As the eldest of a very large family it was fitting that I should be the first to go out into the world. I was not needed at home, for though scarcely to be accounted really wealthy, we were in those days quite well off financially. There was an adequate staff of servants; a nurse for the little ones; a German governess, who with exasperated affection wrestled with a schoolroom full of naughty but amusing children; and my mother’s excellent management of household affairs left none but the kind of tasks I called ‘holding the pins’ for a grown-up daughter to fulfil.