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Boston College collection of Siegfried Sassoon

Collection MS-1986-051: Boston College collection of Siegfried Sassoon


  • Creation: before 1930-1964

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the work of British Catholic poet Siegfried Sassoon through his letters and poems. His poem, "An Unwritten 'Essay on Satire'," is a three-page manuscript that he sent to Robert Graves. His printed poem "Rogation" was probably an enclosure in his correspondence with poet Katherine Kendall, which is included in this collection. The letters to Kendall discuss her work, as well as religious and modern poetry. Also included is Kendall's The Horizon and Other Poems (1963). Finally, there is one piece of correspondence from Sassoon to Addyes Scott in response to a fan letter.


Restrictions on access

Collection is open for research.

Restrictions on use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Biographical note

Siegfried Loraine Sassoon was born to Alfred Sassoon and Theresa Thornycroft on September 8, 1886. He attended Clare College in Cambridge, first studying law and then history, but left without a degree. He spent his years prior to World War I hunting and writing poetry. From 1906 to 1913, Sassoon produced eleven volumes of poetry, all of which were privately published.

In May 1915, Sassoon was commissioned into the Royal Welch Fusiliers and sent to France. During the war, Sassoon lost his brother and a close friend, and was also wounded himself. His successful efforts to save wounded members of his platoon earned him the Military Cross. Influenced by British pacifists such as John Middleton Murray and Bertrand Russell, Sassoon began to distrust Britain’s handling of the war. He wrote "A Soldier’s Declaration" against the war in July 1917.

After the war, Sassoon became the literary editor of The Socialist Daily Herald and undertook a speaking tour of the United States. In 1928, Sassoon published The Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man, the first of six autobiographical works. He married Hester Gatty in 1938 but the couple divorced in 1945. Sassoon converted to Roman Catholicism in 1957 and lived at home in Heytesbury House in Wiltshire, England until his death at the age of eighty in 1967.


McDowell, Margaret B. "Siegfried Sassoon (8 September 1886-3 September 1967)." In British Poets, 1914-1945, edited by Donald E. Stanford, 321-335. Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 20. Detroit, MI: Gale, 1983. Gale Literature: Dictionary of Literary Biography (Accessed April 1, 2020). Gale Document Number: GALE|ENFDGW239754642.

“Mr. Siegfried Sassoon Obituary: Poet, Fox-Hunter, Soldier and Pacifist.” The Times (London), Sept. 4, 1967.

Hart-Davis, Rupert. "Sassoon, Siegfried Loraine (1886–1967), Poet and Writer." In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2004.


.5 Linear Feet (1 container)

Language of Materials



This collection contains a poem manuscript by twentieth-century British Catholic poet Siegfried Sassoon entitled "An Unwritten 'Essay on Satire'," correspondence from Sassoon to Addyes Scott and Katharine Kendall, and two printed works: The Horizon and Other Poems by Kendall and "Rogation" by Sassoon.

Custodial History

A note on the inside leaf of the poem "An Unwritten 'Essay on Satire'" indicates that it was originally given by Sassoon to Robert Graves. Graves later sold the poem to a book dealer and it was purchased by Godfrey Seton in November, 1930.


Because the current accessioning system was not used until January 1986, it is not possible to know exactly the dates of acquisition of materials received before that time. Notes on early descriptive material indicate that the poem manuscript was purchased from Bertram Rota, Ltd.


Boston College collection of Siegfried Sassoon
before 1930-1964
Edward Copenhagen
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States