Testament of Youth
By Vera Brittain
Why this book?
It would be impossible to list books about women in the First World War without putting Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth at the top. More than any other writer, her memoir captures the experience of the generation who lived through that war. Brittain was 20, about to study at Oxford, when war broke out. She gave up her plans to nurse the wounded in London and France. She lost her fiancé, her brother and two close friends to the war and it changed her forever. “The world was mad and we were all victims,” she wrote. Peace brought little solace as she remembered those who had died or lost their loved ones. “The War was over; a new age was beginning; but the dead were dead and would never return.” She became a pacifist, a socialist and a feminist.
When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.