Author: Siegfried Sassoon
Publisher: Pickle Partners Publishing
View: 3437The Memoirs of George Sherston brings together in one memorable volume the three widely-hailed “autobiographical novels” of the eminent English poet, Siegfried Sassoon. Set against the dark background of World War this extraordinary trilogy follows the author’s wartime fortunes and examines his emotional growth under the cruel pressures of hand-to-hand combat in the field. Perhaps the most striking qualities of Sassoon’s record are its honesty, its simplicity and its lack of pretentiousness and false heroics. It is, after all, a deeply personal account of a complete phase of a man’s life, spanning in continuous narrative form the period from the author’s childhood to the war’s end. The trilogy begins with Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man, a fond reminiscence of boyhood and adolescence set against the background of the author’s rural English home. Full of the scent of leather and the huntsman cries on a frosty autumn morning, the scene is set as the world moves slowly towards war. In the second volume, The Memoirs of an Infantry Office, the mood deepens. A classic among war books, it tells of the author’s steady disillusionment with the Army and of his ultimate rebellion against the cruel realities of war. Finally, in the last of the three, Sherston’s Progress, set in an asylum for shell-shocked officers, the author is able to accept these realities and to resolve his emotional turmoil. Through it all, there is always the presence of Sassoon—the fluid, sensitive prose, the fine perceptions of the poet—yet spoken here in the voice of the average man. With charm and humor and quiet understatement, he has managed to articulate the hidden feelings of any sensitive man who in the normal course of his life is suddenly exposed to the nightmare of war.