"THE FIRST MAN WHO EVER DESCRIBED WAR FULL AND EXACTLY": SCARCE FIRST EDITION OF SASSOON'S THE WAR POEMS, 1919, IN RARE ORIGINAL DUST JACKET
SASSOON, Siegfried. The War Poems of Siegfried Sassoon. London: William Heinemann, (1919). Small octavo, original red cloth, original printed paper labels; pp. ix, (1), 11-95, (1), original dust jacket. $3200.
First edition of a powerful collection of WWI war poems by Sassoon, who "opened the dug-out door to the poet of modern war," most written while in the hospital recovering from his war injuries. including 12 poems never before publicly issued, in scarce original cloth and dust jacket.
Sassoon and Owen are "the two great English poets of WWI… Sassoon had, in Hemingway's phrase, 'been there'… As Edmund Blunden asserts: 'It was his triumph to be the first man who ever described war full and exactly'… But Sassoon did more than document conditions in the trenches. He also composed a number of deeply moving elegiac pieces—for example… Repression of War Experience is a 'tour de force'… Sassoon opened the dug-out door to the poet of modern war" (Campbell, 84). Sassoon wrote most of the poems in this scarce work while in the hospital, recovering from his war injuries, and "on 30 October, Heinemann published The War Poems, 64 poems of which 12—including Concert Party, Night on the Convoy, Aftermath and Everyone Sang had not been in The Old Huntsman (1917) or Counter-Attack (1918), although nine of them were in the privately printed Picture Show (1919)… 2,000 copies were printed" (Egremont, 240). Keynes A20. Reilly, 286.
Book nearly fine with mild toning to spine and spine leaning slightly, rare dust jacket extremely good with small chip to head of spine just affecting spine title, single tape repair to verso, and wear and toning to extremities. A most desirable copy.