Valentine Ackland was born in 1906. Her childhood embraced extremes of privilege and abuse within a wealthy but unhappy family. In 1930 she became Sylvia Townsend Warner's lover, and the two writers lived together in Dorset. By the end of the Second World War the relationship had become a stormy one, marked by intellectual disagreements. In latter years it became happier, and the two continued to live together until Ackland's death in 1969.