Lyndall Gordon

Lyndall Gordon is a lecturer at Jesus College, Oxford and the author of Eliot’s Early Years.


Lyndall Gordon, 18 September 1980

It is astonishing that since Olive Schreiner died in 1920 there have been six biographies. Why should the life of a woman writing from remote farms and railway stoppings in South Africa between the 1870s and the First World War attract this attention? The new Olive Schreiner has been commissioned with the renewed interest in the feminist heroine of The Story of an African Farm (1883), and this approach to Olive Schreiner, which places her as a polemicist rather than a novelist, may be the most durable basis for her fame.

Men, Women and English Girls

Lyndall Gordon, 24 January 1980

David Arkell calls his biography Looking for Laforgue and he has undoubtedly found him. Without attempting what is popularly labelled ‘official’ biography, Arkell’s informal portrait is so convincing that it is hard to see an official biography adding more than superfluous detail. He brings us close to the living temper of a poet who is still fairly unknown to English-speakers but who, through his impact on T.S. Eliot, could claim to be the inventor of modern poetry.

Emily v. Mabel: Emily Dickinson

Susan Eilenberg, 30 June 2011

One need not be a Chamber – to be Haunted – One need not be a House – The Brain has Corridors – surpassing Material Place – ‘All men say “What”...

Read More

‘I thirst for his blood’: Henry James

Ruth Bernard Yeazell, 25 November 1999

Henry James was a generous correspondent in more senses than one, but his fellow writers may have found some of the Master’s letters rather exasperating. ‘I read your current novel...

Read More

Her pen made the first move

Ruth Bernard Yeazell, 7 July 1994

When Charlotte Brontë was not yet 21, she submitted a sample of her work to the reigning poet laureate, Robert Southey, together with a letter in which she apparently confided her ambition...

Read More

Perfect Light

Jenny Diski, 9 July 1992

One of the mysteries of our time is the hunger we have to know details about the lives of people we have never met. Years ago, walking down Heath Street, I saw, at the bottom of the hill by the...

Read More

Feast of St Thomas

Frank Kermode, 29 September 1988

‘The idea that Eliot’s poetry was rooted in private aspects of his life has now been accepted,’ says Lyndall Gordon in the Foreword to her second volume of biographical rooting...

Read More

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences