This morning I put the finishing touches to an entry I was invited to draft for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. It is quite a challenge to summarise a rich life in the round within eight hundred words, whilst also providing all of the standard biographical information. The person in question, Baroness Elles (1921-2009), was the daughter of a larger-than-life British adventurer who was helped to escape from a prison camp by a French woman who was to become his wife. At an age when most of us are still wondering what to do, Elles had won an honours degree in French and Italian from the University of London, served in the WAAF, joined a team of code-breakers at Bletchley Park, married a dashing fighter pilot and become a barrister. She went on to be a social worker, raise a family, and then became politically active, serving in the House of Lords, the United Nations General Assembly and the European Parliament. That is not to mention all of her charitable and educational work – oh, and yes, her work as a lawyer. And that’s just the 1970s! Her sheer energy was remarkable. It was, absolutely, a long life richly lived.