Vera Mary Brittain: Testament of Youth

(1452 words)

First published in 1933, fifteen years after the end of World War I, Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth became an instant success and helped to define autobiography in the 20th Century; in 1979 the BBC produced a film based on the story, which was aired in the UK, and on PBS Masterpiece Theater in the U.S. The book remains the only major account of World War I written by a woman. After numerous attempts to write her story through poetry and fiction, Brittain finally realized that the best way to represent her experience was through life writing. She wrote in the Foreword to Testament of Youth: “Only, I felt, by some such attempt to write history in terms of personal life could I rescue …

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Ockerstrom, Lolly. "Testament of Youth". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 June 2008
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. World War 1 Literature