Testament of Youth

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What to expect

This classic memoir of the First World War is now a major motion picture starring Alicia Vikander and Kit Harington.

In 1914 Vera Brittain was 20, and as war was declared she was preparing to study at Oxford. Four years later her life – and the life of her whole generation – had changed in a way that would have been unimaginable in the tranquil pre-war era.

TESTAMENT OF YOUTH, one of the most famous autobiographies of the First World War, is Brittain’s account of how she survived those agonising years; how she lost the man she loved; how she nursed the wounded and how she emerged into an altered world. A passionate record of a lost generation, it made Vera Brittain one of the best-loved writers of her time, and has lost none of its power to shock, move and enthral readers since its first publication in 1933.

(p) 1998 Soundings

Critics Review

  • Vera Brittain’s heart-rending account of the way her generation’s lives changed is still as shocking and moving as ever.

  • Like the much-misunderstood poppy, Testament both memorializes and warns… to remain uninformed is actually life-threatening.

  • it was a surprise to pick her book up now and discover how very good it is.

    The Guardian
  • sublimely moving… this is a truly great book… should be compulsory reading for the nation’s debauched and aimless yobs and yobettes

  • essential reading, not just as an anti-war polemic but as a portrait of a whole generation of young people who were totally ill-prepared and whose lives were utterly changed within four momentous years.

  • brilliantly captures the protracted horrors of a war into which her generation was preciptated unprepared… as a personal and social document of its turbulent times, written from the viewpoint of a serious and reflective young woman, this autobiographical work fully merits rediscovery.


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