Brittain, Vera, Diary, 22 August 1915

Diary of Vera Brittain


Case Study: 
From Youth to Experience: Vera Brittain’s Work for Peace in Two World Wars
Brittain, Vera
22 August 1915
McMaster University Libraries
Vera Brittain estate; McMaster University has a non-exclusive licence to publish this document.


monster rising out of the waves, and on the horizon the trawlers were still steaming lazily to & fro. It all felt so ephemeral; I could not believe I had been at my prosaic Buxton home only two days ago. It seemed as if either that or this must be unreal; they did not both feel able to fit into the same life. We walked along the beach & sat down on the end of a breakwater a few yards away from where the waves were breaking on the sand. For a while I said nothing, but looked out across the water and listened to the soothing lullaby of its eternal song. I felt then that I could ask for nothing better of life than to sit there for ever with the sound of the sea in my ears and Roland standing on the beach by my side.
At last we began to talk a little -- quite tentatively -- about the engagement. He told me his mother had been rather bewildered by the "three years or duration of the War" limitation until he had explained that it was scarcely to be taken seriously. I had told him the day before that I wanted to talk it all over with Mrs. Leighton & he said she was going to speak to me about it some time to day. I asked him how he really thought she liked me & said I believed she looked upon me in almost the same light as he did.
"Well," he said, "She can't see you from quite the point of view that I do."
"Why not?" I asked.
"Well," he said again, "Obviously she can't be in love with you, can she?"
"Are you?" I enquired, looking at him very straight.
"Yes, of course," he said, but regarded me with the rather cold & puzzled air I had noticed the evening before. If I can't make him out, I think that sometimes he cannot understand me either.
In a minute or two he