The Ballad and the Source (1944) is the only novel by Rosamond Lehmann which does not have a contemporary setting; it takes place between the mid-Victorian era and the First World War. As Lehmann herself admitted in an essay written shortly after the end of WWII, during the war many authors had found their only possible mode of expression to be an escape into the past. Turning back, she said, “to the time when, the place where, they knew where they were – where their imaginations can expand and construct among remembered scenes and established symbols”, enabled them (and their readers) to counter to some extent the harsh conditions under which they were living, their fears of the present, and their uncertainties about the …
Pollard, Wendy. "The Ballad and the Source". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 July 2004; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=1524, accessed 19 April 2015.]