Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon
His Life and Illustrated Bibliography

Do not adjust your computer! - This site has recently been updated and cleaned up so my software can manage the file size. None of the information has been removed, I have just simplified the site style a little.

You are looking at the only web site that records the complete bibliography of the famous First World War soldier, poet and writer, Siegfried Sassoon. Illustrated here are all the books and pamphlets published by Sassoon in his lifetime; any contribution he has made to other books such as introductions and forewords, and any of his work published by others in his lifetime such as the inclusion of his poems or other work in anthologies etc. In addition to the information regarding books, I have created a number of pages containing details of Sassoon’s life, and those of many of his friends and relatives. Some of this has been new research on my part.

All books illustrated are from my own collection and are listed in order of the date they were published. I have also included on the site books from Sassoon’s own library, books in which people have written about Sassoon in his lifetime and also modern books written about him after his death, in particular biographies which may be of interest to those wishing to find out more about him.


The Bookshelf

The books on the left cover Siegfried Sassoon’s ‘Sherston Trilogy’ and his ‘real’ autobiography. Many of Sherston’s experiences were Sassoon’s as well, and he left much out of his second trilogy because he had already covered it with Sherston. Click on the titles to see a short synopsis of each book. Although ‘The Complete Memoirs of George Sherston’ was published, there was no single publication of Sassoon’s ‘real’ autobiography.

Keynes - Bibliographer and close friend of Siegfried Sassoon, Geoffrey Keynes, wrote a bibliography of Sassoon’s work which was published by Rupert Hart-Davis in 1962. This is a wonderful book but unfortunately it is incomplete. For instance it does not cover any books from 1962 to Sassoon’s death in 1967. Siegfried Sassoon was a complex character, full of contradictions and although he had always wanted to be a famous writer, when Keynes suggested he write his bibliography Sassoon was not particularly happy about it, thinking it would intrude on his privacy. However, Keynes was undeterred and began his work and it wasn’t long before Sassoon was providing him with more and more information.

Keynes had Sassoon’s own library from which to carry out his research and he also had a number of his own books to collate. However, many books, particularly anthologies, went unrecorded and this web site brings more of them together for the first time. I have used Keynes own numbering system but where books are not in his bibliography I have noted that they were Not Collated. Some other books are not covered in depth by Keynes but merely mentioned in the larger descriptions of other more well-known titles. Where this is the case I have noted that they were Mentioned.

New addition to the collection - From Siegfried Sassoon’s Own Library

The Story of the Durham Miners  (1662 - 1921)

The Story of the Durham Miners 1662-1922

Durham Miners Signature

The Story of the Durham Miners (1662- 1921) By Sidney Webb, published in 1921 by the Fabian Society. From Siegfried Sassoon’s own library. On 27th April, 1921, Sassoon wrote in his diary (Page 64, Siegfried Sassoon Diaries 1920-1922, Rupert Hart-Davis, pub. Faber 1921): ‘...Coal strike unsettled. Read Webb’s book on Durham Miners last night...’ This is that book, and as can be seen, Sassoon wrote his name at the top of the front cover.

New addition to the collection

The Hydra - The Magazine of Craiglockhart War Hospital - New Series No.1

The Hydra - The Magazine of Craiglockhart War Hospital - New Series No.1. Slateford, Midlothian, Edinburgh: H & J Pillans, printers, November 1917. 24 pages, pictorial wrappers, illustrations and photographs.

The Hydra

Edited by M. Salmond, this is a striking, and extremely rare example of the in-house periodical published by and for the patients at the Craiglockhart War Hospital for Officers, which was established in 1916 for the treatment of British officers suffering from shell-shock. Among the hospital’s patients were, most famously, Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, who were under the treatment of Dr. William Rivers and Captain A. J. Brock.

This issue coincides with the month of Owen’s release from the hospital after being judged fit for light regimental duties - he eventually returned to the front in August 1918 and was killed in action on 4th November, a year following the appearance of this issue. Owen is mentioned twice in the text of this issue, once in the context of activities of the Debating Society, and again, for a talk he gave to the Field Club: “...an interesting paper on the classification of soils, soil air, soil water, root absorption and fertility was given by Mr. Owen on 1st October...”

Sassoon remained at Craiglockhart into December, and in this issue, printed for the first time, is his poem “Thrushes.” Keynes incorrectly records its first appearance as the following January in THE NATION (C64). Non-patients were also invited to contribute to the magazine, and we also find a poem by John Drinkwater “Reciprocity” and drawings by G. K. Chesterton “Profiteers.”

In his Editorial the Editor thanks a Mr. Berrington for the cover and club headings art. The first series consisted of 12 numbers (April - September 1917). This New Series concluded in July 1918, after nine issues. Issues of the Hydra are extremely scarce, three issues are recorded as being held at Columbia University, New York. The National Library of Scotland also holds an incomplete run of issues, although partially in photocopies. The Napier University, Edinburgh, and Bodleian Library, Oxford, both have some copies. This copy is a rare addition to those few existing.

Hydra Editorial
Hydra Thrushes

Left, Editorial page. Above, first publication of Siegfried Sassoon’s poem ‘Thrushes.’

Hydra Field Club

Left, Part of the Craiglockhart Field Club report containing details of a talk given by Wilfred Owen.

Adrian Berrington 1887 - 1923

I am indebted to David Whiting for the following information regarding his great uncle Adrian Berrington who provided the illustrations for the Hydra:

Professor Adrian Berrington, designed the Craiglockhart Hydra cover for the New series. He was a patient at Craiglockhart with Sassoon and Owen, and worked on the magazine with Owen when he was editor, providing illustrations and then the vignettes in the new magazine. Adrian was badly wounded twice on the Western Front, and ended up designing war cemeteries before being appointed as a professor of architecture in Toronto.

ON THIS SITE

Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man

Sassoon Books These are broken down into seven categories which record the books that Siegfried Sassoon wrote himself, comprising of his early poems, autobiographies both fictional and real published in the UK, US and Europe. His poetry published in the UK and the US., and other publications which in this case comprise of his biographies of Meredith, published in the UK and US.

Life and Letters Today

Contributions There are three categories in this section, books in which Siegfried Sassoon has contributed the Introduction or Foreword. Pages covering the six decades in which his poems were published by others, (mainly in anthologies) from 1917 to 1967, and books in which he has contributed other texts, mainly excerpts from his autobiographies.

Georgian Literary Scene

About Sassoon These are books which contain information about Siegfried Sassoon, written during his lifetime. The books are written by such famous names as Edmund Gosse, David Garnett and Frank Swinnerton. Also included are two books by the renowned bibliographer Geoffrey Keynes. Keynes wrote Sassoons bibliography which has helped enormously in the creation of this web site.

Modern First Editions Catalogue

Catalogues An interesting section which covers auction catalogues relating to Siegfried Sassoon’s work. These catalogues give a fascinating look at the library of Siegfried Sassoon when it was sold off after his death and scattered around the world. Sales include Sassoon’s work from the collections of Lady Ottoline Morrell, Stephen Tennant and Max Beerbohm

Poetry Review

Modern Day This section includes books that have been written about Siegfried Sassoon or have articles relating to him in the years after his death up to the modern day. These books include the two latest modern biographies written about Sassoon, Jean Moorcroft Wilson’s ‘The Making of a War Poet’ and ‘The Journey from the Trenches’ and Max Egremont’s ‘Siegfried Sassoon - A Biography.’

To-Day

Periodicals This section covers magazines and periodicals in which Siegfried Sassoon has had his work published or contain stories about him during his lifetime. They include limited runs such as ‘The Owl’ edited by another famous war poet, Robert Graves, and magazines of larger circulation such as the American publication, The Literary Digest,

The Saturday Review

Book Reviews These contemporary reviews of Sassoon’s books are taken from various literary magazines of the time, the title of each is acknowledged along with the date of the review. I believe that these reviews are important today as they are unbiased and show just how Sassoon’s books were received at the time they were written. It also gives people who are new to Sassoon a glimpse of what each book is about.

Childs Prayer

Music A small but hopefully growing section highlighting any of Siegfried Sassoon’s poems that have been put to music. This selection includes ‘Three Song Pictures’, by Cyril Bradley Rootham, ‘A Childs Prayer’ also by Rootham and ‘Song Cycle’ by Howard Morgan, which includes ‘Noah’, ‘An Old French Poet’, ‘October’, A Poplar and the Moon’ and ‘Goblin Revel.’

Gateway to Poetry

His Library An interesting and varied selection of books in my possession which once formed part of Siegfried Sassoon’s own library. Many are inscribed to Sassoon by well known people such as Edmund Blunden and H. M. Tomlinson. These books were auctioned off after Sassoon’s death and have re-entered the market at various times since enabling me to purchase them and add them to this web site.

Siegfried Sassoon

Sassoon Biography A short, one page biography of Siegfried Sassoon. This biography has been created as a tiny window into the life of the great poet and writer. Elsewhere on this web site will be found more information about his life and his friends which will go to build up a complete picture of the poet, writer, soldier, hero, country gentleman and lover of an English way of life long since past.

Protest

A Soldier’s Declaration This is the Hansard report  which covers Sasssoon’s Declaration which he wrote in 1917 and sent to a sympathetic MP to be read out in the House of Commons. Sassoon had wanted to do something to shake the establishment at its heart and to speak out about the insincere way in which he thought the war was being pursued by the British Government. It covers the Commons Debate and his Declaration.

Huntsman

Sassoons Art A new page which showcases some of Siegfried Sassoon’s little known paintings and sketches. Siegfried Sassoon enjoyed sketching and painting and often made drawings in the front of books and sent them as gifts to his friends. He also produced watercolour paintings and caricatures of friends and acquaintances.

Geoffrey Keynes

Keynes A short, one page biography of Sassoon’s bibliographer, Sir Geoffrey Keynes. Geoffrey Keynes (pronounced “Canes”) maintained a passionate interest in English literature all his life. He produced biographies and bibliographies of English writers such as Sir Thomas Browne, John Evelyn, Siegfried Sassoon, John Donne and Jane Austen. His Sassoon bibliography has helped me enormously.

Robert Ross

Robert Ross Siegfried Sassoon first met the art expert and literary critic Robert Ross in June 1913, at a party given by Sir Edmund Gosse. Ross, eighteen years older than Sassoon, was a patron of emerging actors, poets and writers and had a significant effect on Sassoon’s work by encouraging him to write poetry critical of the military hierarchy.

 H W Massingham

Massingham H.W. Massingham was the editor of the Nation, a leading British radical weekly newspaper, between 1907 and 1923. Massingham published a number of Sassoon’s poems in the paper during these years. He was highly enough thought of by Sassoon to be asked his advice before Sassoon went ahead with his protest and was one of the people to whom Sassoon sent a copy of his original statement at the time.

Crosland

Crosland A page about the first editor to commercially publish Sassoon’s poetry. In the spring of 1909, having had limited success in getting his work published, Siegfried Sassoon was looking for other publications to contact and sent some poems to T.W.H. Crosland the editor of the journal, ‘The Academy’, who was himself a poet and whose work Sassoon respected.

Robert Graves

Robert Graves served in the same battalion as Siegfried Sassoon and they became great friends. Graves was also a talented war poet and had ‘helped’ Sassoon during the period of his protest by convincing the army authorities that Sassoon was suffering from shell-shock, and ought to be confined to a hospital rather than be court-martialled for his refusal to fight. Sassoon had not asked for, nor appreciated this intervention.

Norman Loder

Norman Loder was one of Siegfried Sassoon’s greatest friends. He was Master of a number of Hunts including the Southdown in Sussex, the Atherstone in Warwickshire and Fitzwilliam in Cambridgeshire. Loder instilled in Sassoon a great love of the sport. Sassoon finally outgrew Loder as he became more interested in literature and writing. However, Sassoon never forgot and wrote about his experiences with affection.

Hester Gatty

Hester Gatty Edith Olivier introduced Sassoon to Hester in 1933 and to the surprise of many people, they were married later the same year. In 1936 they had a son, George, but the marriage would not last. Sassoon, too used to living on is own terms felt smothered by Hester’s attention and in 1945 they had separated, Hester leaving the family home, Heytesbury  House, in Wiltshire, eventually to live on the island of Mull.

Ottoline Morrell

Lady Ottoline Morrell was an English aristocrat and a society hostess, whose patronage was of great assistance to many artists and intellectuals including Siegfried Sassoon, Bertrand Russell, Aldous Huxley, T. S. Elliot and D. H. Lawrence to name just a few. Her county residence, Garsington, near Oxford was a retreat for a multitude of invited guests, many of whom would later become known as the ‘Bloomsbury Group.’

Rachel Beer

Two Aunts The book featured on this page is a copy of the ‘Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and the Salaman and Absal of Jami,’ published by Bernard Quaritch in 1879. The book was given as a gift to Louise Sassoon from her sister Rachel in 1889 and carries an inscription. Louise Sassoon and Rachel [Beer] were both aunts of Siegfried Sassoon and this page contains some details about them.

Godbert's Restaurant

Godbert’s  Godbert’s Restaurant does not play a huge part in the story of Siegfried Sassoon, although he did visit it a number of times while on leave from the front line trenches. However, on trying to find out more about it I discovered that very little is known, and therefore I have created this page. This wonderful old restaurant used to stand on the Rue de Jacobin, Amiens, Northern France, and finally closed its doors in 1973.

Hospital 1916

Hospital 1916 Siegfried Sassoon recorded in his diary on 22nd July 1916, that the 1st Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers boarded a train at Mericourt and travelled to Hengest. From there they marched seven kilometers to La Chausee.... for a fortnight’s rest. The next day the great diarist and memorizer wrote just one line: “Feeling very ill. Temperature 105 at 9pm. Went to New Zealand Hospital at Amiens on Monday morning.”

War Poems

Poems Every time a poem is mentioned in the text on any page, there will be a link to the full poem on this page. This is by no means a complete list of Sassoon’s poems. Whenever the title of a poem not previously referred to before is added to a page, it will  be recorded in full here. This page will grow as more books are added.

Anthology

Popular Poems This table shows which poems were published in anthologies and how many times during the period approximately 1917 to 1966. A total of 58 books are examined. I know that there may be many other books as yet unseen that also include poems, but 58 is a good start in order to deduce what were considered to be Sassoon’s most popular poems. The list will be updated as other titles are discovered.

Edingthorpe Church

Edingthorpe As a child Sassoon spent many a happy holiday with his mother and brothers at the old rectory in Edingthorpe, Norfolk. In 1937 he revisited the village and wrote about his memories in ‘The Old Century and Seven More Years’ [1938], I visited Edingthorpe in 1994 and took the pictures found on this page making reference to their part in Sassoon’s story.

Sassoon in his Car

1924 Road Trip In 1924 Siegfried Sassoon was living at 54, Tufton Street, London. On the 6th September he decided to drive to Malvern and visit his great friend, the Neurologist, Henry Head. On this page I have listed all of the places that he passed through on his driving tour, or ‘Road Trip.’ Also, I have included pictures of the hotels that he stayed at overnight or stopped at for food during his journey.

Letter written by Geoffrey Keynes

Letters Shown here are letters I have relating to Siegfried Sassoon. These letters have either been written by Sassoon, or written by his friends and associates to him or to other people within his circle. Included is a letter written by Sassoon to a lady suggesting she buy a house in Heytesbury; one written by Sassoon’s friend Robert Ross; one by H W Massingham, one from Geoffrey Keynes; and others relating to Stephen Tennant.

Heytesbury House Main Gate

Heytesbury In 1933 Sassoon bought Heytesbury House, a Georgian mansion surrounded by 90 acres of parkland and 130 acres of woods just outside the village of Heytesbury in Wiltshire. Sassoon was living here when he died and the site is much changed now. This page shows how it was at the time, and what has happened to it since.

Siegfried Sassoon's Grave

Mells Siegfried Sassoon died in 1967 a week before his eighty-first birthday. He had made it known that when he died he wished to be buried in the church yard at Mells, Somerset, close to the grave of Father Ronald Knox. Knox had been a Roman Catholic priest who preached at the church in Mells and who helped Sassoon to convert to Roman Catholicism.

Wellesley College News

America On 28th January, 1920, Siegfried Sassoon arrived in New York. “A lecture tour seemed a way to escape and make money, not only for himself but to help his friends who, imagining him to be rich - because of his name - turned to him often.” (Egremont, Sassoon, 2005, p241.) Here are two reports of lectures given by Sassoon in New York at this time.

People at Cambridge

Who Was Whom? The people in the Sherston Trilogy were all real, however their real names were not used and Sassoon gave them each a pseudonym. This page gives the pseudonym and  the real names of all these people, including a number of place names that feature in the three books. Most of this detection work has been done by others to whom I offer acknowledgment on the page.

David Gray

Contact Hello, my name is David Gray and I created this web site. Please contact me from this page. I first became interested in Siegfried Sassoon when I picked up an old copy of Memoirs of an Infantry Officer in an old bric-a-brac shop in Peterborough where I live. I find Sassoon incredibly interesting not just for his writing, but also for his amazing bravery, both physically on the battlefield, and morally with regard to his protest.

Peterborough Guildhall

Links Web sites which may or may not relate to Siegfried Sassoon but could still be of interest to others. These sites include a number which refer directly to Siegfried Sassoon, and others with a military theme relating to the First and Second World Wars. Subjects include the French Resistence in WWII, soldiers who fought in the First World war, and local sites about the city in which I live, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.

Collection Database

Collection Database

Revision 10

UPDATED 6 August 2016

Website created by David Gray © 2008

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