Marghanita was born in Manchester, England, to a prominent family of Jewish intellectuals (Neville Laski was her father, Moses Gaster her grandfather and Harold Laski her uncle), she was educated at Lady Barn House School and St Paul's Girls' School in Hammersmith, worked in fashion, then studied English at Somerville College, Oxford
After her son and daughter were born, Laski began writing in earnest. An omnivorous reader, from 1958 onward she became a prolific and compulsive contributor to the Oxford English Dictionary and by 1986 had "carded" around 250,000 quotations, making her (according to Ilan Stavans) "the supreme contributor, male or female, to the OED".
Anthony Boucher described her novella The Victorian Chaise Longue as "an admirably written book, highly skilled in its economic evocation of time, place and character -- and a relentlessly terrifying one." Ecstasy: A Study of Some Secular and Religious Experiences has been compared to The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James in its importance.
She died in London (see her DNB entry) on 6 February 1988, aged 72, and was survived by her husband and children.
|Library resources about
|By Marghanita Laski|
- Love on the Supertax (1944) comic novel
- Stories of Adventure (1946) (editor?)
- The Patchwork Book (1946) editor
- To Bed with Grand Music (1946), as Sarah Russell
- Victorian Tales for Girls (1947) editor
- Tory Heaven or Thunder on the Right (1948) political satire
- Little Boy Lost (1949) novel
- Toasted English (1949)
- Mrs Ewing, Mrs Molesworth and Mrs Hodgson Burnett (1950) biography
- The Village (1952) novel (reprinted by Persephone Books in 2004)
- The Victorian Chaise-longue (1953) novel (reprinted in 1999 by Persephone Books)
- The Tower (1955) shortstory
- Apologies (1955) caricature
- The Offshore Island (1959) play
- Ecstasy: a Study of Some Secular and Religious Experiences (1961) psychology
- A Chaplet for Charlotte Yonge (1965) editor with Georgina Battiscombe
- Jane Austen and Her World (1969) literary history
- God and Man (1971) with Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) of Sourozh religion
- George Eliot and Her World (1973) literary history
- Kipling's English History (1974) Rudyard Kipling poems, editor
- Everyday Ecstasy (1980) psychology
- Ferry, the Jerusalem Cat (1983) story
- From Palm to Pine: Rudyard Kipling Abroad and at Home (1987) biography
- Common Ground: an Anthology (1989) editor
- To Bed with Grand Music (2001) (posthumous)
Republished by Persephone Books
- "MARGHANITA LASKI NOVELIST AND CRITIC; AT 72". Boston Globe. Highbeam. 8 February 1988.
- AP News Archive, 7 February 1988, "Marghanita Laski dies at 72", apnewsarchive.com; accessed 14 February 2016.
"She is survived by her husband, publisher John [Eldred] Howard, who founded the Cresset Press"
- Hastie, Scott (1993). Abbots Langley—a Hertfordshire Village. Abbots Langley Parish Council. ISBN 0-9520929-0-5.
- Charlotte Brewer (22 July 2010). "Examining the OED". Oxford University.
- Verónica Albin: On Dictionaries: A Conversation with Ilan Stavans, Translation Journal, Volume 9, No. 2, April 2005.
- Brian W. Aldiss, "Book Review," sfImpulse, October 1966, p. 19.
- "Marghanita Laski". National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
- Christine Finn: Chapter Eight Stanford University
- "Recommended Reading," F&SF, October 1954, p.95.
- Burchfield (2004)
- Burchfield, R.W. (2007). "Laski, Marghanita (1915–1988)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/39837. Retrieved 11 April 2012. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Marghanita Laski at Persephone Books
- Marghanita Laski at the Internet Movie Database
- "Two portraits of Laski". National Portrait Gallery.