By Jo Vellacott
This is a memoir of the first twenty-five years of a long life, blending a picture of a time long ago with the story of a thoughtful child growing up o face adulthood in a very different world. Jo Vellacott’s early years were lived under the shadow still cast by the First World War, but at a time when it was still possible to hope that it had indeed been the war to end all wars. Gradually the skies darkened and the rise of Nazism came to threaten the world. Here we have a reflective account of a privileged childhood, of childish games, of boarding school, of the blitz, of wartime university years in Oxford, of factory work with high explosives, of experience as an air mechanic, all now reviewed from a perspective that includes both that of an historian and of an ordinary person who lived and learnt through it, and was changed by it. Underlying the narrative of events is a story of spiritual development, with an awareness, at its conclusion, of many miles yet to go.