Claudia FitzHerbert

Who needed who most? The complex bond between Vera Brittain and Winifred Holtby

Throughout their correspondence, the fragile Brittain is often painfully demanding – but the role of devoted supporter seems to gratify Holtby

Vera Brittain, as a nurse in the first world war; Winifred Holtby, in a studio portrait for the Bystander magazine, 1933. [Hulton Archive/Getty Images; Illustrated London News ltd/Mary Evans Picture Library]

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