Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man

By Siegfried Sassoon,

Book cover of Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man

Book description

The first volume in Siegfried Sassoon’s beloved trilogy, The Complete Memoirs of George Sherston, with a new introduction by celebrated historian Paul Fussell

A highly decorated English soldier and an acclaimed poet and novelist, Siegfried Sassoon won fame for his trilogy of fictionalized autobiographies that wonderfully capture the vanishing idylls…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This first of Sassoon’s semi-biographical Sherston trilogy is a nostalgic amble along Edwardian English lanes, across its village greens, and over its hedges, tracing the early years of likeable, witty George Sherston before the Great War. It depicts a bygone era of pearl-clutching maiden aunts, rumbustious village cricket matches, and the rigours of the hunting field, in which enthusiastic recruit George is a terrific observer of the larger-than-life characters he encounters. He is winningly grateful to his horses for being so much better at it than him, from flighty first pony Sheila to trusty hunter Harkaway, and ‘bargain’ point-to-pointer Cockbird…

As a corollary of my fascination with the cultural watershed of the First World War, I am drawn to the world that was destroyed in the mud of Flanders. From our removal in time, it is impossible to view that vanished world other than through the lens of the horrors that came after and destroyed it, making it difficult to access other than through history books. Some memoirs of the First World War (eg. Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth), devote significant space to the pre-war days but very few look exclusively at that time. Sassoon’s book does, although he…

From John's list on memoirs of lost childhood.

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