10 Interesting Facts about Vera Brittain

One of these following facts about Vera Brittain should make you love reading more since she was a great writer of her age. Vera Brittain was a British writer, feminist and pacifist. She was best remembered as the author of the best-selling 1933 memoir “Testament of Youth” which recounted her experiences during World War I and the beginning of her journey towards pacifism. She was also portrayed by Cheryl Campbell in the 1979 BBC2 television adaptation of “Testament of Youth”. To get to know more about her and her works, here are some facts about Vera Brittain you may like.

Facts about Vera Brittain 1: Early Life

Born in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Brittain was the daughter of a well-to-do family who owned paper mills in Hanley and Cheddleton. She had an uneventful childhood with her only brother her closest companion.

Facts about Vera Brittain 2: School

From the age of thirteen she attended boarding school at St Monica’s, Kingswood in Surrey where her aunt was principal. Studying English Literature at Sommervill College, Oxford, she delayed her degree after one year in the summer of 1915 in order to work as a V.A.D nurse for much of the First World War.

Facts about Vera Brittain - V.A.D Nurse

Facts about Vera Brittain – V.A.D Nurse

Facts about Vera Brittain 3: World War I

Her fiancé Roland Leighton, two other close friends Victor Richardson and Geoffrey Thurlow, and her brother Edward Brittain MC were all killed during the war. Their letters to each other are documented in the book “Letters from a Lost Generation”.

Facts about Vera Brittain 4: Family

In 1925 Brittain married George Catlin, a political scientist and philosopher. Their son, John Brittain-Catlin, was an artist painter, businessman, and the author of the autobiography “Family Quartet”, which appeared in 1987. Their daughter, born in 1930, is the former Labour Cabinet Minister, now Liberal Demcorat peer, Shirley Williams.

Facts about Vera Brittain - Cover of Testament of Youth

Facts about Vera Brittain – Cover of Testament of Youth

Facts about Vera Brittain 5: Works

Brittain’s first published novel was “The Dark Tide” (1923). It was not until 1933 that she published “Testament of Youth”, which was followed by the sequels “Testament of Friendship” (1940) and “Testament of Experience” (1957), the continuation of her own story, which spanned the years between 1925 and 1950.

Facts about Vera Brittain 6: Real-life Experience

Vera Brittain wrote from the heart and based many of her novels on actual experiences and actual people. In this regard, her novel “Honourable Estate (1936) was in part more of a memoir. Brittain’s diaries (1913-1917) were published in 1981 in “Chronicle of Youth”.

Facts about Vera Brittain - Writing`

Facts about Vera Brittain – Writing

Facts about Vera Brittain 7: Female Pacifist

She was a practical pacifist in the sense that she helped the war effort by working as a fire warden and by travelling around the country raising funds for the Peace Pledge Union’s food relief campaign. She was vilified for speaking out against saturation bombing of German cities through her 1944 booklet “Massacre by Bombing”.

Facts about Vera Brittain 8: Regular Contributor

From the 1930s onward, Brittain was a regular contributor to the pacifist magazine “Peace News”. She eventually became a member of the magazine’s editorial board, and during the 1950s and 1960s was “writing articles against apartheid and colonialism and if favor of nuclear disarmament.

Facts about Vera Brittain - With husband

Facts about Vera Brittain – With husband

Facts about Vera Brittain 9: An Hour-length Documentary

On 9 November 2008, BBC One broadcast an hour-length documentary on Brittain as part of its Remembrance Day programmes hosted by Jo Brand.

Facts about Vera Brittain 10: Archives

Vera Brittain’s archive was sold in 1971 to McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. A further collection of papers, amassed during the writing of the authorised biography of Brittain, was donated to Somerville College, Oxford, by Paul Berry and Mark Bostridge.

Facts about Vera Brittain - Older

Facts about Vera Brittain – Older

Those who love to read novels and poets and admire Vera Brittain might have liked Vera Brittain. Hope you would find those Vera Brittain facts really interesting and useful for your reading.

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