Laura Knight, Oil Paint and Grease Paint

I went to the Royal Academy's tiny one-room exhibition of Laura Knight a few weeks ago, and was alerted to the fact that she had written a couple of autobiographies, Oil Paint and Grease Paint (1936) and The Magic of a Line (1965). Laura Knight was made a Dame in 1929, and was the first … Continue reading Laura Knight, Oil Paint and Grease Paint

Penguin New Writing 39: woman sighted

This is the penultimate issue of Penguin New Writing, from 1950, and I think John Lehmann is losing his grip (again). He actually opens the art section with two paintings by a woman, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: this has never happened before. Other notable contributors include Paul Bowles, Cecil Day-Lewis, Kathleen Raine and Tom Hopkinson. Lehmann's 'Foreword' … Continue reading Penguin New Writing 39: woman sighted

Penguin New Writing 38: John Lehmann loses his judgement

There is full-on puffery in John Lehmann's Foreword to Penguin New Writing in this 1949 issue. It's been only a few issues since he sent out a plea for someone to contribute something funny; he's lost all sense of proportion now. His Foreword begins with the question of how can we know 'if a man … Continue reading Penguin New Writing 38: John Lehmann loses his judgement

Penguin New Writing 37: The embrace of the weird

So many famous writers in this issue from 1949! Laurie Lee, Frank O’Connor, Anna Kavan, Patrick Leigh-Fermor and Jacquetta Hawkes! Had John Lehmann’s ship come in? Frank O’Connor’s ‘The Landlady’ is one of the most readable stories Lehmann published in Penguin New Writing, and it’s not gloomy, or cruel to women, or about tight-lipped privilege. … Continue reading Penguin New Writing 37: The embrace of the weird