Vera Brittain was born in 1893, and grew up in provincial comfort in Macclesfield and Buxton. In 1914, just as war was breaking out, she won an exhibition to Somerville College, Oxford, interrupting her studies the following year to enlist as a VAD nurse. She became one of the best-loved writers of her time with the publication, in 1933, of her passionate record of a lost generation, Testament of Youth. She wrote twenty-nine books in all, and was a prolific lecturer and journalist, who devoted much of her energy to the causes of peace and feminism. Vera Brittain died in 1970. The authorised biography, Vera Brittain: A Life (1995) by Paul Berry and Mark Bostridge is published by Virago Press.