NPR Story
3:10 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

WWI Poet's Diaries Now Online

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 4:08 pm

As Britain marks the 100th anniversary of its entry into World War I, the notebooks of one of the country’s most famous war poets are being published for the first time.

Siegfried Sassoon served on the Western Front and he recorded his experiences in small diaries that are filled with sketches and anecdotes that express the horrors of World War I, the so-called Great War.

Sassoon describes life in the trenches, the moment he was shot by a sniper during the Battle of Arras. His depiction of the first day of the horribly bloody Battle of the Somme is a “sunlit picture of hell.”

John Wells, curator of literary manuscripts at the Cambridge University Library, joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the contents of the diaries. He curated the library’s 2010 exhibition “Dream Voices: Siegfried Sassoon, Memory and War.”

Guest

  • John Wells, curator of literary manuscripts at the Cambridge University Library. He curated the library’s 2010 exhibition “Dream Voices: Siegfried Sassoon, Memory and War.”
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