Lehmann, John

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Lehmann, John

John Lehmann (lā´mən), 1907–89, English poet, editor, and publisher. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, he began working at Virginia and Leonard Woolf's Hogarth Press in 1931 and managed it from 1938 to 1946. In that year he founded a publishing house, John Lehmann, Ltd., which he directed until 1952. He also founded the London Magazine and edited it from 1952 to 1961. Lehmann is perhaps best remembered as the editor of New Writing, an English book-periodical that appeared (under various titles) about twice yearly between 1936 and 1946; it included work by writers considered too radical to be published elsewhere and came to be considered an important influence on 20th-century English literature. Lehmann also edited the paperback Penguin New Writing from 1946 to 1950. Among his works are the volumes of poetry A Garden Revisited (1931), The Age of the Dragon (1951), and Collected Poems (1961); and the study A Nest of Tigers: The Sitwells in Their Time (1969). Lehmann's sister, Rosamond Lehmann, 1901–90, was also a writer. She is noted for her delicately crafted studies of women, particularly of young girls. Her first novel, Dusty Answer (1927), concerning a deep emotional attachment between two college girls, was highly successful. Invitation to the Waltz (1932) describes the launching of a young girl into society; The Weather in the Streets (1936) treats the same girl 10 years later, after an abortion and a divorce. Lehmann's other works include The Gypsy's Baby and Other Stories (1946) and the novel The Echoing Grove (1953).

See Rosamond Lehmann's autobiographical The Swan in the Evening: Fragments of an Inner Life (1967).

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