1. Childhood

Lilian Hamilton Jeffery (universally known as Anne) was born at Westcliff-on-Sea on 5 January 1915, the third and youngest daughter of Thomas Theophilus Jeffery and Lilian Mary Hamilton. Her mother, of mathematical bent but with a classical tradition in her family, was Irish from County Sligo. Her father was a full generation older, and a Londoner. He took a First in Classics at Peterhouse in 1877, and was a Fellow there from 1885 to 1891, a useful supplement to his position as Second Master of Mill Hill School from 1877 to 1891. After 1891, he took up a career as a free-lance lecturer and classical tutor, first in London, then in Cheltenham, dying as late as 1940. He gave Anne a firm classical grounding at home, and a taste for Victorian writers who had been his contemporaries stayed with her permanently.

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