In the spirit of Remembrance Sunday I have decided to start reading Vera Brittain’s masterpiece, A Testament of Youth, which was first published in 1933 but describes the tumultuous and devastating period of her life, and the nation’s, between 1900-1925. I have had this book sitting on my shelf for about five or six years – as part of my A Level English Literature studies we did a module on World War One Literature and I was so intrigued and fascinated by the literature that came out of this period that I bought a lot of extra-curricular reading that I have, since, not had the time to read.
Now, as an act of remembrance, I feel it is only fitting to read a piece of literature that is described as the ‘locus classics of the myth of the lost generation’ (‘Introduction’ to A Testament of Youth, Mark Bostridge, pg. xvi). Not only does Brittain’s writing describe, in detail, the important role of women in the First World War, but it also remembers the loss of important male figures in her life, so the futility of their death’s would not be forgotten. It is incredible to think that next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War One when the sheer magnitude and the horrific scale of such a war is still so difficult for me to grasp and come to terms with.