I dug a lot of books out of the attic during my recent clean up and decluttering binge, and one of them was Testament of Youth which is Vera Brittain’s autobiography from 1900 – 1925, definitely one for keeping and re-reading. This book was first published in 1933 and the BBC dramatised it years ago.
I think I saw the tv programmes first but soon after that I bought the book and the sequel Testament of Experience.
Vera Brittain was one of the very few women to get into an Oxford College in 1914 but after one year she gave up her studies to become a VAD nurse and ended up nursing in London, Malta and at the Front in France. It’s a heart-breaking read as all of the young men close to her are lost, including her fiance and her beloved brother Edward. But if you are interested in World War 1 then this is a “must read”.
Vera became a pacifist and was active in the League of Nations. She did get married and her daughter is Shirley Williams, who was once a lib-dem M.P. and is now in the House of Lords.
I think I’ll buy the dvds because I haven’t seen the series since it was first shown.
I like this anniversary cover although it isn’t the one which I have, mine has Cheryl Campbell on the front, she played the part of Vera in the series.