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Much of what we know and feel about the First World War we owe to Vera Brittain’s elegiac yet unsparing book, which set a standard for memoirists from Martha Gellhorn to Lillian Hellman. Abandoning her studies at Oxford in 1915 to enlist as a nurse in the armed services, Brittain served in London, in Malta, and on the Western Front. By war’s end she had lost virtually everyone she loved. Testament of Youth is both a record of what she lived through and an elegy for a vanished generation. Hailed by the Times Literary Suplement as a book that helped “both form and define the mood of its time,” it speaks to any generation that has been irrevocably changed by war.
This edition features a new introduction by Brittain’s biographer examining her struggles to write about her experiences and the book’s reception in England and America.
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“[Testament of Youth]remains one of the most powerful and widely read war memoirs of all time.” —The Guardian (London)
About Vera Brittain
Vera Brittain (1893–1970) served as a nurse in the British armed forces in World War I and afterward devoted herself to the causes of peace and feminism. She wrote twenty-nine books, of which Testament of Youth is the best-known.
Paperback | $21.00
Published by Penguin Classics May 31, 2005| 688 Pages| 5-1/16 x 7-3/4| ISBN 9780143039235