Happy birthday to Dame Hermione Lee.

Author and academic. Born 29th February 1948. This makes her part of the luckiest generation ever – those born in the 1940s. They really did have it all. Unlike their parents and grandparents, they hadn’t had to fight in a war, and National Service was abolished just before they were called up. They are the generation who won’t go away. Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Ray Davies, Van Morrison, Tom Jones, The Who – the music of their youth is still still played everywhere. Post-pill and pre-Aids, they had free love, free grammar schools and free universities with generous grants instead of extortionate fees. Jobs were plentiful, not yet automated or outsourced and the houses they bought for a pittance are now worth a fortune. Add to this the sort of full salary pensions that younger generations can only dream of. And as Dame Hermione celebrates her 70th birthday, look what was No.1 on her 40th.