a remarkably candid and detailed letter explaining why he supplemented "Sherston" with "Sassoon" in The Old Century, discussing his development as a writer, referring to his war experiences and w.h.rivers ("one of the finest men I've ever known"), and disclosing the identities behind the pseudonyms in Memoirs of an Infantry Officer, 2 closely written pages, small 4to, Heytesbury House, Wiltshire, 18 January 1939, two small pieces of tape near top edge (not obscuring text)
[together with:] The Old Century and Seven More Years. Faber and Faber, 1938, first edition, 8vo, original cloth, ownership inscription in ink on front endpaper, extremities worn
"...I began the Foxhunting Man with the idea of eliminating myself and using my sporting experiences as a thread for the narrative. It was my first prose book, & I was an amateur, feeling my way...I eliminated all my family history...& made Sherston a sort of country cousin of my real self. As the Trilogy progressed, I put more & more of myself into it. All the War part is exact autobiography..."
"...In 'The Old Century' I have tried to begin a description of the growth of a poet's mind...I made [it] as harmonious & happy as I could -- partly because human memory is a mechanism which does eliminate...unpleasant things; & partly because I wanted to give my readers pleasure, & relief from the harassing uncertainties of this very bad period through which we are passing..."
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