Chronicle of Youth Vera Brittain
Vera Brittain's bestselling Testament of Youth was based on her own copious diaries which have a much greater intimacy and immediacy than the account written for publication. These are those diaries. They begin in the carefree summer of 1913 with a blossoming romance and earnest discussions about the purpose of life and the nature of God - but not about the onset of war, which takes them by surprise. The diary entries that follow that blissful period begin to darken rapidly. Her brother, her fiance and most of their young men friends are killed in the war. Vera herself goes from knitting helmets and bandaging classes to abandoning her studies at Oxford to train as a nurse. She spent the remainder of the war nursing war-wounded men, among them German prisoners. Her diaries written in London, Malta and France, contain moving descriptions of battle scenes; Zeppelin horrors over London and provide a poignant insight into the mind of this generous-hearted girl who was to become a beacon of the feminist movement.She emerged from these horrifying testing years a committed and lifelong pacifist.