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21 February 1991
The Collected Letters of Charles Hamilton Sorley 
edited by Jean Moorcroft Wilson.
Cecil Woolf, 310 pp., £25, November 1990, 9780900821547
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Ivor Gurney: Collected Letters 
edited by R.K.R Thornton.
Mid-Northumberland Arts Group/Carcanet, 579 pp., £25, February 1991, 0 85635 941 6
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... but never (the young man’s vice) priggish. His intelligence, far from bullying, evinced itself in a throwaway manner, and there was nothing calculated about his charm. His letters, some of which JeanMoorcroftWilson used to excellent effect in her biography of 1985, are more immediately engaging than those of Wilfred Owen, if less touching. Sorley enjoyed a better start in life, his father being ...

I fret and fret

Adam Phillips: Edward Thomas

5 November 2015
Edward Thomas: From Adelstrop to Arras 
by Jean Moorcroft Wilson.
Bloomsbury, 480 pp., £25, May 2015, 978 1 4081 8713 5
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... that up to about the age of four what he called ‘a sweet darkness’ enfolded him ‘with a faint blessing’. It was, though, a darkness and the blessing was faint. ‘From an early age’, JeanMoorcroftWilson writes, Thomas ‘felt cursed by a self-consciousness he believed the chief cause of his later problems and depression’. It made him at once shy and withdrawn but also equivocal in his ...

Trouble down there

Ferdinand Mount: Tea with Sassoon

7 August 2003
Siegfried Sassoon: The Making of a War Poet 1886-1918 
by Jean Moorcroft Wilson.
Duckworth, 600 pp., £9.99, September 2002, 0 7156 2894 1
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Siegfried Sassoon: The Journey from the Trenches 1918-67 
by Jean Moorcroft Wilson.
Duckworth, 526 pp., £30, April 2003, 0 7156 2971 9
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Sassoon: The Worlds of Philip and Sybil 
by Peter Stansky.
Yale, 295 pp., £25, April 2003, 0 300 09547 3
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... of Modern Quotations includes a dozen of them, mostly in their entirety. Interest in his life is sharpening. After John Stuart Roberts’s compact and readable single volume of 1999, we now have JeanMoorcroftWilson’s double-header, with Max Egremont’s somewhat shorter Life expected soon. Sassoon’s story has also reached a wider audience through television re-creations and through Pat ...

Adjusting the Mechanism

Colin Burrow: Robert Graves

11 October 2018
Robert Graves: From a Great War Poet to ‘Goodbye to All That’, 1895-1929 
by Jean Moorcroft Wilson.
Bloomsbury, 461 pp., £25, August 2018, 978 1 4729 2914 3
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The Reader over Your Shoulder: A Handbook for Writers of English Prose 
by Robert Graves and Alan Hodge.
Seven Stories, 613 pp., £30, September 2017, 978 1 60980 733 7
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... do those two voices shout at each other across the parade ground as loudly as they do in the work of Robert Graves. This​ makes him a very difficult subject for a biography. The first volume of JeanMoorcroftWilson’s Life is extremely thorough. It sets out the facts of Graves’s life throughout the period covered by Goodbye to All That (roughly speaking up until Riding’s leap from the ...

From Pandemonium

Elizabeth Cook: Poetry wrested from mud

1 September 2005
The Poems and Plays of Isaac Rosenberg 
edited by Vivien Noakes.
Oxford, 427 pp., £90, August 2004, 0 19 818715 7
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... and the last by Ian Parsons. This was reissued in paperback in 1984 but has long been out of print. In 1975 three biographies of Rosenberg were published and in 2003 two of those biographers – JeanMoorcroftWilson and Jean Liddiard – produced selections from his work, the latter also containing a substantial selection of Rosenberg’s letters. With Rosenberg it has been feast or fast. Vivien ...

By San Carlos Water

Neal Ascherson

18 November 1982
Authors take sides on the Falklands 
edited by Cecil Woolf and Jean Moorcroft Wilson.
Cecil Woolf, 144 pp., £4.95, August 1982, 0 900821 63 9
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The Falklands War: The Full Story 
by the Sunday Times ‘Insight’ Team.
Deutsch and Sphere, 276 pp., £2.50, October 1982, 0 233 97515 2
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The Winter War: The Falklands 
by Patrick Bishop and John Witherow.
Quartet, 153 pp., £2.95, September 1982, 0 7043 3424 0
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Iron Britannia: Why Parliament waged its Falklands war 
by Anthony Barnett.
Allison and Busby, 160 pp., £2.95, November 1982, 0 85031 494 1
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Falklands/Malvinas: Whose Crisis? 
by Martin Honeywell.
Latin American Bureau, 135 pp., £1.95, September 1982, 0 906156 15 7
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Los Chicos de la Guerra 
by Daniel Kon.
Editorial Galerna, Buenos Aires, August 1982
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A Message from the Falklands: The Life and Gallant Death of David Tinker, Lieut RN 
compiled by Hugh Tinker.
Junction, 224 pp., £3.50, November 1982, 0 86245 102 7
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... When they heard that Britain was sending troops to recover the Falklands, many in this country were inclined to laugh. Some farcical anti-climax was expected – Anguilla on a wider stage, with penguins. Events which soon followed, ending with Mrs Thatcher taking the salute at a victory parade, have made it hard to remember why it all at first seemed so comic. But the early incredulity often made points ...

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