Although we can never say never, after many years of collecting I do feel that I may have reached my limit with regard to the amount of money I am willing/able to spend on a book. Therefore, I have begun to focus on a different aspect of book collecting in connection with Sassoon, and this is to look for books that are related to his family, friends and acquaintances. These need to be signed and closely related (I’m not looking for a book signed by the milkman!) One example is normally enough, although when a better one comes along at a reasonable price, I would not rule out acquiring it. Looking for examples of these books requires a little homework to discover just how strong the relationship was, and I have found no better books in which to carry out this research than his biographies, written by Jean Moorcroft Wilson and Max Egremont. In doing this I have discovered that my knowledge of Sassoon has increased immensely.

Listed below are the ‘Friends’ books I have acquired so far. This page gives more information about the individuals.

Don Juan de Marana  - By Arnold Bennett, privately published on handmade paper (No. 274 of a limited edition of 1000 copies), in 1923. Signed by the author.


Turner Insc 220

Songs And Incantations  - By Walter James Redfern Turner, published in 1936 by J. M.Dent & Sons Ltd. Signed and inscribed by the author on the front end paper to the author C. Henry Warren ‘For Henry Warren W. Turner March ‘36’. From the collection of Jonathan Gili (1943-2004), film maker and director.


Portraits And Sketches  - By Sir Edmund Gosse C.B., published in 1913 by William Heinemann. Signed and inscribed by the author, ‘J. C. Squire from Edmund Gosse July 1918’.


News Of England  - By John Beverley Nichols, published in 1938. Signed by the author and dated 1938.


Sing High! Sing Low! - By Osbert Sitwell, published in 1944 by MacMillan & Co. Ltd., and signed by the author. Osbert Sitwell befriended Sassoon during the First World War. He devoted himself to poetry, art criticism and controversial journalism. Together with his brother Sacheverell, he sponsored a controversial exhibition of works by Matisse, Utrillo, Picasso and Modigliani. The composer William Walton also greatly benefited from his largesse (though the two men afterwards fell out). He published two books of poems: Argonaut and Juggernaut (1919) and At the House of Mrs Kinfoot (1921). In the mid-1920s he met David Stuart Horner (1900-1983) who was his lover and companion for most of his life.


Theatrical Figures In Porcelain - by Sacheverell Sitwell, published in 1949 by The Curtain Press. Inscribed and signed by the author, 19th November 1963. Attached to the inside of the back cover is an envelope addressed to Victoria Durham (the person who the book was inscribed to), plus a newspaper cutting from The Times, dated 19th March 1977, covering a story about a sale of porcelain. The Sitwells befriended Sassoon during the First World War. Writer, poet, and art critic, Sacheverell’s poetry was so severely criticised, particularly by those who disliked the Sitwells in general, and although Canons of Giant Art was a work of considerable impact, he refused to publish any of his poems for many years.


The Pleasures of Poetry  - By Edith Sitwell, published in 1931 by Duckworth. Signed and inscribed by the author on the front end paper ‘For, my dear Mrs Ethel Rootham with best wishes from Edith Sitwell’ on the verso of the end paper it has at the top ‘J.L.G. from E.L.R. 1936’, this is John Linton Gardner from Mrs Rootham, this is John Gardner the composer and the the book is from his library. In 1917 Edith wrote to Sassoon to tell him how much she and her brothers sympathised with his protest against the war. Sitwell's closest emotional bond was with another woman, Helen Rootham. In 1903, Rootham, an aspiring poet who translated the works of Arthur Rimbaud into English, was engaged as Edith’s governess. In 1913, the two women left the Sitwell family home and set up lodgings in a small, shabby flat in Pembridge Mansions, Bayswater. Ethel Rootham was Helen’s sister.


Sheppard's Pie

Sheppard Signature

Sheppard’s Pie  - By H. R. L. Sheppard, published in 1935 by Cassell & Co. Ltd., with the author’s autograph in pen ‘Richard Sheppard’ tipped into the title page. This is an anthology of extracts and poems copied down in notebooks by the author that seemed beautiful, significant, helpful or pertinent. Included are four of Sassoon’s poems.






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