Max Egremont was born in 1948 and studied Modern History at Oxford University. As well as four novels, he is the author of The Cousins and Balfour: A Life of Arthur James Balfour. His acclaimed biography of Siegfried Sassoon was published in 2005 and his most recent work is Forgotten Land: Journeys Among the Ghosts of East Prussia.
A classic First World War poem from Isaac Rosenberg.
by Edward Thomas
The sun used to shine while we two walked
Slowly together, paused and started
Again, and sometimes mused, sometimes talked
As either pleased, and cheerfully parted
by Max Egremont
It seems incredibly weird now that western civilisation could have lurched into the First World War. How could the politicians – men of education and experience – not have foreseen the catastrophic consequences of machine-age warfare?
I'd never come across the poet Charles Sorley before reading Some Desperate Glory: The First World War the Poets Knew by Max Egremont. He studied in Germany before the outbreak of the First World War and, upon returning to England, joined the Suffolk regiment...