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Letters from a Lost Generation, a collection of previously unpublished correspondence between Brittain and these young men--all public schoolboys at the start of the war--chronicles her relationship with them, and reveals "the old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
This is absolutely the saddest book I have ever read! Yes, this is an indispensable resource for serious students of the First World War, but more than that---more even than... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Dai-keag-ity
This book is a unique piece of literature from the Great War. What sets this apart from others, like Sassoon or poet Owen, is that it gives a picture of how it was not only at the... Read morePublished on July 7, 2006 by Martijn13Maart1970