later remembered her childhood, at home, as full of beatings and beltings. This made her into a fanatic for justice and equality, though she felt it might equally easily have produced a working-class fascist...
was a passionate reader as a child, devouring children's adventure books (especially series like W. E. Johns
's Biggles and Arthur Ransome
's Swallows and Amazons), rejecting classical stories like those of Louisa Alcott
William Earl Johns
, author of popular boys' adventure books about an airman called Biggles, introduced his female equivalent: Worrals of the W.A.A.F.