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Marghanita Laski photographed during the 1950s.
Marghanita Laski,who was born in 1915, was brought up in a family of Jewish intellectuals first in Manchester and then in London; Harold Laski, the socialist thinker, was her uncle. After working in fashion she read English at Oxford, married John Howard, a publisher, and worked in journalism. She began writing once her son and daughter were born: among her six novels wereTo Bed with Grand Music(written under a pseudonym),Tory Heaven(1948), Little Boy Lost(1949),The Village(1952) andThe Victorian Chaise-longue (1953). A well-known critic, she wrote books on Jane Austen and George Eliot.Ecstasy(1962) explored intense experiences andEveryday Ecstasy(1974) their social effects. Her distinctive voice was often heard on the radio onThe Brains TrustandThe Critics; and she submitted a large number of illustrative quotations to theOxford English Dictionary.Her home was in Hampstead, where she died in 1988.