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Poor Darling

Jean McNicol, 21 March 1996

Vera Brittain: A Life 
by Paul Berry and Mark Bostridge.
Chatto, 581 pp., £25, October 1995, 0 7011 2679 5
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Vera Brittain: A Feminist Life 
by Deborah Gorham.
Blackwell, 330 pp., £20, February 1996, 0 631 14715 2
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... devoid of that heroic limelight’. After his death Brittain seems to have needed all the more, as Deborah Gorham stresses, to see Leighton as a saint-like figure, and she took to writing of Him, with a Christ-like capital letter. Told by Roland’s sister Clare that she had idealised him whereas Clare had ‘loved him for his faults’, Vera wrote: ‘so ...

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