Hard Cover. London: Faber and Faber, 1930. First Edition. Very Good.
First edition, limited to 750 numbered copies on English handmade paper signed by Sassoon. Publisher's blue cloth, spine lettered in gilt. A very good copy, spine ends rubbed, spine toned, some light fading to covers, former owner signature to front endpaper. Memoirs of an Infantry Officer is a semi-autobiographical novel about World War I from the spring of 1916 through the summer of 1917, based on Sassoon's own experiences as a decorated soldier in the English army. The novel tells the story of George Sherston, Sasson's fictional alter-ego, as he engages in trench warfare, fights at the battles of the Somme and Arras, suffers injuries in battle, and reflects on the overall state and effectiveness of the war. After being sent home to England to recuperate, Sherston, "concerned with his revulsion of feeling about the war," is determined to speak out in support of the anti-war effort, but is diagnosed with shell-shock and sent to a mental hospital for his opinions. Although Sassoon makes it clear that "those who expect a universalization of the Great War must look for it elsewhere," Memoirs of an Infantry Officer is lauded for its insight into life on the front, and specifically its unapologetic descriptions of a soldier's mentality in trench warfare. It is the second volume in Sassoon's autobiographical "Sherston" trilogy, which also includes Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man (1928) and Sherston's Progress (1936).