Testament of Youth

Testament of Youth

An Autobiographical Study of the Years 1900-1925

Book - 2005
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Penguin Putnam
Soon To Be A Major Motion Picture Starring Alicia Vikander and Kit Harington

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 theTimes Literary Supplement 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.
* New introduction by Brittain's biographer examines her struggles to write about her experiences and the book's reception in England and America

Baker & Taylor
An autobiographical account of a young nurse's involvement in World War I describes how the author left her studies at Oxford to enlist as a nurse for the armed services; her work in London, in Malta, and on the Western front; her personal experiences; and the lasting influence of the First World War on her life. Reissue.

Blackwell North Amer
Now a major motion picture starring Alicia Vikander and Kit Harington

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.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 2005
ISBN: 9780143039235
0143039237
Branch Call Number: B BRITTAIN
Characteristics: xix, 661 p. ; 20 cm

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sharon711
Nov 12, 2014

An emotional account of the Great War, 1914-18, through the eyes of a young, intelligent girl who is driven by the causes of her day.

Her account of how British women got the vote in the early years of the 20th century is fascinating, as Vera was indeed one of the leaders of that movement. Her memories of losing all the young men who mattered to her in her own life paralleled the loss of a generation of young women. Finally, Vera’s decision to transfer her sphere of study from Literature to history so that she could understand better why the war was fought and channel the outcome of the conflict led her to become an expert in the league of Nations and a voice for women’s issues everywhere.

A wonderful women whose daughter continued in her footsteps, the two made a mark on women’s rights in today’s world and deserve to be remembered proudly.

Fascinating reading as an historical account through the eyes of one who was there. But the book can be heavy slugging at times, with much detail and poetic waxing. It was written in the days of Downton Abbey and must be enjoyed as a window on the past.

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Cecilturtle
Apr 17, 2012

I very much enjoyed Brittain's style, her unbridled energy, her determined feminism, her sense of adventure. She does this in a colourful, descriptive style. There is much honesty and pure emotion, both positive and negative, which plunge the reader in the heart of her life: its miseries as well as its successes. While I appreciate this book is valuable as a detailed description of the times, I sometimes found it long and I slogged through many chapters: the dull years in France, the combative political implications. For historians, it is doubtless gold; for the fiction reader that I am, it is at times rather tedious. This doesn't take away, however, from the fact that Brittain is an exceptional woman of courage and strength, one who has done much for women's rights and one who has given a voice to an entire generation.

ragamuffin Oct 05, 2010

This is a beautifully written and moving book, it gives a real sense of what it was like growing up during the First World War and the terrible toll it took on people.

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