Testament Of Youth

An Autobiographical Study of the Years 1900-1925 (Virago classic non-fiction)

Recommended by Wade Davis, and 1 others. See all reviews

Ranked #12 in World War I, Ranked #92 in War Fictionsee more rankings.

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 Supplement as a book that helped “both form and define the mood... more

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Wade Davis To me, Testament of Youth is simply one of the finest, most heart-rending and most moving memoirs – not just of the Great War, but of any conflict. Women often spoke of the war and their losses through the metaphor of dance. Nancy Cooper famously said that “by the end of 1916 every boy that I had ever danced with was dead”. Vera Brittain simply said: “There was no one left to dance with.” (Source)

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