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Because You Died: Poetry and Prose of the First World War and After

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Bringing together a selection of Vera Brittain’s poetry and prose, some of it never published before, this collection commemorates the men she loved—fiancé, brother, and two close friends—who served and died in World War I. It draws on her experiences as a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse in London, Malta, and France, and illustrates her growing conviction of the wickedness Bringing together a selection of Vera Brittain’s poetry and prose, some of it never published before, this collection commemorates the men she loved—fiancé, brother, and two close friends—who served and died in World War I. It draws on her experiences as a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse in London, Malta, and France, and illustrates her growing conviction of the wickedness of all war. Illustrated with many extraordinary photographs from Brittain’s own albums, and edited with a new introduction by Mark Bostridge, this is an elegy to men who lost their lives in a bloody conflict, and a volume of remembrance to mark the 90th anniversary of the Armistice.


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Bringing together a selection of Vera Brittain’s poetry and prose, some of it never published before, this collection commemorates the men she loved—fiancé, brother, and two close friends—who served and died in World War I. It draws on her experiences as a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse in London, Malta, and France, and illustrates her growing conviction of the wickedness Bringing together a selection of Vera Brittain’s poetry and prose, some of it never published before, this collection commemorates the men she loved—fiancé, brother, and two close friends—who served and died in World War I. It draws on her experiences as a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse in London, Malta, and France, and illustrates her growing conviction of the wickedness of all war. Illustrated with many extraordinary photographs from Brittain’s own albums, and edited with a new introduction by Mark Bostridge, this is an elegy to men who lost their lives in a bloody conflict, and a volume of remembrance to mark the 90th anniversary of the Armistice.

30 review for Because You Died: Poetry and Prose of the First World War and After

  1. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    The first part of this book are poems by Vera Brittain. While they won't set the world on fire I liked most of them. I've read a lot of books about Brittain and I'm fascinated by her participation in WWI and what she went through. Her poems are her and what she endured and what she thought. The prose is from her diary and very interesting. She was a woman who endured much and did this having come from a comfortable life. I admire her greatly. A good read for anyone who likes Vera Brittain and th The first part of this book are poems by Vera Brittain. While they won't set the world on fire I liked most of them. I've read a lot of books about Brittain and I'm fascinated by her participation in WWI and what she went through. Her poems are her and what she endured and what she thought. The prose is from her diary and very interesting. She was a woman who endured much and did this having come from a comfortable life. I admire her greatly. A good read for anyone who likes Vera Brittain and the trials faced by people in WWI.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette

    Vera Brittain was a British writer whose works focused mostly on feminism and pacifism. She is best known for her autobiographical work Testament of Youth that traced her life before, during and after WWI. This collection of poetry and prose by Vera Brittain was compiled to commemorate the90th anniversary of end of World War I in November of 1918. The volume also serves to commemorate those close to Brittain that were killed in WWI, her brother Edward, fiance Roland Leighton and two friends, Geof Vera Brittain was a British writer whose works focused mostly on feminism and pacifism. She is best known for her autobiographical work Testament of Youth that traced her life before, during and after WWI. This collection of poetry and prose by Vera Brittain was compiled to commemorate the90th anniversary of end of World War I in November of 1918. The volume also serves to commemorate those close to Brittain that were killed in WWI, her brother Edward, fiance Roland Leighton and two friends, Geoffrey Thurlow and Victor Richardson, as well as many of the nurses and VADs that Brittain worked with during the war in London, Malta and France. The poetry and prose selections also serve as a look at Brittain's changing convictions from idealistic young girl at the outbreak of war to her ever increasing anti-war convictions in the years following the Armistice.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Susan Liston

    a sort of mini-companion to Testament of Youth featuring Vera's poems and some short prose pieces. As someone who suffered profound losses of her own and as a front line nurse Vera personally witnessed unthinkable horrors. So its easy to sympathize with the life long frustration she felt as she saw people just forget about it all, or with young people who knew little and cared less. I was particularly struck by the tiny short story about a young man who came home safely but whose life was pretty a sort of mini-companion to Testament of Youth featuring Vera's poems and some short prose pieces. As someone who suffered profound losses of her own and as a front line nurse Vera personally witnessed unthinkable horrors. So its easy to sympathize with the life long frustration she felt as she saw people just forget about it all, or with young people who knew little and cared less. I was particularly struck by the tiny short story about a young man who came home safely but whose life was pretty much ruined anyway since it was obviously based on her late brother.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Crystal C.L.

    Currently still reading but I'm enjoying it... It captures war in an expressive yet restrained medium. 'The Lament of the Demobilised' especially gives us a snapshot of the attitude of the times after WWI, about how VADs were so overlooked even after all the hardship and sacrifices for their country. Roland Leighton's farewell poetry was also poignant as well.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Melissa O.LL.

    This book helped me understand how important women's roles were during the World Wars, and how at the time weren't really appreciated. It also includes many poems and prose written by a VAD nurse during World War I.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Poignant. Tragic. Truthful. A marvellous collection of poetry encapsulating the loss of loved ones in the Great War, by one of the best authors and indeed women of our time. Lest we forget.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Melita

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kassandra Moe

  9. 5 out of 5

    Fabiana Ribeiro

  10. 5 out of 5

    June

  11. 4 out of 5

    Louise

  12. 5 out of 5

    Aruna

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Dornell

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kate Meents

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alec

  16. 4 out of 5

    Karoline

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jess

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rebecka M

  19. 4 out of 5

    Caylee Ann Sutton

  20. 5 out of 5

    Annaelinaling

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lin

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shauna

  23. 4 out of 5

    MaryAnn

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jim Campbell

  25. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kroo

  27. 4 out of 5

    Christine

  28. 4 out of 5

    SCARLETT

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Kane

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