Lyn Irvine

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Lyn Lloyd Newman (née Irvine) (3 May 1901 – 19 May 1973) was a journalist and writer.

She was born in Berwick-upon-Tweed, the daughter of John A. Irvine, a Presbyterian minister, and his Irish wife Lilian; Andrew Irvine (mountaineer) was her first cousin. After studying at the University of Aberdeen and Girton College Cambridge, she gained an introduction to Leonard Woolf and in 1926 began reviewing books for the Nation, of which Woolf was then literary editor.

In 1931 the Hogarth Press published her first book, Ten Letter Writers, gaining her recognition within the Bloomsbury Group and beyond. On the strength of this she started, in 1934, to produce a bi-weekly literary journal, The Monologue. Subscribers included Clive and Julian Bell, Elizabeth Bowen, Graham Greene, Maynard Keynes, Vita Sackville-West, and Leonard and Virginia Woolf. The annual subscription for 26 issues was ten shillings (50 pence in today's decimal currency, or approximately one US dollar).

In 1934 Irvine married the Cambridge mathematician Max Newman;[1] they had two sons, Edward (born 1935) and William (1939). Lyn Irvine published three more books after World War II. She also wrote a frequently quoted foreword to Sara Turing's biography of her son Alan Turing. From her dove house in Comberton, near Cambridge, she maintained prolific correspondences with friends and family, and surviving letters are now in the archives of St. John's College, Cambridge.


  • Ten Letter Writers (1931) biographies
  • The Monologue (1934) literary journal
  • So Much Love So Little Money (1957) autobiography
  • Field With Geese (1957) ornithology
  • Alison Cairns and Her Family (1957) biography


The Lyn Newman Digital Archive has digital copies of materials from the library of St. John's College, Cambridge.


  1. ^ William Newman, Married to a Mathematician: Lyn Newman's Life in Letters, 2002, The Eagle, St John's College, Cambridge UK, pp. 47-55