Lorna Garman

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Lorna Cecilia Garman Wishart[1] (11 January 1911 – 12 January 2000)[2] was the youngest of the nine children of Walter Garman, an eccentric doctor, and his wife Margaret. Lorna, her six sisters and her two brothers grew up in the bleak surroundings[citation needed] of the Black Country at Oakeswell Hall, Wednesbury, and then became prominent in the Bohemian Bloomsbury set in London between the two world wars. Lorna in particular had affairs with the poet Laurie Lee and the painter Lucian Freud. Her character may be summed up in this quotation from Cressida Connolly:

“Lorna, the baby of the family, was perhaps the most flamboyant of the fabulous Garmans. She wore beautiful and unusual clothes, and smelled of Chanel No. 5, went riding on her horse at night, drove a chocolate-brown Bentley, and would strip naked to swim in inviting lakes or rivers or 10-metre waves. At 14 she seduced the man who would become her husband when she was 16, the publisher Ernest Wishart.”[3]

Ernest Wishart founded the publisher Wishart & Co., which soon became Lawrence and Wishart, which became the publishing house of the Communist Party of Great Britain, in collaboration with Douglas Garman, the party's Education Secretary. Throughout her marriage to him Lorna had several affairs. She gave birth to Laurie Lee's daughter Yasmin in February 1939[2][4] and modelled for several pictures by Lucian Freud during her affair with him. She also brought him objects such as a dead heron and a zebra head for him to insert in his paintings. Both Lee and Freud went on to marry nieces of Lorna's, respectively Kathy Polge and Kitty Garman.

Lorna Wishart died on 12 January 2000[2][5] and ended her days as a pillar of the Roman Catholic community around Arundel in West Sussex[citation needed].

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1984-2004. Gives name at death as "Lorna Cecilia Wishart".
  2. ^ a b c "Lorna Wishart". The Times (London, England). 13 January 2000. p. 27. 
  3. ^ Connolly, Cressida (2004). The Rare and the Beautiful: The Lives of the Garmans.
  4. ^ Grove, Valerie (9 June 2004). [1]"Remain Aloof to Retain Allure," The Times
  5. ^ Cunningham, John (21 January 2000). "Muse and Mistress". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 3 August 2014. 

The Rare and the Beautiful: The Lives of the Garmans by Cressida Connolly, Fourth Estate