Length: 688 pages
Audiobook Length: 23 hours and 54 minutes
First Published: 1933
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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 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.
Quotes from testament of youth
How fortunate we were who still had hope I did not then realize; I could not know how soon the time would come when we should have no more hope, and yet be unable to die.
There is a strange lack of dignity in conquest; the dull, uncomplaining endurance of defeat appears more worthy of congratulation.
I am less blindly confident than I once was, for I have been learning a truer estimate of myself, my failings and limitations, in these dark days. I have learnt to hope that if there be a Judgment Day of some kind, God will not see us with our own eyes, nor judge us as we judge ourselves.
Movie Trailer for testament of youth (2015)
About vera brittain
Vera Mary Brittain was a British writer and pacifist, best remembered as the author of the best-selling 1933 memoir Testament of Youth, recounting her experiences during World War I and the beginning of her journey towards pacifism. She died in 1970.