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Julian Symons, 22 July 1993

Imagination of the Heart: The Life of Walter de la Mare 
by Theresa Whistler.
Duckworth, 478 pp., £25, May 1993, 9780715624302
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... most valuable human powers are at their height in childhood, and then slowly decline. The title of Theresa Whistler’s biography is taken from a comparison he made between the imagination of the heart and of the intellect, to the benefit of the former. A still more relevant title would have been ‘Imagination of the Innocent Eye’. He tried, in life ...

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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... about the succession of lovers or near-lovers – Gabriel Atkin, Ivor Novello, Noël Coward, Rex Whistler and above all the unbearable Stephen Tennant with his pearls and tantrums – but these tortuous episodes, in which Sassoon often gave as much hell as he got, are greatly revealing of his dissatisfaction as well as evocative of the period. Wilson ...

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