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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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. I expected to find the fox hunting part of the book dull and perhaps even offensive - it's a practice not to modern tastes for reasons of elitism and cruelty - but was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Thrushes and blackbirds hopped and pecked busily on the dew-soaked lawn, and a pigeon was cooing monotonously from the belt of woodland which sloped from the garden toward the Weald.

Sure he can get away with this because he has an income and his aunt, who he still lives with, covers his expenses anyway. Sassoon is quite open in viewing these as halcyon days, but then he was one of the lucky few born to a life of privilege.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.

What gives this novel power is you know this to be autobiographical; this book is talking about a period that is going to be shattered and completely replaced with something new. All of the tragedies he witnesses are treated in this way, matter of fact; they are something to be regretted, but not something that one has any real power to change. Original publisher's white cloth with black lettering, and red and black decorations, in pictorial dustwrapper.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.

Other key memoirs about WW I are Storm of Steel by Ernst Junger (5 stars) , Undertones of War by Edmund Blunden (4 stars) (also a friend of Sassoon), Under Fire by Henri Barbusse, badly translated but worth it--in French the title is simply Feu, and it's better to read it in French until a better translation comes along. It's tempting, then, to regard Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man as an attempt to put things back together, to reclaim youth and vigour (Sassoon was in his 40s when he wrote it), to help a lost world live again (not to mention the men killed by war) and to fight the tide of modernism.

Most of all, he lambasts himself: "The mental condition of a young man who asks nothing more of life than twelve hundred a year and four days a week with the Packlestone is perhaps not easy to defend. It was precisely his retreat into the pre-industrial past, his mannered simplicity, his platitudinous self-preoccupation, which (though anathema to the intelligentsia) so well mirrored their own concerns, and thus turned his six autobiographical volumes into bestsellers. All of this Edwardian badinage only makes it the more painful when he sees his cosy world come crashing down with the outbreak of the First World War, a narrative intrusion that is carefully held off until near the end of the book. Sassoon obviously wanted to create an alter ego who was quite a bit more naive and bumpkinish than he ever was; I suspect to highlight the changes ,in him and in his country wrought, by war.

Fricourt was successfully taken, and on the 4th July the First Battalion moved up to the front line to attack Mametz Wood. It is all here, told from the point of view of an over indulged spoilt young man whose life is one long round of hunting (of course) cross country riding, point to points, cricket, parties at great country houses, and honey for tea. The ban marked the formal end to an era that was, I suppose, in practice already long gone – the time of local hunts that brought small country communities together, ruddy-faced farmers doffing their caps as the squire rode past in hunting pink, everyone knowing everyone else and everyone knowing their place. And that exploitation of courage, if I may be allowed to say a thing so obvious, was the essential tragedy of the War, which, as everyone now agrees, was a crime against humanity. In April he was recommended for the Military Cross for his action in bringing in the dead and wounded after a raid.Graves and Sassoon did fight and saw the chaos of war and the shattering of lives and they both went off on other tangents rather than embracing modernism. Nice clean yellow boards with black lettering, the boards not bowing, very clean rough-cut pages as issued with minimal flecking on the front block, very clean endpapers, in an unusually nice dustjacket, no tears or marks, fractionally paled lettering to the spine, with the inner glassine wrapper present. Very Good, boards slightly bowed, light shelf wear, a couple of small stains, no dust jacket, fading to spine. When you believe you will die at any moment, long term life goals become irrelevant, even painful to contemplate.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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