WWI poet Sassoon's archive on show for first time

Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:50am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Personal papers from World War One poet Siegfried Sassoon's archive are on display for the first time at Cambridge University Library.

Highlights of the exhibition include the diary entry from Sassoon's first day on the Somme and the telegram summoning him to HQ when he refused to return to duty after being wounded.

Also on show are sketches, letters to and from family and friends, and drafts of his autobiographical prose trilogy, "Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man."

"Dream Voices: Siegfried Sassoon, Memory and War" offers an insight into the life and mind of a soldier whose writings are a defining voice of British involvement in World War One.

"This exhibition explores the ways in which documented, remembered, and imagined elements are interwoven in Sassoon's writings," exhibition curator John Wells in a statement.

Cambridge University Library bought the archive in 2009 from Sassoon's relatives for 1.25 million pounds ($1.9 million).

Along with the library's existing holdings, it is widely considered to be the most important collection of Sassoon manuscripts in the world.

Dream Voices: Siegfried Sassoon, Memory and War is on until December 23.

(Reporting Isabel Coles: Editing by Steve Addison)