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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A deeply thought provoking novel on the loss of innocence
We are constantly told that change is inevitable. This book marks the point when the modern world began and poignantly commemorates the loss of time-honoured tradition and constancy. I do not look back to a "golden age" but would urge anyone that looks to the future to read this book and understand how easily the good things can be thrown away.
Published on 6 Feb 2003

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Memoirs of a Fox-hunting Man
I found it dated and boring. The central character was selfish and self-absorbed, even when he reached the Front
in the War he appeared sheltered from the real horrors. I can only imagine that Sassoon was painting a picture of
a life of privilege before the first World War in order to show in later work how the war changed that life.
Published 1 month ago by Penelope A Fielding


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A deeply thought provoking novel on the loss of innocence, 6 Feb 2003
By A Customer
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We are constantly told that change is inevitable. This book marks the point when the modern world began and poignantly commemorates the loss of time-honoured tradition and constancy. I do not look back to a "golden age" but would urge anyone that looks to the future to read this book and understand how easily the good things can be thrown away.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lost World of Carefreeness, 10 Jan 2003
By 
fields21 "fields21" (Hoogerheide, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
Being Dutch, I took an interest in this strange habit (no room for foxhunting in Holland)which creates so big a fuss these days was all about. This novel depicts the Great Days - the Edwardian era - of this British event, with hunting parties all over the country. . Clearly, a hunt or a 'event' was in those days as much a jolly social event as was village cricket. Though even then, there were protesting farmers. But the fox-hunt is not what this book is about (I suspected that much).
The book is great reading about the England John Major famously once wanted to return to. Sunny leasure days, village cricket, tailors in London, slow trains, hores races, stable grooms & no worries in the world. People were never in a hurry and had much more time on their hands. No shopping malls, no traffic jams, no rush. Halfway through the book there's mention of a character who 'is something in the City' as if this is extremely odd. Furthermore, your classic retired Army Colonels, Country Mansions and Village Vicars are all over the pages. Fantastic!
The hunt is the only passion of the author - more precisely riding his horse through the fields, jumping fences & being out in the open with a troop of dogs is what it was all about. The Great British Passion for Horses & everything that comes with it is vividly described all through the book.
And then came to war - The Great British Army stumbling into their worst nightware in the same carefree Edwardian way. People dying, but the author makes it perfectably understandable he only cares about his favourite horse. Still, his tone remains lighth hearted about the whole thing until the very end of the book, when personal losses enrage the author.

Great book, with a nice melancholy touch, depicting in detail a way of life which is - sad to say - forever gone - no point in arguing about it. A great historical classic. Recommended!
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia at its best!, 20 Jan 2004
By 
Angus Grant "angusgrant3" (North Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This has to be one of the finest books that I have read in a very long time. It runs for me along two lines. The first is as an exceptionally refined piece of nostalgia that captures an era which was to be lost forever. The second is the gradual withdrawal of youth's self centred outlook on life as time progresses.
As a piece of nostalgia the book is in its element. Numerous stories abound of hunting, cricket, point to point races and other upper-middle class activities which are framed so beautifully by the wirters love and adept decsriptions of the surrounding countryside. This priveliged Edwardian life is one of the primary aspects of the novel and it is made all the more fun as the narrative gradually becomes more and more dated as time goes on - most notably their attitudes to class and of course fox hunting (of which there is actually at least one reference to an Edwardian anti fox hunting movement!)
The nostalgic nature of the book is an absolute pre requisite for the books main thrusting theme - that of lost time. The lives and traditions of the priveliged few are unalterably changed by WW1, the beginnings of which take up the last two chapters of the book. These last sections make for an astounding contrast to the rest of the book and enables the reader to a) fully appreciate the comparative horrors of conditions in the trenches, and b) sit by helplessly as this young man's world is torn apart.
This is a must read for anyone who loves Sassoons poetry, has a deep interest in the horrors of war, or enjoys looing back nostalgically on times that we thought were better. Times that were either better because our memories have failed us, or better because it is all before age has exposed our ego-centric universe to the "deepening sadnesses of life".
An excellent read!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Evocative account of an Edwardian childhood., 29 Oct 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Memoirs of a Fox-hunting Man (Paperback)
Siegfried Sassoon is probably best known as a poet of the First World War and the patient of Dr W H R Rivers from Pat Barker's "Regeneration" trilogy, or as one of the main characters in Gillies Mackinnon's film of "Regeneration".
With the First World War very much in the minds of present day readers, this account of the lost pre-War life in England for a well-to-do and leisured young man beautifully evokes a lifestyle and countryside we ourselves can hardly imagine. The Kent and Sussex countryside are lovingly depicted by Sassoon in "Memoirs of a Fox-hunting Man" and his account of the "Flower Show Match" is beloved of cricketing enthusiasts. The book covers the childhood of the poet in a fictionalised form, through the alter ego of George Sherston. Although Sassoon orphans himself in this account of his childhood, we can still see the love of the English countryside that comes out in Sassoon's early poetry, his pleasure in fox-hunting and playing cricket, and the beginnings of the man who was to become the bravely foolhardy officer of the First World War.
This book is the first of a trilogy covering the life of the protagonist George Sherston, the other two titles being "Memoirs of an Infantry Officer" and "Sherston's Progress".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fox-hunting Man, 1 May 2009
This is a must read for everyone interested in English social history in the early 20th century and the experiences and anxieties of a very brave man and soldier during the First World War. One to read again and again.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An elegaic portrayal of a comfortable world on the brink, 14 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This is a remarkable book that can be read on several different levels. It does indeed give an exhilirating account of hunting and even people with anti-hunt sentiments (like myself) can feel the excitement of the sport described in such detail. What makes the book almost unbearably poignant however is the knowledge that this comfortable world of Edwardian elegance is about to be destroyed in the Flanders mud. It is the knowledge that this amiable, idle young man will become the tortured war poet that gives one sympathy for the author who otherwise seems a somewhat feckless member of the middle classes. The quality of writing is excellent but it is the Chechovian cloud of doom hanging over this gilded, bucolic world that kept me enthralled.
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5.0 out of 5 stars brillaint, 15 Nov 2013
Dont be put off by the title, this is a sensitive and brilliant memoir that will appeal to everyone, the cover's a bit brown but don't let that put you off!
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5.0 out of 5 stars old world, 13 July 2013
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Beautiful English....pleasure to read.England before the 1st WW.A gentle reminder of things that was.Avivd reminder of things after the war.A must for lovers of good English
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5.0 out of 5 stars A true classic, 20 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Memoirs of a Fox-hunting Man (Paperback)
This book doesn't need me to recommend it, it has stood the test of time. Sassoon captures the mood and atmosphere of life at the time superbly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Vivid reminders of an increasingly forgotten conflict!, 30 Mar 2013
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Siegfried Sassoon is in my view a great writer and poet whose works should be required reading for students of history and English but also for anyone who seeks an insight into the horrors of war.This first book of the trilogy and all three should be read leads us through the early life of George Sherston until we see his entry into the infantry . A well written book and in my view a classic of English literature.
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Memoirs of a Fox-hunting Man
Memoirs of a Fox-hunting Man by Siegfried Sassoon (Paperback - 31 Jan 1974)
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