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Siegfried Sassoon praised Isaac Rosenberg's 'genius' and T.S. Eliot called him the 'most extraordinary' of the Great War poets. Yet it is over thirty years since there has been a full-length biography of Isaac Rosenberg. This major reappraisal of his life and work by one of the First World War literature's leading authorities, Jean Moorcroft Wilson, is long overdue. Rosenberg dies on the Western Front in 1918 aged only twenty-seven, his tragic early death resembling that of many other well-known poets of that conflict. But he differed from the majority of Great War poets in almost every other respect - race, class, education, upbringing, experience and technique. He was a skilled painter as well as a brilliant poet. The son of impoverished immigrant Russian Jews, he served as a private in the army and his perspective on the trenches is quite different from the other mainly officer-poets, allowing the voice of the "poor bloody Tommy" to be eloquently heard. Jean Moorcroft Wilson focuses on the relationship between Rosenberg's life and work - his childhood in Bristol and the Jewish East End of London; his time at the Slade School of Art and friendship with David Bomberg, Mark Gertler and Stanley Spencer; his visit to Cape Town, where he was staying when war broke out in August 1914 and where he fell in love with the divorced wife of South Africa's future Prime Minister; and his harrowing life as a private in the British Army. This monumental new life is published to mark the 90th anniversary of his death. Based on all known Rosenberg material and a mass of important new discoveries, Dr Wilson's biography has been authorised by Rosenberg's family and written with their blessing and help. It is also beautifully illustrated, including some hitherto unseen self-portraits, bringing together for the first time all that is known of this outstanding poet-painter.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780297851455
ISBN-10: 0297851454
Format: Hardback
(240mm x 159mm x 43mm)
Pages: 496
Imprint: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Publish Date: 27-Mar-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Jean Moorcroft Wilson

Jean Moorcroft Wilson lectured in English at the University of Munich and is now lecturer at Birkbeck College, London.

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