Verily Anderson was born Verily Bruce in 1915. Though she published more than 30 books – memoirs, biographies, children’s stories and work ranging from personal reminiscences to Shakespeare scholarship – her breakthrough as a writer came in 1956 when she published Spam Tomorrow, the classic account of her wartime experiences on the home front. Elizabeth Bowen hailed it as a new kind of memoir, one of the first to explore the lives of women in wartime.
During the war she met Donald Anderson. They married in 1940 and had five children. Donald died in 1956, and for the remainder of her life Verily worked primarily as a writer. When Verily married architect Paul Paget in 1971, Joyce Grenfell was matron of honour, and John Betjeman best man.
Her last book – a memoir of the time she spent at Herstmonceux Castle, Sussex, in the 1930s and 40s – was completed the day before she died.
Verily Anderson died in 2010, at the age of ninety-five. She was survived by four children, sixteen grandchildren, fourteen great-grandchildren – and Alfie, her beloved RNIB guide-dog.