SASSOON, Siegfried Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man. London: Faber and Faber Ltd., 1929.
8vo., publisher's cream cloth boards, upper board with lettering printed in black, and 'Fox' device in black and red; backstrip lettered in black with painted red label; lower board with red device and publisher's name in black; outer edges untrimmed; pictorial endpapers and devices by William Nicholson, along with an additional seven full-page illustrations behind tissue; pp. [viii], 9-295, [i]; upper edge and spine a little dusty; one small red mark to upper cover; endpapers offset; one illustration missing the tissue guard, the others loose but present; else a very good example, lacking the dust wrapper.
First illustrated edition, printed at the Chiswick Press. This copy with a presentation inscription from the author to his army doctor J. C. Dunn, dated Armistice day 11.11.29 incorporating the printed design on the half-title.
J. C. Dunn (1871-1955) enlisted in December 1899, volunteering for the Second Boer War as a trooper in the Montgomeryshire yeomanry where he served for over a year, gaining a Distinguished Conduct Medal for bravery. Towards the end of the war he served briefly as a civil surgeon with the army in South Africa, before returning to his medical career in London. At the outbreak of the First World War I, aged forty three, Dunn again volunteered, serving as a Regimental Medical Officer for the Royal Welch Fusiliers. He wrote of his official role that: "The first duty of a battalion medical officer in War is to discourage the evasion of duty ... not seldom against one's better feelings, sometimes to the temporary hurt of the individual, but justice to all other men as well as discipline demands it." He is best known for his memoir The War the Infantry Knew, first published in 1938.
Dunn was army doctor to both Siegfried Sassoon and Robert Graves, appearing in both of their memoirs (he appears as Munro in Memoirs of an Infantry Officer). A few small pencil notes to margins are likely by Dunn, identifying the actual places referred to in the text.
Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man was Sassoon's first foray into the world of prose, having previously concentrated solely on poetry. Sassoon was motivated to write the work after a war incident, when a fox was loose in the trenches and one of his friends shot and killed it. The book also draws heavily on his pre-war life, with riding and hunting being among the favourite pastimes of the author. The book won both the Hawthornden Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and has been a set text in schools ever since its publication.