Jean Moorcroft Wilson is a celebrated biographer and leading expert on the First World War poets. Shortlisted for the Duff Cooper biography prize for her Isaac Rosenberg, she has also written biographies of Siegfried Sassoon, Charles Hamilton Sorley and Edward Thomas. She has lectured for many years at the University of London, as well as in the United States and South Africa. She is married to the nephew of Leonard and Virginia Woolf, on whom she has also written a widely-praised biography of place.
Commanding ... To encounter [Graves] in these pages is to feel something of the relentlessly explosive energy with which he lived the first half of his life. Wilson lands him like a Zeppelin bomb. * Observer * Jean Moorcroft Wilson has built an unassailable reputation as our leading authority on the poets of the Great War ... Combining intelligent and perceptive criticism of his work, with revealing insights into the man, this study of the devastating impact of the conflict on Graves makes for compelling reading. I cannot recommend it too highly * Nigel Jones, author of Rupert Brooke: Life, Death & Myth * Diligent and insightful ... Jean Moorcroft Wilson teases the truth from Graves's exaggerations, mis-rememberings and downright gibs ... She is by turns compassionate and caustic and is clear sighted ... [Her] close reading of the war poems is illuminating. * The Times * Wilson unveils the poet behind the man struggling to make, not write, poetry [and] clarifies our understanding of what Graves was about * Literary Review *