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Marghanita Laski Biography

(1915–88), Oxford English Dictionary, Love on the Supertax, To Bed With Grand Music, Tory Heaven

victorian oxford literature study

British novelist and critic, born in London, educated at Somerville College, Oxford. A journalist, broadcaster, and contributor to the Oxford English Dictionary, she became Vice-Chairman of the Arts Council of Great Britain in 1982 and was Chairman of its Literature Panel from 1980 to 1984. Her novels Love on the Supertax (1944), To Bed With Grand Music (under the pseudonym ‘Sarah Russell’, 1946), Tory Heaven (1948), and The Village (1952) offer critical analyses of class issues with particular reference to the situations of their women protagonists; Little Boy Lost (1949) centres on a father's search for his son in France after the Second World War. Her best-known work of fiction is The Victorian Chaise-Longue (1953), a sombre horror story about a woman trapped in the body of a dying Victorian. Mrs Ewing, Mrs Molesworth, and Mrs Hodgson Burnett (1950), and Victorian Tales for Girls (1947), a study of idealizing tendencies in Victorian literature, are among Laski's critical works. Her other publications include the play The Offshore Island (1959), a polemic for nuclear disarmament, and Ecstasy: a Study of Religious and Secular Experience (1961).

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