Standard Name: Brittain, Vera
Birth Name: Vera Mary Brittain
From her university days before the First World War, VB was determined to be a writer. Her career as a novelist never fulfilled her own expectations; it was not until the publication of Testament of Youth, the first of her volumes combining autobiography with social and cultural history, that she achieved significant success. She also wrote both poetry and pamphlets. Much of her oeuvre is politically engaged, from her feminist journalism and social criticism of the 1920s to her pacifist writings of World War II.
|Connections Sort descending||Author name||Excerpt|
With the onset of war, the town had largely been emptied of male students, making women a more visible presence around the university. Somerville had a tradition of turning out successful women writers; in entering...
During both halves of her time at Oxford she dashed around on a very rusty cycle, cramming myriad activities into her schedule: lectures, tea parties, concerts, lacrosse matches, and meetings. I was born with a...
At Somerville DW became a close friend of Dorothy Sayers (their religious and political disagreements later drove them apart) and in her circle met Vera Brittain , Winifred Holtby , and theSitwells .
Leonardi, Susan J. Dangerous by Degrees: Women at Oxford and the Somerville College Novelists. Rutgers University Press, 1989.
|Education||Dorothy L. Sayers||
She earned first-class Honours, though as a woman she was not yet allowed to take a degree. While at Oxford she met Vera Brittain , who liked her on sight. She dressed flamboyantly and eccentrically...
|Family and Intimate relationships||Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence||
EPL greatly admired Mark Guy Pearse , an evangelical Christian socialist who co-founded the West London Mission . She had known him since her childhood, and he became a second father to her.
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
|Family and Intimate relationships||Winifred Holtby||
During her first year back at Oxford, WH met Vera Brittain , who was also returning to complete her degree.
After a difficult beginning (they disliked each other at first sight), they became lifelong...
Berry, Paul, and Mark Bostridge. Vera Brittain: A Life. Chatto and Windus, 1995.
|Family and Intimate relationships||Winifred Holtby|
|Family and Intimate relationships||Storm Jameson||
While he studied at the
|Friends, Associates||Evelyn Sharp|
|Friends, Associates||Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence|
|Friends, Associates||Elizabeth Jenkins|
|Friends, Associates||Stella Benson|
|Friends, Associates||Annie S. Swan||
During the 1930s ASS became a friend and correspondent of Winifred Holtby . They exchanged copies of their books. After Holtby's early death a correspondence developed between ASS and Vera Brittain .
Swan, Annie S. The Letters of Annie S. Swan. Nicoll, Mildred RobertsonEditor , Hodder and Stoughton, 1945.
164-5, 171, 249
|Friends, Associates||Phyllis Bentley|
|Friends, Associates||Storm Jameson|
14 May 1920
Time and Tide began publication, offering a feminist approach to literature, politics, and the arts: Naomi Mitchison called it the first avowedly feminist literary journal with any class, in some ways ahead of its time.
Mitchison, Naomi. You May Well Ask: A Memoir 1920-1940. Gollancz, 1979.
14 October 1920
A week after the university statutes had finally made women eligible for degrees, women graduates of Oxford gathered for the belated award of degrees which they had earned, most of them, years before.
The Women's Publicity Planning Association sponsored a mass meeting at Central Hall, Westminster, in support of the proposed Equal Citizenship (Blanket) Bill which would end all forms of sex discrimination.
6 August 1945
The US dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima: by early twenty-first century the best estimate of those killed on the spot stood at approaching 140,000 people, plus many thousands more with obvious, serious injury.
Women Speaking began publication, covering work, religion, education and peace from a feminist angle.
Women Speaking, covering work, religion, education and peace from a feminist angle, ended publication in London.