A highly decorated English soldier and an acclaimed poet and novelist, Siegfried Sassoon won fame for his trilogy of fictionalized autobiographies that wonderfully capture the vanishing idylls of Edwardian England and the brutal realities of war.
Having been deemed mentally ill for his anti-war sentiments and sent for treatment, George Sherston comes under the care of neurologist Dr. W. H. R. Rivers, who allows Sherston to sort through his attitudes toward the fighting (events that have also been semi-fictionalized by Pat Barker for her bestselling and critically acclaimed Regeneration Trilogy). After six months in the hospital, Sherston leaves to rejoin his regiment. He is soon dispatched to Ireland, where he attempts to reclaim some of the idyllic fox-hunting days of his youth, then to Palestine. He finally ends up at the Western Front in France, where he is shot in the head while on a reconnaissance mission and invalided back home. As the capstone of Sassoon’s masterful Sherston trilogy, Sherston’s Progress—whose evocation of Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress is not at all accidental—literally brings home the unforgettable journey of George Sherston from aristocratic childhood through war hero and anti-war martyr, all the way to wounded veteran trying to move on from the Great War.