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.


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, 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 Margaret Kennedy
Friend and fellow author Marghanita Laski praised the novel, and specifically MK 's depiction of Oxford life through the flashbacks that Lucy and her best friend, Melissa, have on their university days. The novel was...
Literary responses Frances Hodgson Burnett
The American reviews were highly flattering. The reviewer for the Boston Transcript could think of no more powerful work from a woman's hand in the English language, not even George Eliot at her best.
Gerzina, Gretchen. Frances Hodgson Burnett. Chatto and Windus.
Literary responses Rosamond Lehmann
Virago paid a five-hundred-pound advance for each book in addition to royalties. Their first two RL titles each sold almost 20,000 copies within three years. It made her feel very peculiar to receive fan letters...
Literary responses Frances Hodgson Burnett
FHB 's remark about her hero while he was still in process of composition—that I should not be surprised if he were very popular—turned out to be an extreme understatement.
Gerzina, Gretchen. Frances Hodgson Burnett. Chatto and Windus.
Fauntleroy was, says...
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
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.
Marghanita Laski in 1950 judged this to be as much better than A...
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.
198, 199
Orphia Jane Allen considers this work a thinly developed
Allen, Orphia Jane. Barbara Pym: Writing a Life. Scarecrow Press.
but effectively ironic, witty view of academia. Anne Wyatt-Brown
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.
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.
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...


6 June 1928: On this Derby Day, a magnificently self-congratulatory...

Writing climate item

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.


Laski, Marghanita, and Georgina Battiscombe, editors. A Chaplet for Charlotte Yonge. Cresset Press, 1965.
Laski, Marghanita, and Anton. Apologies. Harvill Press, 1955.
Laski, Marghanita. Ecstasy: A Study of Some Secular and Religious Experiences. Cresset Press, 1961.
Laski, Marghanita. Everyday Ecstasy. Thames and Hudson, 1980.
Ewing, Juliana Horatia et al. “Introduction”. Victorian Tales for Girls, edited by Marghanita Laski, Pilot Press, 1947, pp. 7-12.
Laski, Marghanita. Little Boy Lost. Cresset Press.
Laski, Marghanita, and W. Stein. Love on the Supertax. Cresset Press.
Laski, Marghanita. Mrs. Ewing, Mrs. Molesworth, and Mrs. Hodgson Burnett. A. Barker, 1950.
Laski, Marghanita. “Revising OED”. Times Literary Supplement, No. 3684, p. 1226.
Laski, Marghanita. “The appeal of Georgette Heyer”. Times, p. 16.
Laski, Marghanita. “The Living Language: Ten Random Questions”. Times Literary Supplement, No. 3277, p. 1146.
Laski, Marghanita. The Offshore Island. Cresset Press, 1959.
Laski, Marghanita. “The Tower”. The Third Ghost Book, edited by Lady Cynthia Asquith, James Barrie, 1955, pp. 127-34.
Laski, Marghanita. “The Tower”. The Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century Ghost Stories, edited by Michael Cox, Oxford University Press, 1996, pp. 210-16.
Laski, Marghanita. The Victorian Chaise-Longue. Cresset Press, 1953.
Laski, Marghanita. The Village. Cresset Press, 1952.
Laski, Marghanita. “To the Editor: ’George Eliot and Her World’”. Times Literary Supplement, No. 3725, p. 869.
Laski, Marghanita. Toasted English. Houghton Mifflin, 1949.
Laski, Marghanita. Tory Heaven. Cresset Press, 1948.
Ewing, Juliana Horatia et al. Victorian Tales for Girls. Editor Laski, Marghanita, Pilot Press, 1947.
Laski, Marghanita. “Viewpoint”. Times Literary Supplement, No. 3743, p. 1474.