Marghanita Laski

Marghanita Laski (October 24th, 1915 – February 6th, 1988) was an English writer.

Born to a family of Jewish intellectuals, Laski attended a school for girls in Manchester and, later, in London. After a short period studying fashion design, she read English at Somerville College, Oxford, and graduated in 1936.

In 1937, Laski married the publisher John Eldred Howard, whom she had met at Oxford. She worked in various jobs in publishing, dairy farming, nursing, and journalism, and it was not until the birth of her two children that she began writing books.

Laski was a multifaceted author and wrote in a variety of genres, including science-fiction, psychological suspense, mock utopia, a ghost story, satire, comedy of manners, plays, short stories, biographical criticism, children’s stories, investigations into religious experiences (she was an avowed atheist), and screenplays.

Laski worked as a journalist, radio and television broadcaster, editor, and critic. As an avid reader and adept lexicographer, she contributed about 250,000 quotations to Oxford English Dictionary.

Laski died of a smoking-related pulmonary problem, on February 6th, 1988. She was 72 years old.



  • Love on the Supertax (1944)
  • Stories of Adventure (1946)
  • To Bed with Grand Music (1946, under the pen name Sarah Russell)
  • Tory Heaven or Thunder on the Right (1948. US edition: Toasted English, 1949)
  • Little Boy Lost (1949)
  • The Village (1952)
  • The Victorian Chaise-longue (1953)
  • The Tower (1955, short story)
  • Apologies (1955)
  • The Offshore Island (1959, play)
  • Ferry, the Jerusalem Cat (1983, short story)


  • Mrs Ewing, Mrs Molesworth and Mrs Hodgson Burnett (1950)
  • Ecstasy: a Study of Some Secular and Religious Experiences (1961)
  • A Chaplet for Charlotte Yonge (1965, editor, with Georgina Battiscombe)
  • Jane Austen and Her World (1969)
  • God and Man (1971, with Anthony Bloom)
  • George Eliot and Her World (1973)
  • Kipling’s English History (1974, editor)
  • Everyday Ecstasy (1980)
  • From Palm to Pine: Rudyard Kipling Abroad and at Home (1987)

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