Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967), soldier, poet, and witness to a century of war, is an icon of the twentieth century; Jean Moorcroft Wilson is the leading authority on him. In this two-volume biography, she offers her definitive analysis of his life and works. The first critically acclaimed volume, covering Sassoon's life up until the end of the Great War, offers rich material on his poetry, his patriotism, and his anti-war stance. In volume two, Moorcroft Wilson reveals the truth of Sassoon's life after the armistice, when most people thought he was dead; the story includes a series of love affairs with such larger-than-life characters as Queen Victoria's great-grandson, Prince Phillip of Hesse, the flamboyant Ivor Novello, and the exotic and bejeweled Stephen Tennant. But this was also the period of Sassoon's close friendships with the greatest literary figures of the age, including Hardy, Beerbohm, E.M. Forster, and T.E. Lawrence.
Written with the cooperation of Siegfried Sassoon's family and friends, and with access to a mass of private and unpublished material, poems, diaries, letters, and photographs, this meticulously researched biography will be the standard work on Sassoon's life and legacy.
Jean Moorcroft Wilson is a lecturer in English at London University. Her previous books include biographies of Isaac Rosenberg and Charles Hamilton Sorley, as well as William Watson and Virginia Woolf. She is married to Virginia Woolf's nephew, with whom she runs a publishing house.
"Thoroughly absorbing." -- John Gross, The Sunday Telegraph
"A story in which the roots are as interesting as the core . . . invaluable to historians of the period." -- Andrew Motion, The Times (London)
"A necessary and engrossing piece of work." -- Neil Powell, Times Literary Supplement