This poignant biography delves into the troubled life of one of Britain's foremost First World War poets who served in the front line and became disenchanted with the horrors of the Great Slaughter.

Sassoon, along with Rupert Brooke and a handful of other such writers, expressed their feelings in their work, which increasingly reflected the public mood. The poets became permanent icons representing the so-called lost generation.

The success of his poetry made him a celebrity and after the war he was, for a time, a prominent figure on the London literary and artistic scene. At heart however, he was a country lover rather than a socialite, and one of his most successful prose works was his book, Memoirs Of A Fox-Hunting Man.

Egremont gives us interesting details of Sassoon's gay affairs. One long-term relationship was with the legendary - some might say notorious - Stephen Tennant, an outrageous and temperamental queen with a penchant for cross-dressing and facial make-up who was one of the famed 1920s 'Bright Young Things.' Sassoon ended up a lonely and rather unhappy old man, living in a world in which poetry such as his, which rhymed, scanned and was comprehensible, was increasingly regarded as dated. Nonetheless his work is indelibly inscribed on history.

Anthony Looch