George Sassoon

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The Independent Online

In his obituary of George Sassoon [20 April], Philip Hoare writes that "it was only in 1998 that [Rupert] Hart-Davis and George Sassoon agreed to appoint Max Egremont as authorised biographer (after the poet Jon Stallworthy finally gave up his long-announced, and long-delayed, intention to write the official biography)". This is - no doubt unintentionally - misleading, writes Professor Jon Stallworthy. Hart-Davis did, kindly, invite me to undertake a life of Siegfried Sassoon after I had finished that of Louis MacNeice, but I neither "announced" that I would, nor was under contract to do so: indeed, that contract threw up problems that proved insurmountable. I am happy that no such problems impeded the progress and publication of Max Egremont's excellent biography.

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