Buried alive by shell-fire in April 1918, Frank Prewett emerged from French soil convinced he could see and commune with the dead. He poured all of this and much else into some of the most moving but under-discussed poetry of the war.
His brooding good looks and claims of Iroquois ancestry attracted both sexes. While the two convalesced from shell-shock in the Scottish borders, the British poet and aristocrat Siegfried Sassoon fell deeply in love with him. Sassoon introduced Prewett to the cream of the British literary world and Prewett took up residence in the fabulous Oxfordshire home of the “daughter of a thousand earls”, Lady Ottoline Morrell. Virginia Woolf published Prewett’s poetry, he was painted by Dorothy Brett and befriended by Thomas Hardy, W.B. Yeats, Edmund Blunden, Wilfred Owen and Robert Graves.
Amidst the heady vertigo of pandemic-ridden, post-war England, this remarkable Canadian became the toast of elite British literary society—that is, until it all crashed around his ears.
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