Sassoon's Long Journey: Selections from the Sherston Memoirs

Dust jacket notes: "In this unique, profusely illustrated volume, Paul Fussell has compiled key selections from one of the most moving pieces of English literature to emerge from the devastation of World War I: Siegfried Sassoon's great trilogy The Memoirs of George Sherston. A fictionalized account of Sassoon's own early life and wartime experience, the books constituting this trilogy - Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man, Memoirs of an Infantry Officer, and Sherston's Progress - form a gripping coming-of-age chronicle. 'The story he tells,' Fussell writes in his introduction, 'is that of a shy, awkward, extremely limited young country gentleman acquainted only with hunting and cricket and golf who learns about the greater adult world the hardest way - perceiving and absorbing the details of its most shocking war. The irony is that Sherston is removed from the aimlessness of his rural life not by, say, a career in the City, which before the war might have been thought the appropriate antidote to idleness; he's removed from it by an alternative quite needlessly excessive, the hell of the trenches.' This is the first version of the Memoirs to be illustrated with photographs, works of art, and documents from its own period. Evoking both the pastoral serenity of Sassoon's boyhood and the brutal reality of trench warfare, these pictures strikingly enhance the text and help make the reader an intimate party to the appalling drop from innocence to experience occasioned by the Great War. Selections from Sassoon's poetry, diaries, and letters, as well as Fussell's introduction and connective commentary, further enrich this haunting book."

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