Carola Mary Anima Oman was the middle child of three. Her father was the military historian Charles William Oman and her mother came from a military family. She began writing plays as a child and published a volume of poetry in 1919. In 1922, she married the future Sir Gerald Lenanton. Under both her maiden and married names, she wrote more than 30 works of fiction, history and biography for adults and children. In 1976, she published An Oxford Childhood, a family memoir with period photographs. Carola Oman was appointed a trustee of the National Maritime Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. There is a memorial to her and her husband in the village church of Ayot St Lawrence.