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Testament of Youth (Penguin Classics)

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9780143039235: Testament of Youth (Penguin Classics)
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Giving a voice to a lost generation, this edition features a new introduction by Brittain's biographer. Now a major motion picture starring Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Hayley Atwell, and Taron Egerton

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.

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Review:

In 1914 Vera Brittain was 21 years old, and an undergraduate student at Somerville College, Oxford. When war broke out in August of that year, Brittain "temporarily" disrupted her studies to enrol as a volunteer nurse, nursing casualties both in England and on the Western Front. The next four years were to cause a deep rupture in Brittain's life, as she witnessed not only the horrors of war first hand, but also experienced the quadruple loss of her fiancé, her brother, and two close friends. Testament of Youth is a powerfully written, unsentimental memoir which has continued to move and enthral readers since its first publication in 1933. Brittain, a pacifist since her First World War experiences, prefaces the book with a fairy tale, in which Catherine, the heroine, encounters a fairy godmother and is given the choice of having either a happy youth or a happy old age. She selects the latter and so her fate is determined: "Now this woman," warns the tale, "was the destiny of poor Catherine." And we find as we delve deeper into the book that she was the destiny of poor Vera too.

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"[Testament of Youth] remains one of the most powerful and widely read war memoirs of all time." --The Guardian (London)

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780349010274: Testament Of Youth: An Autobiographical Study of the Years 1900-1925 (Virago classic non-fiction)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10: 0349010277 ISBN 13: 9780349010274
Publisher: Virago, 2018
Softcover

9780349005928: Testament Of Youth: Film Tie In (Virago Modern Classics)

Virago, 2014
Softcover

9781780226590: Testament of Youth

W&N, 2014
Hardcover

9780143108382: Testament of Youth (Movie Tie-In)

Pengui..., 2015
Softcover

9780140188448: Testament of Youth: An Autobiographical Study of the Years 1900-1925 (Penguin Classics)

Pengui..., 1994
Softcover

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