Memoirs of a Fox-hunting Man

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Memoirs of a Fox-hunting Man

Memoirs of a Fox-hunting Man

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It has been a couple of years since I read this book but it left a deep impression and I commend it to everyone. Bookseller's ticket of Albert Dowling, Bristol, on front pastedown of Infantry Officer; publisher's mailing card loosely inserted in Sherston's Progress. But I was surprised to find myself loving this book, which was funny, beautifully observed and quite the opposite of what I was expecting. The effervescence and evanescence of the enthusiasms of a young sports mad Englishman are portrayed with perfect tone, and make a shocking contrast to the gruesome realities of trench death ( I nearly said life), that follow. A limited edition, signed by Sassoon, was published later in 1928 and matching limited and signed volumes were issued alongside the publication of the two other volumes.

On the surface this is a picture of a rural idyllic England that was shattered by the war, a lost paradise of a particular middle class type. A very attractive example of Sassoon's famous fictional account of his life before, during and after the First World War, with seven full-page illustrations (with tissue guards) and chapter-heading vignettes throughout by William Nicholson. Characters whom we have come to love die meaninglessly, and Sherston only can record the facts of it - he doesn't reflect on his grief at all, as though the awfulness of it utterly dulled his pen. So much went wrong in those early months, chiefly through an inexperienced military, and the bungling and the old ways being inadequate are very honestly portrayed here. The air was Elysian with early summer and the early shadows of steep white clouds were chasing over the orchards and meadows; sunlight sparkled on green hedgerows that had been drenched by early morning showers.Sure he can get away with this because he has an income and his aunt, who he still lives with, covers his expenses anyway. There was a moment when I suddenly realised that there was a great deal more going on than was immediately apparent on the surface. Elegant set of first editions of Sassoon's 'fictitious' autobiography in which his story is told by 'George Sherston'.

I have owned this book for fifty years and had thought that I had read it, only taking it up when a friend mentioned having enjoyed it.Sherston grows into a happy and bold young man, with a modest private income which enables him to scrape by without getting a job. I cannot think of it now without a sense of heartache, as if it contained something which I have never quite been able to discover. Like Tolstoy's War and Peace, which he was also reading while he wrote his own book, it is the combination of factual detail and direct personal experience vividly rendered that makes Infantry Officer a convincing and compelling picture of war. I also choose that passage because it might be seen as characteristic of Sassoon's longing for the past, his unwillingness to progress into the modern age.

Memoirs Of A Fox-Hunting Man Siegfried Sassoon Early Days - The Flower Show Match - A Fresh Start - A Day With the Potford - At the Rectory - The Colonel's Cup - Denis Milden as Master -Migration of the Midlands - In the Army - At the front Originally published in 1928. Sassoon's first novel, though rife with comic characters and a jaunty sense of storytelling, presents his own loss of innocence and the destruction of the country he knew and loved. Stephen Colwood, Dennis Milden and Dixon are all sympathetic characters, but the rest of the hunting fraternity are a pretty grim set of cowards, bullies and reckless idiots.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. Women did hunt, but the few he mentions are middle-aged; and there were no girls at his school, no female soldiers in the army. It's not until Dixon arranges for young George to have a pony of his own that Sherston finds the great love of his life - horses.

A very good copy in a very good dustwrapper, a little dusty with a short closed tear to the upper panel and some light edge wear. Overall, and rare and desirable edition of Sassoon's prose work, with touches that make for a scarce copy. Possessed of an inherited income that allowed him to avoid work, Sherston spends his winters fox hunting and his summers playing cricket, and very little else.

Fricourt was successfully taken, and on the 4th July the First Battalion moved up to the front line to attack Mametz Wood. Sherston is not Jewish either - something which mattered a great deal in England, and made Sherston's sense of being an impostor, not quite up to the task of being what he was expected to become, ring a little false. And when the war arrives, it is a brutal cut, suddenly transporting the reader into what seems to be a different novel. Still, he has to experience the hardships of army life and quietly, almost without comment in the memoirs, he experiences the deaths of his best friend Stephen Colwood and mentor Tom Dixon (the latter having joined up even though he was nearing fifty). But he clearly wants to root their power in this long, dreamy remembrance of pre-war country life, so that we all understand what was lost.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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