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First World War - Adult Non-Fiction Reading List

Testament of Youth – Vera Brittain
In 1914 Vera Brittain was 21 years old and a student at Oxford. When war broke out, Brittain disrupted her studies to enrol as a volunteer to nurse casualties both in England and on the Western Front.

Testament of Youth is a powerfully written, unsentimental memoir which has continued to move and enthral readers since its first publication in 1933.

Harry’s War – Harry Drinkwater
Harry writes with such immediacy it is easy to forget that a hundred years have passed. He is by turns wry, exhausted, annoyed, resigned and often amazed to be alive.

Harry’s War is a moving testament to one man’s struggle to keep his humanity in the face of unimaginable violence.

Catastrophe: Europe goes to war 1914 Max Hastings
A magisterial chronicle of the calamity that befell Europe in 1914. The year that diplomacy failed, Imperial Europe was thrown into its first modernised warfare. White-gloved soldiers rode in their masses across pastoral landscapes into the blaze of machine-guns.

Fighting on the Home Front: the Legacy of Women in World War One – Kate Adie
When World War One broke out and a generation of men went off to fight, Kate Adie shows how women emerged from the shadows of their domestic lives.

This is history at its best – a vivid, compelling account of the women who helped win the war as well as a revealing assessment of their legacy for women’s lives today.

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