Item description for Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man by Siegfried Sassoon...
British army officer on the Western Front during WW1 recalls his youth as a rural gentry lad interested only in horses, cricket matches and fox-hunting. A delightful tale of Victorian England which received the Huntington Prize in 1928.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.08" Width: 5.98" Height: 0.93" Weight: 1.32 lbs.
Publisher Simon Publications
ISBN 1931541701 ISBN13 9781931541701
Availability 84 units. Availability accurate as of Jan 20, 2017 07:19.
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More About Siegfried Sassoon
Siegfried Sassoon (1886 1967) was a poet and novelist whose novels include the James Tait Black Award winning Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man. He is recognized as one of the great poets of World War I and one of the war s most influential opponents.
Paul Fussell (1925 2012) was a writer, editor, and historian whose experiences in World War II led to his writing the award-winning classic The Great War and Modern Memory. He was also the editor of the collection Sassoon s Long Journey.
Siegfried Sassoon was born in 1886 and died in 1967.
Siegfried Sassoon has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man?
An excellent perspective of a world reluctant but forced into change Dec 9, 2007
I read this book because of my early love of the War Poets, Sassoon, Wilfred Owen and Robert Graves. What I had not expected was to find myself transported into a nearly forgotten time where Summer was glorious and England was feeling safe, secure and on top of the world. Yes, they knew that things were a "bit iffy" in Europe. Yes they could see that the USA and Germany could challenge them economically - if not on the seas. I had read Robert Massie's book Dreadnought which had a solid military-political perspective of the time following Bismarck and his unification of Germany. This book filled in the missing pieces in my mind to show just why the English and Europeans were so unprepared to fight a total war. And why the aristocracy was so casually careless of the lives of ordinary soldiers. I wept for the innocence of young men suddenly thrown into the teeth of machine gun fire and massive explosive shells. I smiled and felt comfortable at the descriptions of park cricket at a time that this was the noblest conflict that a young man might pursue.
From the Hunt to the Front Mar 9, 2007
Perhaps the best way to classify "Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man" is as an autobiographical novel; the details and events described are Sassoon's personal experiences in disguise. This book serves as the first of a trilogy, covering the author's early days up through his initial military service during WWI. Even though it is written as a novel, the truth of the author's life shines through.
The narrator of "Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man" is George Sherston, a young orphan left to live with his aunt in the remote English countryside. He is a shy, reticent and awkward boy who learns gradually to flourish under the tutelage of his aunt's stablehand, Tom Dixon. Dixon teaches young George to ride and play cricket, and as he grows he eventually makes a name for himself among the fox hunting circuit and among horse racers. George drops out of Cambridge to pursue a life of leisure (one that he cannot afford) and finds himself entering the military just before war is declared.
The narrative is surprisingly fast-paced and evocative to begin with. Sassoon has a manner of drawing readers into the story through the quaint and idyllic reminisences of a spoiled young man. Yet readers may soon become distracted with George Sherston's snobbery, his diffidence towards those who care about him and have his best interests at heart, and his pretentious attitude towards his station in life. There are also times when readers can see the author shining through his characters, in scattered asides he drops the mask he holds before him and tells it as it is. "Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man" may not be for everyone, but is a definite must-read for any fan of Sassoon's poetry; it is a window into the world of a man who helped to shape the course of literature after WWI.
Interesting Vignette on Rural England Dreams Whilst the World Heads for Disaster Jun 28, 2006
I read this book because I entered Sassoon first by reading his "Memoirs of an Infantry Officer." Since Sassoon has always been one of my favourite poets I thought this would allow me to see into the mind of one raised in the English Countryside at the turn of the 20th Century.
There is a lot of fox hunting here and if I was encouraged to be more sympathetic to a bunch of upper-class twits running in their finest allowing hounds to do most the work, then this book, for all its description did not engender such feelings. (Being born in Canada, real men and women hunt their animals on foot, are forbidden from using dogs in any form of hunting and a real man shoots one's game over open sights... preferably after that person has hiked over a few mountains on foot. The game is then carried out of the bush, by yourself. There are no manservants, no shared drinking of spirits or chance to rest). But the descriptions of rural life and Sassoon's existence between some limited previledge yet not quite a member of the upper classes was an interesting perspective on this time.
Sassoon writes well and economical. There is little real adventure here and the book would be one that I could recommend to someone who is thinking of touring the quite country lanes of Kent in the summer time, or open whilst on top of Downs on a sunny day. It is a reflection of rural (but not country) life in the soft cotton covered English existence while the world heads for collective insanity.
Sassoon and book eventually drift to war and the last third of the book is about him forsaking Cambridge, taking a commission and eventually heading to the front. While around him his mates, his footmen and other collegues are blown to pieces or otherwise changed unalterably by the war. Sigfried ends the book after the disasterous battles of Loos (where Kipling's son was killed) and the writing style starts to take on a melancholy and more stark tone continued in his "Memoirs of an Infantry Officer".
A good book and one worth the read for the country vignettes.
Languid evocation of Rural U.K. ca. 1900 Sep 21, 2005
This is a very good place to commence the life of Sassoon, better known in my country as a great poet of the First World War. Having only the briefest of equestrian experience in rural Dorset and the slightest of brushes with the class structure existing even in a small village, most of Sassoon's marvellously recounted youth falls well beyond this Aussie's radar. I found the quaint rituals of horseriding and foxing fascinating; the fact of a life so given to the pursuit of pleasure, utterly bemusing. Sassoon's everpresent sense of how protected all this was, and how he could place such significance, say, on the purchase of a riding cap, saves this work from charges of class pretension. Though an acute observer, he is amazingly free, in his writing, from the sense of superiority exuding from many of the class he aspires to join.The idyll comes crashing down with the outbreak of War, and the loss of his closest friends are sobering moments, never milked for any self-pity. His writing is exquisite,full of easy phrasings that scroll as readily on his page as the gentle topography of those pleasant pastures green. As eloquent as the succeeding volumes of this series are, I believe this is the most satisfying. Is that, perhaps, because the catostrophe of the trenches was so brilliantly trapped on silent film? iMAGES OF The Great War jittered across our tele screens in the mid 1960s, possibly with the hidden message of consolidating youthful support for our conscription to the Vietnam conflict. I was almost paralysed with fear each Sunday as I sat hypnotised before the unspooling of those oancient black and white atrocities. The effect induced a wholesome loathing of nationalism and all futile expressions on foreign soils.
A touching glimpse of rural England Jul 16, 2002
This beautifully written account of a well-to-do youth growing up in sleepy rural England in the years leading upto and including the Great War. Siegfried Sasson was one of the finest poets of the Great War, which he experienced first hand (he famously threw his medal into the sea in disgust at the war), however he only touches on the war in this book -- the incredible restraint just adds pogniancy though. I was deeply moved by this book (and Siefrieds war poetry). The book, perhaps somewhat autobiographical(?) describes in some detail the growth of a young rider into an accomplished hunter. There is also some interesting insight into early golf and cricket. While Fox-hunting may not interest some (indeed it is now scorned my many) -- do not let that deter you from reading this excellent book. The book captures, accurately I think, the flavor of rural Britain -- and the relationships that grow up regardless of class in many English villages (the English country village was in many ways the ideal community -- perhaps a model for the world to adopt). This is a wonderful book intended for anybody and everybody -- not just fox hunters.