Rhoda Power was a sister of historian Eileen Power (1889–1940) and Beryl Power, who joined the civil service. The sisters were raised in Oxford by their maternal grandfather and aunts after their father was convicted of fraud and left his family, and their mother died of tuberculosis. Rhoda read modern languages and political economy at St. Andrews University in Scotland. After spending a year in the United States, she worked as a freelance journalist in several European countries. In 1917, she became governess to a family in Russia, where she was caught up in the October Revolution. She contracted an illness while in Russia that may have accounted for the chronic deafness that she suffered and which got worse after an operation in 1947. Rhoda Power started writing history books for children in the 1920s with her sister Eileen, and then independently. In 1927, she began a long successful career as a broadcaster with the BBC.