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Jim Mumford's Annotated Bibliography

From Women in European History

Jim Mumford's Annotated Bibliography

Vera Brittain

Brittain, Vera. Testament of Youth. New York, New York: Penguin Books, 2005.

Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth is a memoir which chronicles the author’s experiences between the years 1913 and 1925 and describes the impact of WWI on her generation. She also writes about growing up in a provincial English town, where she was discouraged from her pursuing her dream, which was to attend Oxford. A heart-wrenching tale of love and loss in a time of war, Testament of Youth captures the essence of a generation that was destroyed by fighting. Brittain shows that the war forever changed the soldiers at the front civilians at home, in both profound and mundane ways. The work also reveals some of the reasons why Brittain eventually became active in the feminist and pacifist movements of her time.

Brittain, Vera and Winifred Holtby. Testament of Friendship. London, England: Virago Press, 1985.

Testament of Friendship is a collection of works of journalism written by Vera Brittain and Winifred Holtby. The collected essays contain a more structured summary of Brittain’s views regarding topics such as politics, war, the writing of novels, and feminism. Read in the context of her memoir, Testament of Youth, these works show to a greater degree how Brittain’s experiences as a nurse in WWI, affected her life and her life’s work.

Bostridge, Mark and Paul Berry. Vera Brittain: A Life. London: Random House, 1995.

This comprehensive and detailed biography is of great use as a reference guide. This biography is also useful as a source of information regarding Brittain’s life during the years after 1925. In chronicling her life as a writer and politically active feminist and pacifist, Bostridge and Berry show the way in which Brittain applied what she learned during WWI to her career and personal life.

Vera Brittain. One Voice: Pacifist Writings from the Second World War. London: Continuum Books, 2005.

One Voice is another source of information regarding Brittain’s views on the subject of pacifism. These essays, written at a time when all of Europe was going to war for the second time in Brittain’s life, show the reader why she feels the way she does about war.

Badhenhausen, Richard. Mourning Through Memoir: Trauma, Testimony, and Community in Vera Brittain’s “Testament of Youth”. Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 49, No. 4 (Winter, 2003). Published by: Hofstra University. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3176034.

Badhenhausen looks at Brittain’s memoir and attempts to come to an understanding of how Brittain, through her own writing, has processed her experiences in war as a woman and a nurse. He also interprets Brittain’s work as both a way for her to deal with her pain and to create a memorial for the loved ones she lost.

Grayzel, Susan R. Women's Identities at War. University of North Carolina Press: Chapel Hill. 1999.

Grayzel explores the way war affects the concept of gender in society. She also examines other statistical phenomena, such as the change in the incidence of rape during war time. Grazyel focuses on the way women's work during wartime affects their ability to act as mothers to their children. She also writes about gender and politics.

Mellown, Muriel. One Woman’s Way to Peace: The Development of Vera Brittain’s Pacifism. Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, Vol. 8, No. 2, Women and Peace, pp 1-6 (1985). Published by University of Nebraska Press. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3346044.

This article chronicles the development of Vera Brittain’s attitudes of pacifism and feminism. The book chronicles Brittain’s career and shows the way in which Brittain’s activities chaged over the decades as the situation in Europe changed. The author argues that the character of Brittain’s attitudes of feminism and pacifism changes between the First and Second World Wars. The author also attempts to show that Brittain’s work was still relevant to the feminist movement of the 1980s.

Watson, Janet. Fighting Different Wars. Cambridge University Press: New York, New York. 2004.

Janet Watson's book is an in depth study of multiple war memoirs, including Brittain's. She tries to come to some understanding regarding the way people take memories and write about them. Watson also discusses the role that gender plays in the way people tend to write about their experiences in war.

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