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Verily Anderson
Verily Bruce

(1915-01-12)12 January 1915
Died 16 July 2010(2010-07-16) (aged 95)
Frogshall, Northrepps, Norfolk
Occupation Writer
Notable work
Beware of Children
Spouse(s) Captain Donald Clive Anderson (m. 1940; died 1957);
Paul Paget (m. 1971; died 1985)
  • Marian
  • Rachel
  • Eddie
  • Janie
  • Alexandra

Verily Anderson (12 January 1915 – 16 July 2010) was a British author, best known for writing the screenplay of the 1960 film No Kidding, based on her 1958 book Beware of Children, for writing Brownie books and writing genealogical books about the Gurney, Barclay and Buxton families.


Born as Verily Bruce on 12 January 1915 in Edgbaston, Birmingham, she was the daughter of Francis Rosslyn Courtenay Bruce and Rachel Gurney, the fourth of her parents' five children.

Verily Bruce was educated at Edgbaston High School for Girls, Birmingham, between the ages of four and seven, then she attended Normanhurst School in Battle, Sussex. At 16, she went to Royal College of Music in London. She was in the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry between 1938 and 1941.

On 2 August 1940 she married Captain Donald Clive Anderson (1897–1957), son of Frank Anderson, thereafter using the name Verily Anderson for her writing. She was with the BBC in TV and radio between 1946 and 2002, working on Woman's Hour and writing TV plays.

On 10 August 1971, she married Paul Edward Paget (1901–1985).

She last resided in Frogshall, Northrepps, Norfolk, where she died at home on 16 July 2010, aged 95, just after completing a book, Castellans of Herstmonceux (1911-2010) (Bader International Study Centre, 2011). She is buried with her husband Paul Paget in neighbouring Sidestrand.


Children of Verily Bruce and Captain Donald Clive Anderson:

  1. Marian O'Hare, designer.
  2. Rachel Anderson, a writer mostly of children's literature.
  3. Eddie Anderson, a television producer.
  4. Janie Anderson (now Janie Hampton), a writer and radio presenter.
  5. Alexandra Walker (née Anderson), a literacy tutor to young people.


Brownie books

  • Towards the Golden Hand. A play for Brownies; 1948.
  • Magic for the Golden Bar, 1953.
  • Amanda and the Brownies. Illustrated by Joan Milroy; 1960.
  • The Brownies and the Golden Hand. Illustrated by Edgar Norfield; 1963.
  • The Brownies and the Ponies. Illustrated by Edgar Norfield; 1965.
  • Brownies on Wheels, 1966.
  • The Brownies and the Wedding Day, 1974.
  • Brownies' Cook-Book, 1974.
  • The Brownies and the Christening, 1977.
  • Brownies' Day Abroad, 1984.

Other children's books

  • Vanload to Venice. Illustrated by Margaret Ingram; 1961.
  • Clover Coverdale, 1966.
  • Camp Fire Cook-Book, 1976.


  • Spam Tomorrow, 1956.
  • Our Square, 1957.
  • Beware of Children, 1958.
  • Daughters of Divinity, 1960.
  • Nine Times Never. Illustrated by Edward Lewis; 1962.
  • The Flo Affair, 1963.
  • The Yorks in London. Illustrated by Nathaniel Mayer; 1964.
  • Scrambled Egg for Christmas; line drawings by Marian O'Hare; 1970.


  • The Northrepps Grandchildren, 1968.
  • The Last of the Eccentrics: A Life of Rosslyn Bruce, 1972.
  • Friends and Relations, 1980.
  • The De Veres of Castle Hedingham, 1993.
  • Castellans of Herstmonceux (1911-2010), 2011 ().


Beware of Children, 1960, renamed No Kidding in North America. Directed by Gerald Thomas and starring Leslie Phillips, Geraldine McEwan, Julia Lockwood.

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