Many Somervillians have gone on to great things and in this photo from 1915 we see Somerville College students Dorothy L Sayers (first standing row from the front, far left) and Vera Brittain (same row but at the far right). Dorothy L Sayers went on to write fiction including the well-known detective novels featuring Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane. One of her novels, Gaudy Night, was set in the fictional Oxford College ‘Shrewsbury’ which was based on Somerville. DLS was also a noted playwright and Dante scholar.
Vera Brittain is most famous for her autobiographical ‘Testament of Youth’ which she wrote following her devastating experiences of the First World War. She wrote many other books and journalistic articles and was a dedicated peace campaigner. The Somerville archive contains a collection of her letters, diaries, photos and books left to the College by her friend and one-time literary executor Paul Berry.