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Cambridge University Library displays Siegfried Sassoon archive

21st July 2010

The highlights of war poet Siegfried Sassoon's personal archive have been put on display to the public for the first time.

Opening today, Cambridge University Library's Dream Voices: Siegfried Sassoon, Memory and War exhibition features the writer's trench journals, the diaries of his post-war years, manuscripts of his poetry and correspondence with friends and family.

John Wells, the curator of the show, commented: 'Sassoon was a dedicated diarist and kept a great deal of his correspondence so when he came to write about his life he could draw on a collection of first-hand sources.'

Sassoon biographer Max Egremont added that the collection offers an 'astonishingly frank and revealing' insight into the mind of the poet, who also wrote prose works such as Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man and Memoirs of an Infantry Officer.

The exhibition comes after the library acquired the archive from Sassoon's relatives in a GBP 1.25 million deal, which was supported by Andrew Motion, Sebastian Faulks and Michael Morpurgo.

Birdsong author Faulks described the acquisition of the collection as a 'major coup' for the UK's literature and history scholars.

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