Letters from a Lost Generation

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9780349111520: Letters from a Lost Generation

This is a selection of letters, written between 1913 to 1918, between Vera Brittain and four young men - her fiance (Roland Leighton), her brother Edward, and their close friends, Victor Richardson and Geoffrey Thurlow. The letters present a portrait of five young people caught up in the cataclysm of total war. Roland, nicknamed "Monseigneur", is the leader, and his letters most clearly trace the path which led from idealism to disillusionment. Edward, known as "Immaculate of the Trenches", was the more orderly and controlled one - even down to his attire. Geoffrey, the "non-militarist at heart", had not rushed to enlist, but felt compelled to put aside his objections to the war for patriotism's sake and volunteer. Victor, on the other hand, had wanted to convince himself that he could take on the mantle of the warrior and become a military hero. Possessed of sweetness of character, he was known to his friends as "Father Confessor".

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Review:

The events set in motion by the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 changed many lives irrevocably. For Vera Brittain, an Oxford undergraduate who left her studies to volunteer as a nurse in military hospitals in England and France, the war was a shattering experience; she not only witnessed the horrors inflicted by combat through her work, but she lost the four men closest to her at that time--her fiancé, Roland Leighton, brother Edward, and two close friends, Geoffrey Thurlow and Victor Nicholson, who all died on the battlefield.

Letters from a Lost Generation, a collection of previously unpublished correspondence between Brittain and these young men--all public schoolboys at the start of the war--chronicles her relationship with them, and reveals "the old lie," the idealized glory of patriotic duty that was soon overtaken by the grim reality of the Flanders trenches. The letters are lively, dramatic, immediate and, despite the awfulness of war, curiously optimistic: "Somehow I feel the end is not destined to be here and now. We have not fulfilled ourselves--and someday we shall live our roseate poem through," wrote Vera in one of her last letters to Roland in December 1915, just days before he was killed by a sniper's bullet. Following his death, and later those of their mutual friends Victor and Geoffrey, Vera's letters take on a new, raw intensity as she concentrates all her emotions on her brother--a hero awarded the Military Cross--until his death on the Italian Front in June 1918. These letters formed the basis of Vera Brittain's remarkable autobiography, Testament of Youth, and vividly bring to life the voices of the lost generation whose words threaten to be lost forever as the First World War recedes even further from living memory. --Catherine Taylor, Amazon.co.uk

About the Author:

Mark Bostridge is the co-author of Vera Brittain: A Life (Chatto & Windus 1995), which was shortlisted for several prizes. Alan Bishop is Professor of English at McMaster University in Ontario and has edited three volumes of Vera Brittain's diaries.

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Bishop, Alan
Editore: Little Brown UK (1999)
ISBN 10: 0349111529 ISBN 13: 9780349111520
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Descrizione libro Little Brown UK, 1999. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Never used!. Codice libro della libreria P110349111529

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Alan Bishop
Editore: Little Brown UK (1999)
ISBN 10: 0349111529 ISBN 13: 9780349111520
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Irish Booksellers
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Descrizione libro Little Brown UK, 1999. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria M0349111529

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