Siegfried Sassoon

By John Stuart Roberts

Siegfried Sassoon Look inside
  • Publication Date: 5 Jun 2014
  • Publisher: John Blake Publishing Ltd
  • Imprint: Metro Books, London
ISBN: 9781782199120
eBook (ePub)
ISBN: 9781784180966



Siegfried Sassoon is the greatest and most famous of all British war poets. Established as a writer of some merit before the Great War broke out, his near-suicidal acts of courage and defiance in the face of enemy fire earned him the Military Cross - and the nickname 'Mad Jack'. However, as the war dragged on, he came to see it as a cynical exercise, leading him to write an anti-war letter to The Times and to tear the ribbon of his MC Cross from his tunic and throw it into the River Mersey. Alarmed authorities sent him to a hospital for the shell shocked, where he befriended a young officer of the Manchester Regiment named Wilfred Owen. Although Sassoon returned to active service, his hatred for the war remained, and by the Armstice in 1918 he had declared himself a pacifist. Written with a clarity and directness that would have pleased the great man himself, John Stuart Roberts's widely praised biography is a gripping and accessible account of a man of deep contradictions. War hero, pacifist, towering literary figure unaligned to any movement; this biography looks beyond the common perception of Sassoon as a mere soldier poet, and looks at the man in full. It is a book that any admirer of Sassoon will cherish.

About the author

John Stuart Roberts was the editor of Everyman and Heart of the Matter and is a former Head of Television, BBC Wales. He first read Sassoon's work in a second-hand bookshop in Swansea in 1958. Since then he has made the poet a lifetime's study.

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