I can hear the creak of the saddle and the clop and clink of hoofs as we cross the bridge over the brook by Dundell Farm; there is a light burning in the farmhouse window, and the evening star glitters above a broken drift of half-luminous cloud. It is with a sigh that I remember simple moments such as those, when I understood so little of the deepening sadness of life, and only the strangeness of the spring was knocking at my heart.
In the 1920s, a young man, grappling with the horrors of the war from which he had just returned, decided to write about a happier time. A time of cricket matches and fox-hunting, the busyness of village life and the shyness of youth.
That man was Siegfried Sassoon, and this is his book. Originally published anonymously, it went on to become Faber & Faber's first bestseller. A classic depiction of pre-First World War Britain, Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man tells two mirrored stories, about a boy coming of age and a country losing its innocence.