(Taken from her obituary in The guardian Thursday 29 July 2010.)
Verily Anderson was born in Edgbaston, Birmingham, the fourth of five children of the Rev Rosslyn Bruce and his wife Rachel. She recently died aged 95. during her life she had published more than 30 books – memoirs, biographies, children's stories and work ranging from personal reminiscences to Shakespeare scholarship and 10 Brownie books. Her breakthrough as a writer came in 1956, at the age of 41, when she published Spam Tomorrow, a deft and frequently uproarious account of her wartime experiences on the home front. It was a new kind of memoir, one of the first to explore the lives of women in wartime.
During the war Verily met Donald Anderson, a writer who specialised in military history. They married in 1940 and had five children. Donald died in 1956, and by the mid-60s Verily was again struggling financially. She was rescued by the actor Joyce Grenfell. They had struck up a friendship when Verily interviewed Grenfell for the BBC. Grenfell was so shocked at the conditions she found Verily living in that she bought her a home in Northrepps, a village in Norfolk, where she stayed for the rest of her life, writing dozens more books (including the critically acclaimed The Northrepps Grandchildren in 1968) and glorying in the role of matriarch to an ever-expanding family of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. When Verily married Paul Paget, architect and surveyor to the fabric of St Paul's Cathedral, in 1971, Grenfell was matron of honour.
Verily is survived by her children, Marian, Rachel, Eddie, Janie and Alexandra, 16 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren – and Alfie, her beloved RNIB guide-dog.
• Verily Anderson, writer, born 12 January 1915, died 16 July 2010
We have books by Verily Anderson for sale on our website at www.peakirkbooks.com