This is a study of a literary generation writing in a period of expanding fears and ever more urgent political and social crises. The pace of the time itself, the sense of time passing and an end approaching gave a special quality to the Thirties. The public world pressed insistently on the private world. For those who came of literary age - Auden, Day Lewis, MacNeice, Spender, Graham Greene, Isherwood and Orwell among them - writing became a form of action. In the process a generation discovered itself and found its own expression.