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Description - Sassoon and Graves by Helen McPhail

The war memoirs of these two officers with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers have never been out of print since their first publication. Goodbye to All That, Grave's autobiography, gives one of the most vivid and readable accounts of war ever seen, and Sassoon's three sets of fictionalised autobiography, Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man, Memoirs of an Infantry Officer and Sherston's Progress are classics. Both men won instant and enduring fame with these very different narratives, which made them two of the most influential participants in shaping later attitudes to the war. Graves gave offence in many quarters with his factual inaccuracies and/or slurs on various units of the British Army, but the book became an instant classic for its description of frontline life. Sassoon's nostalgic evocation of his cricketing and foxhunting background contrast with the detailed narrative of personalities and life in the Battle of the Somme and the Battle of Arras. The thinly disguised names of real fellow officers are unravelled to help illustrate Sassoon's poetry and actions. From their meeting near Bethune at the end of 1915 they became close friends, constantly discussing poetry and worrying about each other and their many mutual friends, until they fell out in part over elements that Graves included in Goodbye to All That. Sassoon, who was awarded the Military Cross in 1916, published a powerful statement against the continuation of the war in 1917. During subsequent treatment for shell-shock he met and encouraged the young Wilfred Owen. Graves was reported dead in the Battle of the Somme, but recovered to continue writing poetry and following his own individualistic and turbulent way. The authors have drawn on regimental and battalion diaries as well as Graves and Sassoon's own books...the memoirs mentioned above and other writing. As well as modern biographies of both writers, the annotated version of Goodbye to All That (which gives correct versions of various incidents and shows what was inserted or removed in various editions) was also used for verification. This book goes over their war service in detail - La Bassee canal, Bethune, Cuinchy, the Somme (Fricourt, Mametz, Bazentin), Arras - with photographs, maps and tour information to follow their footsteps. Biographical detail includes an outline of family backgrounds, their long post-war lives and literary careers, and full bibliography.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780850528381
ISBN-10: 0850528380
Format: Paperback
(216mm x 135mm x mm)
Pages: 160
Imprint: Pen & Sword Books Ltd
Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Ltd
Publish Date: 15-Mar-2001
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Helen McPhail

By the authors of Battleground Europe books on Wilfred Owen, Edmund Blunden and the St Ouentin.

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