Marghanita Laski

Standard Name: Laski, Marghanita
Birth Name: Esther Pearl Laski
Nickname: Marghanita
Married Name: Esther Pearl Howard
Pseudonym: Sarah Russell
ML , a cultural force in twentieth-century Britain, published six novels, four biographies (one on multiple subjects), an anti-nuclear play, a collection of children's stories, three quasi-scientific investigations into secular and religious experiences, and various short stories, including a ghost story and an anti-nuclear fiction. She also edited various collections: poetry, children's stories, and essays on Charlotte Yonge . Her articles and book reviews appeared in the Times, the Times Literary Supplement, and elsewhere. She also wrote three film scripts, co-authored a television series, and made a substantial contribution of quotations for the Oxford English Dictionary. ML 's novels address class issues and gender barriers, often satirically. They reflect the political, social, and economic anxieties and tensions felt in England during the Second World War and the Cold War. A self-professed atheist, ML wrote secular studies of ecstatic experiences.
Black-and-white photo of Marghanita Laski. She is wearing a tassled cap and is draped in striped fabric. Therer is a small gecko brooch on her            left that sits between her fingers.
"Marghanita Laski" by Sasha / Stringer, 1934-06-13. Retrieved from This image is licensed under the GETTY IMAGES CONTENT LICENCE AGREEMENT.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Cultural formation Frances Hodgson Burnett
Religion seems not to have been of any great importance to her during her early life. She once attended a seance, and found a lot of idiotic blatant humbug going on & some very nice...
Friends, Associates Betty Miller
BM 's friends included Olivia Manning , Rosamond Lehmann , Stevie Smith , Inez Holden , Viola Meynell , and Eleanor Farjeon .
Miller, Sarah, and Betty Miller. “Introduction”. On the Side of the Angels, Virago, 1985, p. vii - xviii.
In wartime she met and immediately took to Adrian Stephen ,...
Friends, Associates Margaret Kennedy
Other women writers with whom MK established friendships included Lettice Cooper , Phyllis Bentley (who had also been at Cheltenham ), Marghanita Laski , Elizabeth Jenkins , and Rose Macaulay . These authors supported and...
Literary responses Frances Hodgson Burnett
When this now-famous book first appeared, reviewers welcomed it, but without any sense of how special it would prove to be.
Gerzina, Gretchen. Frances Hodgson Burnett. Chatto and Windus, 2004.
Marghanita Laski in 1950 judged this to be as much better than A...
Literary responses Barbara Pym
The sales of this second novel nearly doubled those of Pym's first: Excellent Women sold 5,477 copies in the two months to June 1952, while Some Tame Gazelle sold only 3,722 in the thirteen years...
Literary responses Frances Hodgson Burnett
Marghanita Laski called this a somewhat fanciful account of her childhood.
Laski, Marghanita. Mrs. Ewing, Mrs. Molesworth, and Mrs. Hodgson Burnett. A. Barker, 1950.
Literary responses Barbara Pym
Initial comment included reviews or articles by A. S. Byatt and Marghanita Laski .
Allen, Orphia Jane. Barbara Pym: Writing a Life. Scarecrow Press, 1994.
198, 199
Orphia Jane Allen considers this work a thinly developed
Allen, Orphia Jane. Barbara Pym: Writing a Life. Scarecrow Press, 1994.
but effectively ironic, witty view of academia. Anne Wyatt-Brown
Literary responses Frances Hodgson Burnett
This book is said to have been particularly appreciated by later novelists Nancy Mitford and Marghanita Laski . The early twenty-first-century reprint was very well reviewed, and was likened to the work of Edith Wharton .
Persephone Books.
Literary responses Vita Sackville-West
British Book News took occasion to remark that VSW possessed an alert if somewhat superficial command of character.
British Book News. British Council.
(1953): 204
The Times Literary Supplement praised the book, but Marghanita Laski in The Observer was extremely cutting.
Glendinning, Victoria. Vita. Penguin, 1984.
Literary responses Frances Hodgson Burnett
FHB was a focus of media attention—occasionally hostile but often flattering—throughout her career. The title of Marie A. Belloc 's interview Mrs. Hodgson Burnett. A Famous Authoress at Home (in the Idler, 9, 1896)...
Literary responses Ivy Compton-Burnett
Elizabeth Taylor detailed the interest that attended this book's appearance. Published on a Monday, it was broadcast as a radio play on Wednesday, discussed on radio on Thursday by Daniel George (who called the author...
Literary responses Elizabeth Taylor
Reviews of A Game of Hide and Seek included high praise from Marghanita Laski and Elizabeth Bowen (some consolation to ET for her problems with her US publisher), but also carping which she found deeply...
Literary responses Emily Eden
Marghanita Laski , who acknowledged the enjoyment purveyed by EE 's relish of polished cynicism, also felt she could be enjoyed only so long as Jane Austen is quite forgotten.
Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Gale Research, 1981.
EE 's Indian writings...
Literary responses Mary Wesley
Early praise for MW 's work came from such different writers as Marghanita Laski and Susan Hill . Other commentators likened her work to that of Rose Macaulay , Elizabeth Bowen , Barbara Pym ...
Literary responses Georgette Heyer
Laski argued that the taste for popular fiction stemmed from the fact that the serious modern novel had decided to deny itself the amenity of the shapely story satisfactorily resolved, so that compulsive novel readers...


6 June 1928
On this Derby Day, a magnificently self-congratulatory dinner
Holford-Strevens, Leofranc. “They got egg on their faces”. London Review of Books, pp. 29 -30.
for a hundred and fifty distinguished people, all male, was held at Goldsmiths' Hall in London to celebrate the completion of the Oxford English Dictionary.