Dictionary of World Biography
Labiche, Eugène Marin (1815–1888). French playwright, born in Paris. A lawyer, then a journalist, he wrote more than 100 comedies for the Palais-Royal Theatre, many still performed, including Le Chapeau de paille d’Italie (1851: The Italian Straw Hat, later filmed by René Clair) and Le Voyage de M. Perrichon (1861). He was elected to the Académie française in 1883.
La Bruyère, Jean de (1645–1696). French essayist and moralist. He studied law but disliked it and eventually (1684) became tutor to Louis de Bourbon, grandson of the Prince de *Condé. In 1688 appeared the work for which he is renowned: Les Caractères ou les Mœurs de ce Siècle, containing disguised and satirical pen-portraits of contemporaries, accompanied by moral maxims. Originally a pendant to a translation of the Characters of Theophrastus, it gradually developed as a separate work and the number of ‘Characters’ steadily increased with each edition. The fitting of the right cap to the right anonymous head became a social relaxation and several keys were published, the authenticity of all being denied by the author. The ‘maxims’ are scathing about not only human wickedness and folly but also the inequalities and harshness of the social system. Yet he was no revolutionary and seems to have accepted in a disillusioned spirit the inevitability of human ills.
Richard, P., Bruyère. 1946.
Lacan, Jacques (1901–1981). French psychoanalyst, psychologist and literary critic. In an important collection Ecrits (1966, translated into English 1977), using the techniques of structural linguistics, he proposed a radical revision of *Freud’s theories and methodology, arguing that the whole structure of language was to be found in the unconscious, as revealed by psychoanalysis.
La Condamine, Charles Marie de (1701–1774). French geographer. Sent to Peru on an expedition (1735–43) to measure the meridional arc there, he also explored the Amazon. He obtained positive evidence concerning india-rubber and brought back the poisonous plant curare. His journal of the expedition was published in 1751.
Lacoste, René (1904–1996). French lawn-tennis player. With Jean *Borotra and Henri Cochet he was one of the famous ‘Three Musketeers’ who monopolised the Wimbledon singles championship from 1924 to 1929. Lacoste won in 1925 and 1928. He manufactured sportswear with the familiar alligator logo.
Laden, Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin (1957–2011). Saudi jihadist leader, born in Riyadh. His family, originally from Yemen, made a fortune in the construction business. He accepted US support in organising guerrilla warfare against Soviet control of Afghanistan, then created the al-Qaida network, which made terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on 11 September 2001. He was killed by US operatives (2 May 2011) in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and buried at sea. His son, Hazma bin Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (1989?–2019?), groomed as a potential leader of al-Qaida, was also killed by US operatives.
Ladislaus see Wladislaw
Laënnec, René Théophile Hyacinthe (1781–1826). French physician, born in Brittany. As a hospital physician he made important contributions to research on tuberculosis, peritonitis, parasitic complaints etc. His greatest contribution was to devise the stethoscope and the method of ausculation for diagnosis of diseases of the chest. He developed the disease from which he died (probably tuberculosis) four years after becoming professor of medicine at the Collège de France.
Lafayette, (Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch) Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de (1757–1834). French soldier and politician. A liberal-minded member of a rich aristocratic family, he went to America (1777) to fight for its independence, became a friend of *Washington and returned to France to urge his country to go to war with Great Britain on America’s behalf. Successful in this he was back in America in time to take part in the events that led to the capitulation of Yorktown (1781). With a hero’s reputation and his liberal principles he was elected to the Estates-General of 1789 and became Commander of the National Guard. A constitutionalist rather than a violent revolutionary he tried to restrain mob rule in Paris and, after the failure of Louis *XVI’s flight to Varennes, to protect the king. Courageous but mediocre, avid for praise and easily manipulated, *Mirabeau called him ‘Gilles [i.e. simpleton] César’. Forced to give up his post in Paris he became commander of the army of the east, but a final effort (1792) to avert the danger to the king’s life by a march on Paris failed. Lafayette sought refuge across the Rhine and was held in prison until the peace of 1797. Under Napoléon he lived quietly, but after the emperor’s fall he served in the Chamber of Deputies 1815, 1818–24. He made a triumphant return to the US (1824–25) where he was made an honorary citizen and is still regarded as a symbol of Franco-American friendship. In the 1830 Revolution he commanded the National Guard which overthrew *Charles X and replaced him with *Louis Philippe. He was offered the Belgian throne in 1830.
La Fayette, Marie Madeleine Pioche de la Vergne, Comtesse de (1634–1693). French novelist. She was the first French writer to publish a novel of psychological insight and sincere observation. La Princesse de Clèves (1678) deals with a married woman’s renunciation of a love affair—a theme probably inspired by her own unsatisfactory marriage. In 1667 she became an intimate of the Duc de la *Rochefoucauld—an attachment that lasted until his death in 1680—who may have helped her with her novels.
La Follette, Robert Marion (1855–1925). American politician. He played a notable part in the politics of his native state, Wisconsin, and as Governor 1901–06, carried out a program of reform (the Wisconsin idea) which gained him a national reputation. As US Senator 1906–25 he continued to fight for progressive causes and in 1924 stood as an independent Progressive candidate for the presidency and polled 4,800,000 votes.
La Fontaine, Jean de (1621–1695). French poet. His marriage was early dissolved and he later frequented numerous patrons, including Madame de La Sablière and Nicolas *Fouquet. He wrote a variety of forms of poetry but his enduring masterpiece was his 12 books of Fables (1668–94) (240 in all), many of them adaptations of *Aesop’s fables, often concealing under their childish appeal a biting satire of the foibles and weaknesses of French society in particular and human nature in general. He was elected to the Académie française in 1683, despite the king’s objections.
Clarac, P., La Fontaine. Rev. ed. 1959.
Lagerkvist, Pär (Fabian) (1891–1974). Swedish novelist, dramatist and poet. He was concerned with destructive forces in society. Two poems in expressionist style, Angest and Kaos, were written during World War I to emphasise its horrors. He later widened his scope to attack all political and social extremism and its destructive power. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature for the novel Barabbas (1951).
Spector, R. D., Pär Lagerkvist. 1973.
Lagerlöf, Selma Ottiniana Lovisa (1858–1940). Swedish novelist and poet. Crippled from girlhood, she was a schoolteacher for many years and wrote a series of popular children’s stories, e.g. The Wonderful Adventures of Nils (1907), and religious stories, e.g. Legends of Christ (1904). Her greatest work was the romantic story of peasant life in Sweden, Gosta Berlings Saga (1891). Nominated 28 times, she became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature (1909) and to be elected to the Swedish Academy.
Lagrange, Joseph Louis, Comte (1736–1813). French mathematician. His family had long lived in Italy. He became (1755) professor of mathematics at Turin Artillery School. Before he was 20 he had won a place in the front ranks of mathematicians as the result of a memoir he sent to *Euler, in the course of which he developed the calculus of variations, one of his most important contributions to mathematics. He helped to develop the theory of sound and, with *Laplace, carried out investigations that led to the formulation of the law governing the eccentricity and stability of the solar system. He was director of the Berlin Academy of Sciences 1766–87 and then settled in France, where he headed the commission appointed during the Revolution to draw up the new system of weights and measures. He also introduced the system of decimal coinage. His greatest work was his Mecanique Analytique (1788).
La Guardia, Fiorello H(enrico) (1882–1947). American Republican politician. He served in the US House of Representatives 1917–21, 1923–33, then became an immensely popular mayor of New York City 1933–45. Here he initiated housing and labour schemes, was Civil Defence Director and an early opponent of *Hitler’s anti-Semitic policies. He was the first Director General of the UN Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) (1946).
Mann, A., La Guardia, 1882–1933. 1959.
Laing, R(onald) D(avid) (1927–1989). British psychiatrist. Influenced by existentialism, he argued in Sanity, Madness and the Family (1964) that madness is a reflexive reaction to the stresses of family life, rather than having biological causes. His controversial views, rejected by mainstream psychiatrists, were the subject of continuous media interest.
Laing, R. D., Wisdom, Madness and Folly. 1985.
Lakatos, Imre (1922–1974). Hungarian mathematician and philosopher of science. He lived in Britain from 1956, teaching at the London School of Economics, and editing the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (1971–74). He urged far more rigorous analysis of decision-making in science policy, for example the comparative evaluation of research programs.
Lalande, Joseph Jerome Le Français de (1732–1807). French astronomer, he was professor of astronomy in the Collége de France (1762–1807) and (from 1768) Director of the Paris Observatory. His Histoire céleste (1801) gave the positions of nearly 50,000 stars. His Traité d’Astronomie (1764) was his principal work. The Lalande Prize was instituted by him (1802) for the most important observation or book of the year.
Lalor, Peter (1827–1889). Irish-Australian activist and politician, born in Raheen, Co. Laois. Born to a well-connected family, he migrated to Victoria in 1852 and, perhaps surprisingly, because he was neither Chartist nor republican, became a leader of protests by 12,000 diggers at Ballarat against the imposition of a ‘poll tax’ (licence fee), arbitrary interference by police and officials, and denial of the right to vote. Appointed Commander-in-Chief, Lalor led 1500 miners (plus a few spies and informers) to Eureka where a stockade was improvised as protection against what appeared to be inevitable attack and raised the ‘Southern Cross’ flag. On Sunday, 3 December 1854, at 3.00 a.m. at Eureka, troops and police attacked the stockade, killing about 30 people and taking one hundred prisoners. Lalor, shot in the left arm, escaped, but his arm had to be amputated at the shoulder. He was never tried but 12 miners charged with treason were all acquitted. Lalor became a State MP, took conservative positions on many issues and vehemently denied being ‘a democrat.’ Five films have been made about Lalor and the Eureka Stockade incident.
Lamarck, Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, Chevalier de (1744–1829). French naturalist. After three years in the army, he took up banking but soon turned to natural history. He published a Flore françoise (1778) and in 1779 was put in charge of the royal garden which became the nucleus of the later Jardin des Plantes in Paris where he gave lectures over many years on the invertebrates until 1818 when failing eyesight forced him to retire. He put forward the theory, often called Lamarckism, that explains variations in species as being primarily due to environment and which concludes that such adaptive variants are hereditary. He introduced the term ‘biology’, which he made into a science with his system of classification, and is regarded as the founder of invertebrate palaeontology. In his own time he was regarded as something of an eccentric, but later his evolutionary theories aroused considerable scientific interest. His ideas concerning the inheritance of acquired characteristics are now discredited though the Soviet biologist *Lysenko attempted to establish their validity.
Cannon, H. G., Lamarck and Modern Genetics. 1960.
Lamarr, Hedy (originally Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler) (1914–2000). Austrian-American film actor and inventor, born in Vienna. An extraordinary beauty, she attracted attention with her first film Ecstasy (1933), and worked in the US from 1938, making 26 films over 20 years. In 1940, with the composer George Antheil, she developed a system, adapted from a player-piano mechanism, to produce a frequency-hopping radio signal that could not be tracked or jammed. They received very late recognition in 1997 for their achievement and an electronic version became central to Wi-Fi.
Lamartine, Alphonse Marie Louis de (1790–1869). French poet and politician. He achieved his first great poetic success with the Romantic Médiations poétiques (1820) in which the influence of *Byron is evident. He had minor diplomatic appointments in Italy until 1828 where, in 1820, he married an English woman Maria-Ann Birch. His religious orthodoxy was given lyrical expression in his Harmonies poétiques et religieuses. Later works include the epic in 15 visions La Chute d’un Ange (1838), and La Vigne et la Maison (1856), which has been described as ‘his finest individual poem’. As a politician, Lamartine was a moderate and he won a great reputation as an orator in the parliaments of *Louis Philippe. After the latter’s fall he was briefly Foreign Minister but the election of his rival Louis Napoléon (later *Napoléon III) as President closed his political career. Later he wrote historical and autobiographical works in a vain effort to pay off a vast accumulation of debt.
Whitehouse, H. R., Life of Lamartine. 2 vols. Repr. 1969.
Lamb, Lady Caroline (née Ponsonby) (1785–1828). English writer. Daughter of the 3rd Earl of Bessborough, she married William Lamb, later 2nd Viscount *Melbourne in 1805 and he tolerated her hysteria and alcoholism. Her passionate pursuit (1812–13) of Lord *Byron (whom she described as ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’), made her ridiculous and embarrassed him. After their rupture she caricatured him in Glenarvon, published anonymously in 1816. This, the first of three not very distinguished novels, was republished (1865) as The Fatal Passion. She died of dropsy.
Lamb, Charles (1775–1834). English essayist, known as ‘Elia’. Educated at Christ’s Hospital London, where he formed a lifelong friendship with S. T. *Coleridge, at the age of 17 he went to work as a clerk at the London office of the East India Company, where he remained for 33 years. In 1796 his sister Mary killed their mother in one of the fits of recurring insanity to which she was subject, Lamb declared himself her guardian and devoted his life to her care, which was repaid with deep affection. Together they wrote Tales from Shakespeare (1807) and Poetry for Children (1809). During the next decade Charles wrote little of importance except the criticism that appeared (from 1812) in Leigh *Hunt’s paper the Reflector, but in 1820 he began the famous series of essays in the London Magazine under the pen name ‘Elia’. A considerable depth of thought, concealed by a style of infinitely varied harmonies and a persuasively whimsical charm have made these essays (collected 1823 and 1833) one of the most abidingly popular books in the field of belles-lettres. All the qualities that give delight in his essays are present though less formally presented, in his letters, published in several collections after his death. He also wrote poetry throughout his life. Despite his circumstances Lamb was a man of many friends, deeply loved for his genial companionship, generosity and courage. His sister Mary survived him for 13 years.
Lambert, Constant (1905–1951). English composer and conductor. Son of the artist George Washington Lambert (1873–1930), he studied at the Royal College of Music with *Vaughan Williams, became friends with the *Sitwells and *Walton and at 20 was commissioned by *Diaghilev to write the ballet Romeo and Juliet (1926). The Rio Grande (1929), for piano, orchestra and chorus, to words by Sacheverell *Sitwell, used jazz idioms successfully. He was music director for the innovative Carmago Society 1930–33 and the Vic-Wells, later Sadler’s Wells, Ballet 1931–47. His polemic Music Ho! (1934) still reads well, although many of his judgments (e.g. his dismissal of *Mahler) have been overtaken by events. Later works include the choral Summer’s Last Will and Testament (1936), and the ballets Horoscope (1937) and Tiresias (1951). His son Christopher (‘Kit’) Lambert (1935–1981) made a fortune as a rock-music promoter and drank himself to death.
Motion, A., The Lamberts: George, Constant and Kit. 1986.
Lambert, John (1619–1684). English soldier. During the Civil War he fought with distinction under *Fairfax at Marston Moor, and under *Cromwell at Preston, Dunbar and Worcester. He commanded the Parliamentary army in Scotland at the time of King *Charles’ trial and execution, supported Cromwell as Lord Protector and on his death, with strong backing from the army, could probably have displaced the feeble Richard *Cromwell. But any ambitions he may have had were frustrated by the Restoration secretly organised and carried out by *Monck who brought him to trial for treason. Convicted (1662), Lambert was confined for life, first on Guernsey, then on Plymouth Sound.
Lamennais, Hugues Félicité Robert de (1782–1854). French political theorist. A Catholic priest, in his chief work Essay on Religious Indifference (1818–24), he presented an untraditional view of Christianity. Although he also argued that the evils of the time could only be overcome by a universal Christian society in which kings and peoples were subject to the pope, his unorthodox views were condemned by the papacy. In 1840, one of his books earned him a year’s imprisonment. He was, for a short time after the revolution of 1848, a member of the Constituent Assembly.
Lamerie, Paul de (c.1688–1751). Dutch silversmith. Apprenticed to a London goldsmith in 1703, he was his own master from 1712. He became one of the most famous craftsmen of the century and his work is correspondingly valued. His earlier work shows a simplicity and delicacy lacking in the rococo elegance of his later productions.
La Mettrie, Julien Offray de (1709–1751). French physician and philosopher. He published his first important work, Histoire naturelle de l’âme in 1745. Its belief in a materialistic theory of mind offended the Church and the medical establishment, and from then until his death, La Mettrie was involved in a running war with both. His major work was L’Homme machine of 1748 which expounded both materialism and atheism quite openly. He saw the body as nothing other than a machine. Mental states, such as love, hunger, illness, ideas, all had physiological roots. Man was superior to the animals simply because he possessed a bigger brain. He was fascinated by the close interaction of brain and body to produce delicate feelings and purposive bodily behaviour, and he explored the possible interface between medicine and morals, the relationship between sin and sickness. He also wrote four medical treatises, on venereal disease, vertigo, dysentery and asthma. His Observations de médecine pratique (1743) indicates his clinical practice, in which he gives specially important place to autopsies.
Lamont, Norman Stewart Hughson, Baron Lamont of Lerwick (1942– ). British Conservative politician, born in Shetland. After leaving Cambridge, he became a merchant banker and a Tory MP 1972–97, serving in Treasury posts from 1986 and as Chancellor of the Exchequer 1990–93.
Lampedusa, Giuseppe Tomasi, Prince of (1897–1957). Italian novelist. His novel, Il Gattopardo (The Leopard), appeared posthumously (1958) and was widely praised for its description of social and political change in Sicily in the mid-19th century.
Buzzi, G., Tomasi di Lampedusa. 1973.
Lancaster, House of. English dynasty, a branch of the *Plantagenets. *John of Gaunt, fourth son of Edward III, created Duke of Lancaster after the death of the 1st Duke whose daughter and heiress he had married. The Lancastrian kings were John of Gaunt’s son *Henry IV, followed by his son *Henry V and grandson *Henry VI.
Storey R. L. The End of the House of Lancaster. 1966.
Lancaster, Joseph (1778–1838). English educationist. He is remembered for the monitorial system, which is described in his Improvement in Education (1803). It was similar to one introduced in Madras by Andrew Bell (1753–1832). Lancaster first opened a school for the poor in Southwark in 1798, where by the system of teaching by monitors, 100 pupils could be taught under the supervision of a single master. Lancaster’s supporters included *Brougham, *Wilberforce and *Mill, but in time he quarrelled with his backers, quit their organisation (the Royal Lancasterian Institution) and emigrated to New York in 1818. He worked with *Bolívar in Venezuela (1825–27) but quarrelled with him too.
Lancaster, Sir Osbert (1908–1986). British cartoonist, author and theatrical designer. He was a cartoonist at the Daily Express from 1939, wrote shrewd and witty books on architecture, e.g. Pillar to Post (1938), Drayneflete Revealed (1949), Sailing to Byzantium (1969), two volumes of autobiography and designed many opera and ballet sets.
Lanchester, Frederick William (1868–1946). British engineer and physicist. A pioneer of the motor industry, he designed the Lanchester car (1899) and during the next 30 years was consultant to the Daimler and other companies. He carried out research in aeronautics, and published several books. In 1922 he was elected FRS.
Lancret, Nicolas (1690–1745). French painter. Under *Watteau’s influence he painted fêtes galantes and other gay court occasions. Despite the artificial nature of his subjects and the fastidious elegance of his style his keen observation gave life and realism both to characters and to the background details in his scenes.
Land, Edwin Herbert (1909–1991). American inventor. He dropped out of Harvard to work on inventions including the Polaroid—a plastic sheet incorporating many tiny crystals that polarised light. This was used in Polaroid sunglasses and the Polaroid Land camera, which provided immediate prints.
Landon, Alf(red Mossman) (1887–1987). American politician and businessman, born in Pennsylvania. An oil producer in Kansas he later acquired radio and TV interests. Governor of Kansas 1933–37, he won the Republican nomination for President in 1936 on the first ballot, but was defeated in a landslide by Franklin D. *Roosevelt, winning only two states (Maine and Vermont). A rural progressive, he was a strong supporter of the United Nations, the Marshall Plan, and urged recognition of *Mao’s China. His daughter, Nancy Landon Kassebaum (1932– ), was a US senator from Kansas 1978–97.
Landon, Letitia Elizabeth (known as L.E.L.) (1802–1838). English poet and novelist, born in London. She was a prolific poet and novelist, publishing under her initials, and became subject to sexual exploitation, leading to curiosity, admiration and attack. She married late and died of an overdose, possibly accidental, in what is now Ghana.
Miller, L., L.E.L.: The Lost Life and Scandalous Death of Letitia Elizabeth Landon, the Celebrated ‘Female Byron’. 2019.
Landor, Walter Savage (1775–1864). English writer, born in Warwick. The consequences of an irascible nature which caused him to be removed from Rugby and rusticated from Oxford, pursued Landor throughout his life. Although both physically and intellectually impressive, his life was a series of quarrels and lonely wanderings. From 1815 to 1835, the year in which they had their decisive quarrel, he lived in Italy with his wife. Despite his pugnacity his impulses were nearly always generous. Much of his inherited wealth was used to equip volunteers for the Peninsular War, more went into a scheme of agricultural and social reform at Llanthony. He turned over his property to his children only to be rewarded by ingratitude and he would have died in extreme poverty had not Robert and Elizabeth *Browning rallied his brothers to his support and enabled him to spend his last years in Florence in a comparative tranquillity. Except by a few his literary work was never highly esteemed: his best known book is Imaginary Conversations (1824–29).
Landowska, Wanda Louise (1879–1959). Polish pianist, harpsichordist and musicologist, born in Warsaw. She lived in France 1900–40 and in the US from 1940 onwards, becoming famous for her energetic interpretations of *Händel, *Bach, *Scarlatti and other 17th- and 18th-century composers. She was responsible for the modern revival of the harpsichord, and concertos were written for her by *Falla and *Poulenc.
Landseer, Sir Edwin Henry (1802–1873). English painter. He gained immense popularity with his animal pictures, especially of deer and dogs which, in the excellent engravings made by his brother, Thomas Landseer, appeared in countless Victorian homes. Despite a certain sentimentality of subject, his animals are natural and realistic and his drawings reveal a much wider and less conventional talent. The lions of Trafalgar Square, London, were modelled by him. He was Queen *Victoria’s drawing teacher, declined election as President of the Royal Academy, and became a melancholy alcoholic in his last years.
Landsteiner, Karl (1868–1943). Austrian-American pathologist, born in Vienna. Working at the University of Vienna, he became famous for his discovery (1901) of the four main human blood groups, A, B, AB and O. He won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1930 for this. He worked for the Rockefeller Institute in New York from 1922 until his death. He also discovered, in collaboration with A. S. Wiener, the Rh factor, so called because it was first found in the Rhesus monkey.
Lane (originally Williams), Sir Allen (1902–1970). English publisher. With his brothers Richard Grenville Lane (1905–1982) and John Lane (1908–1942) he founded Penguin Books which grew from modest beginnings (1935) into one of Britain’s major publishing houses within a few years, pioneering the paperback book. His uncle John Lane (1854–1925), of the Bodley Head, published the famous Yellow Book, the art quarterly which with Aubrey *Beardsley’s illustrations was a succès de scandale in the 1890s.
Murpurgo, J., Allen Lane: King Penguin. 1979; Kells, S. Penguin and the Lane Brothers. 2015.
Lanfranc (Lanfranco) (1005?–1089). Italian prelate in England. Born in Pavia, he became a Benedictine monk, left Lombardy c.1039 and directed an important school at Avranches. As prior of the Abbey of Bec in Normandy 1045–66, he attracted the notice of Duke *William, whose gratitude he earned by obtaining papal dispensation for his marriage. Abbot of Saint-Étienne, Caen, 1066–70, when William conquered England, Lanfranc was rewarded (1070) with the archbishopric of Canterbury. He reorganised the English Church to meet the changes caused by the conquest and showed his legal talent and diplomatic skill in reconciling the demands of a reforming pope (*Gregory VII) and an autocratic king.
Lang of Lambeth, Cosmo Gordon Lang, 1st Baron (1864–1945). Scottish Anglican prelate, born in Fyvie. Educated at Glasgow and Oxford universities, and originally a Presbyterian, he became an Anglican priest in 1890. He made his mark by his demeanour, eloquence and social work, and became suffragan Bishop of Stepney 1901–08, then, in a meteoric rise, Archbishop of York 1908–28 and Archbishop of Canterbury 1928–42. His vehement opposition to *Edward VIII’s proposed marriage to Mrs Simpson was a decisive factor in the King’s abdication (December 1936). Unmarried, he developed an embarrassing passion for the actress Anne Todd.
Lockhart J. G., Cosmo Gordon Lang. 1949; Beaken, R., Cosmo Lang: Archbishop in War and Crisis. 2012.
Lang, Fritz (1890–1976). German film director, born in Vienna. Originally an architect, his early films were important examples of Expressionism, including Dr Mabuse, the gambler (1922), Nibelungen (1925), Metropolis (1926), and M (1932). He worked in the US 1933–58, directing a variety of films including Westerns, thrillers and psychological dramas.
Lang, John Thomas (generally known as J. T., or Jack Lang) (1876–1975). Australian Labor politician, born in Sydney. A member of the New South Wales Parliament 1913–46, he was ALP State leader 1923–39. As Premier of NSW 1925–27 and 1930–32, he introduced welfare state measures and promoted construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. During the Depression he adopted reflationary policies later advocated by J. M. *Keynes, repudiating payments on foreign debts and to the Commonwealth Government. He controlled the party machine in NSW and his supporters in the Australian Parliament contributed to the defeat of the *Scullin government in 1931. The semi-fascist ‘New Guard’ had been formed (1930) to work for his overthrow and in May 1932 the New South Wales Governor, Sir Philip Game dismissed him. Replaced as Labor leader in 1939 by William *McKell, he was expelled from the ALP in 1943, formed the Lang Labor Party and sat in the House of Representatives 1946–49 as a bitter opponent of the Labor Governmemt led by J. B. *Chifley, an old enemy. Lang was much admired by Paul *Keating who secured his readmission to the ALP in 1971.
Lang, J. T., I remember. 1956; Nairn B., The Big Fella. 1986.
Lang, John Dunmore (1799–1878). Australian clergyman, politician and educator, born in Greenock. Educated at Glasgow, he became a Presbyterian cleric, arriving in Sydney in 1823. He founded schools, campaigned against transportation, for free immigration and disestablishment of the Church of England, advocated self-government for Victoria and Queensland and (from 1850) proposed that Australia should become a republic.
Lange, David Russell (1942–2005). New Zealand Labour politician, born in Otahuhu. A barrister, and a brilliant debater, he was an MP 1977–96 and Leader of the Labour Party 1983–89. He defeated Sir Robert *Muldoon in July 1984, and was Prime Minister 1984–89, Foreign Minister 1984–89, Minister for Education 1987–89 and Attorney General 1989–90. His government introduced a GST, deregulated the economy and banned nuclear ships from New Zealand ports. Increasing uneasy about Thatcherite changes to the economy proposed by his Minister for Finance, Roger *Douglas, he resigned as Prime Minister in August 1989 and received a CH. He suffered from diabetes and kidney failure and published My Life (2005) just before his death.
Langevin, Paul (1872–1946). French physicist. He studied with Pierre *Curie, worked on X-rays and magnetic theory, became the lover of Marie *Curie, and was a courageous campaigner against Fascism.
Langland, William (c.1330–c.1400). English poet, probably born in or near Worcestershire. All that is known of his life is deduced from his work. He was educated at a monastery at Great Malvern, later went to London and seems to have acquired some knowledge of law. He is now remembered only as the author of the Vision of Piers Plowman an allegorical and didactic poem in alliterative verse. The survival of 50 manuscripts shows its popularity in medieval times but its later influence was small. The fact that the poem survives in three versions (c.1362, 1377 and 1393–98), the two later ones being nearly three times as long as the first, has suggested multiple authorship, but critical opinion has veered to the acceptance of the first two at least, as the work of a single hand. The subject of the poem is the salvation of souls, but its chief interest for modern readers lies in its descriptions of the scenes (roads, inns, law courts etc.) and characters of medieval life.
Vasta E. (ed.) Interpretations of Piers Ploughman. 1969; Goodridge. J. F. (ed. and trans.), Langland: Piers the Ploughman. 1970.
Langley, Samuel Pierpont (1834–1906). American astronomer and physicist. He was professor of the observatory at the Western University of Pennsylvania (now Pittsburgh University) 1867–87, and secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington 1887–1906. He made important studies of solar radiation and with the aid of a sensitive instrument called a bolometer mapped the infra-red region of the solar spectrum. His observations of infra-red radiation from the moon were the basis of *Arrhenius’ quantification of the greenhouse effect. He was a pioneer in aerodynamics (*Cayley) and carried out two experiments in aviation. In 1896 he built two model airplanes, both powered with small steam engines: the second, weighing 9.7 kg, flew 1280 m. In December 1903 (nine days before the *Wright Brothers succeeded), a piloted aircraft weighing 386 kg, with a 14.6 m wingspan, crashed on take-off.
Langmuir, Irving (1881–1957). American physical chemist. He joined the General Electric Company (1909) and was its Director of Research 1932–50. He was much concerned with the handling of high vacua and developed a number of inventions, e.g. the gas-filled tungsten lamp, the mercury vapour lamp and the atomic hydrogen welding torch. In the course of his work on surface chemistry he derived the equation (now known as the Langmuir absorption isotherm) relating the pressure to the extent of absorption of a gas on a solid surface at constant temperature, for this he won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1932).
Langton, Stephen (c.1150–1228). English prelate. A fellow student in Paris of the future Pope *Innocent III, he was later given a place in the papal household and (1206) made a cardinal. King *John’s refusal (1207) to accept him as Archbishop of Canterbury led to a prolonged struggle between the king and the papacy and Langton was not able to enter his see until after John’s submission to the pope (1213). Langton sided with the barons in their struggle with the king, and played an important part in drafting Magna Carta.
Cheney. C. R., From Becket to Langton. 1956.
Langtry, Lillie (née Emilie Charlotte Le Breton) (1852–1929). British actor, born in Jersey. Famed for her beauty, she was for some years the mistress of *Edward VII. After Edward Langtry’s death she married (1899) Sir Hugo de Bathe. She appeared in *Shakespeare and *Goldsmith, becoming a successful theatre manager and racehorse owner.
Sichel, P., The Jersey Lily. 1958.
Lanier, Sidney (1842–1881). American poet, born in Georgia. He fought with the Confederate army in the American Civil War which was the subject of his novel Tiger Lilies (1867). Later he became a flautist in a symphony orchestra in Baltimore. In a series of lectures at Johns *Hopkins University, he proposed a scientific approach to poetry, which he regarded as a kind of verbal music. Such a definition permitted the discarding of metrical restrictions replaced by more flexible musical rhythms. The best of his own poems include Corn, The Symphony and The Song of The Chattahoochee.
Lansbury, George (1859–1940). British Labour politician. A Christian pacifist and supporter of women’s rights, he was a Poplar Borough councillor 1903–40, MP for Bromley and Bow 1910–12 and 1922–40 and editor 1912–22 of the Daily Herald, the organ of the Labour Party. Leader of the Opposition 1931–35, he resigned during the Abyssinian crisis (1935), feeling unable as a pacifist to support a policy of sanctions against Italy that might lead to war. His granddaughter, Dame Angela (Brigid) Lansbury (1925– ) was a popular film, television and stage actor in the US.
Lansdowne, 1st Marquess of see Shelburne, 2nd Earl of
Lansdowne, Henry Charles Keith Petty Fitzmaurice, 5th Marquess of (1845–1927). English politician and administrator, born in London. He studied at Eton and Oxford, and as a Liberal was a Lord of the Treasury 1868–72 and Undersecretary for War 1880, and Governor General of Canada 1883–88. He broke with *Gladstone in 1886 over Ireland, became a Liberal Unionist, then after 1912 a Conservative. He was Viceroy of India 1888–93, War Secretary 1895–1900 and Foreign Secretary 1900–05, being responsible for the negotiations leading to the Anglo-Japanese Alliance (1904) and the Anglo-French Entente (1910). A minister briefly in World War I, he was out of office when he wrote the famous ‘Lansdowne letter’ (1917) to the Daily Telegraph advocating a negotiated peace with Germany.
Lansing, Robert (1864–1928). American administrator. A specialist in international law, Woodrow *Wilson appointed him as US Secretary of State 1915–20 and principal executant of US foreign policy during World War I. A leading delegate at the Paris Peace Conference (1919), he called Cabinet meetings after Wilson’s incapacitating illness and was dismissed.
Lao Zi (or Lao-Tzu) (fl. c.604 BCE). Chinese philosopher, perhaps legendary. He is said to have been born in Honan, to have held office at court and to have been visited by *Confucius. Lao Zi was the traditional author of Dao de qing, which sets out the ideas and practice that came to be known as Daoism (Taoism). A unity (dao) underlying the apparently conflicting phenomena of the universe is perceived, the attitude to the fundamental laws of the universe should be unconditional acceptance, the achievement of such acceptance being helped by quietist techniques, complete relaxation ‘sitting with a blank mind’ (tso wang) etc. The other book of early Daoism, Chuang Tzu, may have been written by a pupil of that name.
Waley A., Lao-Tzu: The Way and the Power. 1956.
La Pérouse, Jean François de Galaup, Comte de (1741–1788). French sailor and explorer. He was put in command (1785) of an expedition of exploration, and from the northwest coast of America crossed the Pacific with two ships. He explored the northeast coasts of Asia and in particular, while sailing to investigate the possibility of a northeast passage, found the strait (named after him) between Sakhalin and Hokkaido (Yezo), thus proving both to be islands. By 1788 he was in Australia and in February his two ships sailed from Botany Bay never to be seen again. They foundered on a coral reef to the north of the New Hebrides.
Laplace, Pierre Simon, Marquis de (1749–1827). French astronomer and mathematician, born in Normandy. His origins are uncertain but he became a raging snob and political opportunist. He attracted the attention of d’*Alembert and worked with *Lavoisier and *Lagrange. He made an important contribution to the theory of capillarity and corrected *Newton’s equation for the velocity of sound in a gas. He developed a calculus of probabilities which he applied to the theory of gravitation. His major work was in astronomy. In his Exposition du système du monde (1796) he put forward his well known ‘nebular hypothesis’ suggesting that the solar system originated from the gradual contraction of a rotating sphere of nebulous material. Although this theory has now been superseded, it acted as a powerful stimulant to 19th-century astronomical thought. In his greatest work, the five-volume Mécanique celeste (1799–1825), Laplace worked out a generalised statement of the laws governing movement throughout the whole solar system. Sometimes called ‘the French Newton’, he also foreshadowed thermochemistry and developed the ‘Laplace transform’ for solving partial differential equations. In addition to his academic work he took part in public life. After the coup d’état by Bonaparte (*Napoléon), he was made a count and eventually, under Louis XVIII a marquess. In 1817 he became President of the Académie française.
Lara, Brian Charles (1969– ) Trinidadian cricketer. A batsman, he scored 501 runs not out, playing for Warwickshire at Edgbaston (6 June 1994), beating Hanif Mohammed’s record of 499 (1959), and *Bradman’s 452 (1930). In November 2005, he became the greatest run-maker in Test cricket history, until overtaken by Sachin *Tandulkhar in 2008.
Lardner, Ring(gold Wilmer) (1885–1933). American author. A sports writer for many years, he became famous for his short stories which displayed remarkable powers in the use of colloquial dialogue and a bitter contempt for average Americans, especially those connected with sport and the theatre, with which he was well acquainted. His How to Write Short Stories (1924) is typical of several volumes in this vein.
Largo Caballero, Francisco (1869–1964). Spanish politician. A construction worker, he led the Workers’ General Union (UGT) 1925–31 and was Minister for Labour Relations 1931–33. He became Prime Minister 1936–37 for the first part of the Civil War, as Madrid was threatened by the nationalist insurgents his government operated first from Valencia, then from Barcelona. Juan *Negrin succeeded him. Arrested by the Germans in 1940, he was held in a concentration camp until 1945.
Larkin, Jim (James) (Séamas Ó Lorcáin) (1876–1947). Irish labour leader, born in Liverpool. He formed (1909) the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union in Dublin and became famous when a lockout (1913) of his members by employers was followed by an eight-month strike ending in a partial victory for Larkin. He lived in the US 1914–23 but was imprisoned for ‘criminal anarchy’ 1920–23, then deported. He founded the Irish Workers League (IWL) in 1923. Associated with the Comintern, he then lost enthusiasm for *Stalin, served three brief terms in the Dáil, and rejoined the Labour Party and Catholic Church. Larkin appears as a character in plays, books and films.
Larkin, Philip (Arthur) (1922–1985). English poet. Educated at Oxford, he worked as a provincial librarian and at the University of Hull 1955–85. Shy and unmarried, he deliberately kept out of the limelight but won critical acclaim for five short books of poetry including The Less Deceived (1955) and High Windows (1974), a novel, essays and writings on jazz and he received a CH in 1985. Kingsley *Amis’s Lucky Jim was partly based on Larkin. Publication of his Collected Letters (1992) revealed Larkin’s isolation, bitterness, resentment, obsessions and prejudices, elements that appeared as detachment and irony in his poems.
Motion, A., Philip Larkin: A Writer’s Life. 1993.
La Rochefoucauld, François, Duc de (1613–1680). French writer. A political opponent of *Richelieu, he later quarrelled with *Mazarin and partly because of his passion for *Condé’s sister, the Duchesse de Longueville, joined the Fronde, but after being wounded he retired (1652) to write his memoirs. Even though he was forgiven by the court he devoted himself thenceforth to a literary life. He attended the salons of, amongst others, Mademoiselle de Scudéry and the Marquise de Sablé and was a friend of *Corneille, *Molière and *La Fontaine. He later set up house with Madame de *La Fayette. In his Maxims (Réflexions on Sentences et Maximes morales, 1665 etc.) he made no attempt to preach but set out objectively his own cynical view of human nature, to which he ascribed self-love as the mainspring.
Moore. W. G., La Rochefoucauld: his Mind and Art. 1969.
Larousse, Pierre Athanase (1817–1875). French lexicographer and encyclopaedist. Largely self-educated, he was a radical, obsessed with the use of knowledge to transform society and produced a series of grammars, dictionaries and textbooks. He founded his own publishing house in 1852. His Grand Dictionnaire universel du XIXe siècle (15 volumes, 1866–76) is of lasting value, republished on DVD in 2001.
Larsson, Stieg (Karl Stig-Erland) (1954–2004). Swedish journalist and novelist. He worked for newspapers as writer and photographer, became a social activist and was briefly in the Communist Party. The three novels in his ‘Millenium’ series, published posthumously, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2005), The Girl Who Played with Fire (2006), and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest (2007) became international bestsellers and successful films.
La Salle, Sieur de, René-Robert Cavelier (1643–1687). French explorer and fur trader, born in Rouen. Originally trained to be a Jesuit, Cavelier settled in New France, near the site of Montréal, in 1666 and bought the title (and estate) by which he is known in 1667. The chronology and extent of his early explorations is disputed but in 1669 he began to traverse the Great Lakes, with Seneca guides, seeking a great river that he hoped would be a western passage to the Pacific and China. He was granted a valuable concession for fur trading.
The mouth of the Mississippi River had been observed by Hernando de *Soto in 1541, and its upper reaches by French explorers in 1673 and 1680. (English expeditioners found the Ohio River in 1671 and 1674.) In 1682–83 La Salle led a party of French and Indians, sailing down the Mississippi to the sea and back. He named the Mississippi Basin Louisiana (1682), in honour of *Louis XIV.
In 1684 he led an expedition of 300 colonists and four ships from France to establish permanent settlements in Louisiana. Due to a 2° navigation error, the ships entered Matagorda Bay (Texas), assuming it to be the Mississippi Delta, 680 km ENE. La Salle and his men established a settlement and spent two years in a vain search for the Mississippi. Hardships and disease provoked a mutiny and La Salle was murdered. La Belle, one of his ships, was found in 1995.
Las Casas, Bartolomé de (1476–1566). Spanish colonial reformer. He went (1502) to the West Indies where he became a priest (c.1510) and started to work to improve the position of all Indians under Spanish rule, in particular to abolish the system by which grants of Indian serfs were made to settlers. Visits to Spain won him the support of King *Ferdinand and his successor Carlos I (the emperor *Charles V) but having failed to make the reforms effective he assented to a proposal to introduce African labour, a decision he bitterly regretted as it encouraged the growth of the slave trade. Another disappointment came when a settlement, which he had started (1520) in Venezuela to prove the advantages of free colonisation over slave-run estates was destroyed by the Indians, who distrusted all Spaniards. Before the conquest of Peru (1531) he again visited Spain and returned with royal instructions for the protection of the Indians. He became Bishop of Chiapas in Mexico (1542) and continued to struggle for the enforcement of the laws against Indian serfdom. In 1547 he finally returned to Spain. His books bear witness to his compassion and zeal.
Hanke, L., Bartholomé de Las Casas: An Interpretation of his Life and Writings. 1951.
Lasker, Emanuel (1868–1941). German chess-master and mathematician. He was world chess champion from 1894 until 1921 when *Capablanca defeated him in a great contest at Havana.
Laski, Harold Joseph (1893–1950). British socialist, born in Manchester. He was a lecturer at Yale University in the US and McGill University in Canada before joining (1920) the London School of Economics, where he was professor of political science 1926–50. He was Chairman of the British Labour Party 1945–46. Through his lectures and books, e.g. Parliamentary Government in England (1938) and Reflections on the Revolution of Our Time (1943), he exercised considerable influence over the intellectuals of his party but his academic Marxism did not attract the rank and file.
Martin. K., Harold Laski. 1953.
Laski, Marghanita (1915–1988). English writer, critic and broadcaster. Her first novel, Love on the Supertax appeared in 1944. She wrote extensively for newspapers and magazines and broadcast regularly as a critic. Her best known novel was probably The Victorian Chaise-Longue (1953), a time-travel fantasy in which Victorian repressive attitudes are equated with death.
Laslett, (Thomas) Peter (Ruffell) (1915–2001). English social historian. He worked at the BBC, edited Locke’s Two Treatises of Government (1960), directed the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure and demonstrated the emergence of a new demographic group—‘the Third Age’, who lived to an advanced age after retirement. He was a co-founder of the Open University and the Universities of the Third Age (U3A) and wrote The World We Have Lost (1965) and A Fresh Map of Life (1989).
Lassalle (né Lassal), Ferdinand Johann Gottlieb (1825–1864). German socialist, born in Breslau (now Wroclaw). Son of a rich Jewish silk merchant, he abandoned his religion as a young man and devoted several years at the universities to the study of *Hegel. He attracted the friendship of Alexander von *Humboldt and Heinrich *Heine and gained notoriety by conducting a protracted law suit (1846–54) on behalf of the Countess Sophie von Hatzfeldt whose estate had been seized by her estranged husband, rewarded by gratitude and a substantial annuity for his success. By 1848 he was a convinced socialist, imprisoned for six months in Berlin after the revolutionary uprisings.
He knew Karl *Marx and Friedrich *Engels but fundamentally disagreed with both. Marx argued that the state preserved existing class relations and would wither away under socialism, but Lassalle was an advocate of ‘state socialism’, using government as an instrument of reform. He founded the General German Workers’ Association (ADAV) in 1863; renamed the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in 1875. Lassalle believed that universal suffrage would place the power of the state at the service of the working population. He became a reluctant admirer of *Bismarck and played a significant role in persuading him to adopt universal male suffrage.
Outside Geneva, he fought a duel for the hand of Helene von Dönniges with a Wallachian prince favoured by her parents. He was shot and died of wounds three days later.
Lassus, Orlando de (also known as Orlando di Lasso, originally, perhaps, or Roland de Lattre) (1532?–1594). Netherlandish, or Flemish-French, composer, born in Mons (now in Belgium). He became choirmaster at St John Lateran in Rome but for most of his life was court composer of the Duke of Bavaria in Munich 1556–94. His works (reputed to number more than 2,000) include four Passions, 60 Masses, 530 motets, psalms and the Lamentations of Jeremiah (1585). His madrigals and songs, set to German, Italian and French words are still highly regarded for their melodic beauty. His work is more varied and adventurous, if less profound, than *Palestrina, with whom he is often compared. Ennobled (1570) by Emperor Maximilian II, he received a papal knighthood but was treated for depression in his last years
Latham, Sir John Grieg (1877–1964). Australian judge and politician, born in Melbourne. A conservative rationalist, he was the son of a tinsmith. He graduated in law from Melbourne University, became a barrister, a naval officer in World War I and worked with the Australian delegation at the Paris Peace Conference (1919). Federal MP 1922–34, he served as Attorney-General 1925–29; 1932–34, Leader of the Opposition 1929–31 (resigning in favour of J. A. *Lyons), and Minister for External Affairs and Industry 1932–34. Chief Justice of the High Court 1935–52, he became chancellor of Melbourne University 1939–41 and, having been a strong supporter of appeasement, Minister to Japan 1940–41.
Cowen, Z., Sir John Latham and Other Papers. 1965.
Latham, Mark William (1961– ). Australian commentator, controversialist and former Labor politician. Educated at Sydney University and a staffer for Gough *Whitlam, he was Mayor of Liverpool 1991–94 and a Federal MP 1994–2005. He wrote Civilising Global Capital (1998), and became an advocate for ‘third way’ policies. He served as a shadow minister 1996–98, 2003 and after Simon *Crean’s resignation, beat Kim *Beazley to become Leader of the Labor Party 2003–05. After the *Howard Government won the 2004 election he retired, due to illness and internal party criticism.The Mark Latham Diaries (2005) were bitterly controversial. He became an increasingly erratic media commentator, strongly misogynist and homophobic, and left the ALP. He became the leader of Pauline *Hanson’s One Nation Party in New South Wales in 2018 and elected MLC 2019– .
Latimer, Hugh (1485–1555). English Protestant martyr, born near Leicester. A yeoman’s son, he was educated at Cambridge University and there became a university preacher. For his support of the annulment of *Henry VIII’s marriage to *Catherine of Aragon he was taken into royal favour and became (1535) Bishop of Worcester but resigned (1539) when it was clear that his reforming zeal had outpaced that of the king, and he was in prison for most of the remainder of Henry’s reign. After *Edward VI’s accession (1547) Latimer’s influence as a preacher denouncing the evils of the day reached its zenith, but under Queen *Mary, persecution of Protestants was resumed. Latimer was taken to Oxford and there, after confrontation with Roman Catholic divines had failed to induce him to recant, he was burned at the stake. His last words, to his fellow martyr Bishop *Ridley were ‘We shall this day light such a candle by God’s grace in England as I trust shall never be put out’.
Lattre de Tassigny, Jean Joseph Marie Gabriel de (1889–1952). French soldier. The youngest French general in World War II, he defied the orders of the Vichy Government and continued to fight the German invaders. Arrested in November 1942, he escaped to London in September 1943, joined *de Gaulle and led the French First Army from the invasion of southern France in 1944 to the crossing of the Rhine in 1945 and signed the instrument of surrender at Berlin (1945) on behalf of France. He commanded the French armies in Indochina 1950–51, died of cancer and was posthumously created a marshal.
Salisbury-Jones. G., So Full a Glory. 1954.
La Tour, Georges de (1593–1652). French painter. Little is known of him except that he lived in Lorraine. Popular in his lifetime (and often copied), he was forgotten after his death and his paintings attributed to other artists until Herman Voss (1884–1969), German art historian, published an important study (1915) re-establishing his importance. The influence of *Caravaggio is especially noticeable in his groups of figures by candlelight. In his use of colour, especially of crimson and lilac, he shows marked individuality. About 40 of his works survive including, St Joseph the Carpenter, Nativity with Shepherds, Mary Magdalenwith oil lamp and Cardsharps.
Bloch, V., Georges de la Tour. 1950; Thullier, J., Georges de la Tour. 1993; Conisbee, P., Georges de La Tour and His World. 1996.
Laud, William (1573–1645). English prelate, born at Reading. Son of a wealthy clothier, he was educated at Oxford and ordained in 1601. Despite, or because of, his opposition to the prevalent Puritanism, his industry, administrative ability and religious sincerity won him powerful patrons. He became Bishop of Bath and Wells (1626), of London (1628) and Archbishop of Canterbury (1633). In the period that followed the murder of Buckingham (1628) he tried, with *Strafford and King *Charles I himself, to impose authoritarian rule on Church and State alike. Laud was determined to free England of Calvinism and Scotland of Presbyterianism. Many English Puritans were deprived of their livings, ritual was reintroduced, the doctrine of the Real Presence reasserted and among other contentious measures, the Communion table was removed from the centre of the church to the east end. His attempt to Anglicise the Church of Scotland however, led to riots, to the signing of the Covenant to the Bishops War between the two countries, and eventually (to meet the costs of the war) to the summoning of the Long Parliament, which impeached Laud of high treason, He was found guilty by the House of Lords on several counts, none of which however, amounted to treason and it was on a bill of attainder that he was beheaded on Tower Hill.
Trevor Roper, H., Archbishop Laud 1573–1645. 2nd ed. 1962.
Lauder, Sir Harry (Harold MacLennan) (1870–1950). Scottish singer. With such famous songs as Roamin in the Gloamin, I Love a Lassie and A Wee Deoch-an-doris, he was for two generations one of the most famous and popular of music-hall stars. He was knighted (1919) for services in World War I.
Lauderdale, John Maitland, 1st Duke of (1616–1682). Scottish politician. During the Civil War he acted as agent for Scottish Presbyterians at the court of *Charles I and later established a similar connexion with the exiled Prince Charles (later *Charles II) and became a close friend. When Charles crossed to Scotland to make a bid for the crown, Lauderdale went with him but was captured at Worcester (1651) and held prisoner for nine years. Under the Restoration he was Secretary for Scotland 1660–80 and tried to make the Crown absolute there. After the fall of *Clarendon, from 1667 to 1673 he was the ‘L’ of the famous ‘Cabal’ ministry (*Buckingham). In Scotland he tried to work in harmony with the Presbyterians but this became increasingly difficult. Disillusion, combined with the corruption of power, made him harsh and intractable. Once a supporter of the Convenanters, he suppressed them with great brutality (1666–79). He inherited the earldom of Lauderdale (1645), was created duke in 1672 and dismissed from all offices in 1680.
Laue, Max von (1879–1960). German physicist. Director of the Institute for Theoretical Physics, Berlin 1919–50, he was a pioneer in X-ray analysis using the pattern of diffracted X-rays to determine crystal structure He won the Nobel Prize for Physics (1914).
Laughton, Charles (1899–1962). Anglo-American actor. He portrayed, at first on the London stage and after 1932 in films, many characters of ruthless and overbearing personality. Film parts such as the king in The Private Life of Henry VIII and Captain Bligh in Mutiny on the Bounty revealed him at his powerful best. Although an active homosexual, he married (1929) the actor Elsa Lanchester (1902–1986), lived in Hollywood from 1934 and became a naturalised American (1950).
Callow, S., Charles Laughton: A Difficult Actor. 1987.
Laurel, Stan (né Arthur Stanley Jefferson) (1890–1965) and Hardy, Oliver (1892–1957). American film comedians. Stan Laurel, born in Lancashire, began work in circuses and music halls as a slapstick comedian. In 1916 he joined Hardy, an American, who began his career in vaudeville but appeared in silent film comedy since 1913. Together they made over 100 films in which they combined slapstick with clashes of personality: Laurel the bumbling innocent, Hardy the self-assured blunderer.
Laurier, Sir Wilfrid (1841–1919). Canadian Liberal politician, born in Québec. He made his name as a lawyer and entered the provincial legislature 1871 and the Canadian parliament in 1873. In 1887 he became leader of the Liberals and Prime Minister 1896–1911, being the first French-Canadian to lead a national government. His period of office was one of prosperity and expansion, especially in the wheat-growing provinces in the west. The issue on which he finally fell, in the election of 1911, was his support for commercial reciprocity with the US. He led the anti-conscriptionist wing of his party in World War I. His political (and legal) heir was W. L. Mackenzie *King.
Schull. J., Laurier. 1966.
Lauterpacht, Sir Hersch (1897–1960). Polish-Jewish-British lawyer, born in Zolkiew (now in Ukraine). He grew up in Lviv (now in Ukraine, then in Poland), moving to England in 1923. He became a law professor at Cambridge, a prosecution advisor at the Nuremberg trials, and a Judge of the International Court of Justice 1955–60. He was critical of *Lemkin’s concept of genocide as a war crime, emphasising the importance of emphasising individual victims and individual perpetrators rather than groups.
Sands, P., East West Street. 2016.
Lautrec, Henri Toulouse see Toulouse Lautrec, Henri
La Vallière, Louise Françoise de la Beaume le Blanc, Duchesse de (1644–1710). French mistress. She was only 17 when *Louis XIV first saw her and fell in love. By her sweetness and sincerity, coupled with a lack of ambition or greed, she won—to everyone’s surprise—the admiration of the court. When supplanted by Madame de *Montespan (1674), she departed without rancour to the Carmelite convent where she spent the rest of her life. Only one of her three children by Louis survived her.
Laval, Pierre Jean-Marie (1883–1945). French politician, born in the Auvergne. Possibly of Moorish descent, he was largely self-educated but won academic degrees, and became a lawyer, small businessman and publisher. He was a member of the Chamber of Deputies 1914–19, originally a radical, pacifist and socialist then an independent deputy 1924–27 and Senator 1927–44. He became a premier 1931–32, 1935–36 and as Foreign Minister 1934–36 negotiated the *Hoare-Laval Pact (1935), accepting Italy’s occupation of Ethiopia. He advocated friendship with Italy and Germany. After the collapse of France he took a leading part in the establishment of Marshal *Pétain’s Vichy regime, was Premier briefly (1940) until forced out by Pétain who detested him. In April 1942 he became Prime Minister again in active collaboration with the Germans: he set up the notorious French milicia with its Gestapo-like activities and supplied conscript labour for German factories. After the liberation of France he fled to Germany and then to Spain. He was repatriated, tried, condemned and executed for treason. Laval was ambitious, persuasive and subtle. He may have deluded himself that by his appeasement he preserved some degree of independence for Vichy France; in fact, he went further than the Germans expected. There is an extensive literature on the Laval case.
Cole, H., Laval. 1963; de Chambrun, R., Mission and Betrayal 1939–45. 1993; Curtis, M., Verdict on Vichy. 2002.
Laveran, (Charles Louis) Alphonse (1845–1922). French parasitologist. He served as a military surgeon in Algeria and in 1880 discovered the parasite that causes malaria. He established the laboratory of tropical diseases at the Pasteur Institute, Paris, in 1907, won the Nobel Prize for Medicine (1907) and published 600 research papers.
Lavigerie, Charles Martial Allemand (1825–1892). French cardinal. After teaching at the Sorbonne, he became Bishop of Nancy 1863–67, Archbishop of Algiers 1867–84, and also of Carthage (now Tunis) and Primate of Africa 1884–92. He founded the order of the White Fathers in 1868 and was created cardinal in 1882. He took a leading role in organising international opposition to slavery in central Africa.
Lavoisier, Antoine(-Laurent) (1743–1794). French chemist, born in Paris. In 1768 he invested heavily in the ‘Ferme générale’, a private syndicate that collected taxes on behalf of the crown, retaining a percentage, and this provided him with funds to pursue scientific research. Elected to the Académie de Sciences (1768), he directed the Gunpowder Office 1776–91. He also made practical use of his scientific knowledge in agriculture and acquired an estate for experimental purposes. Lavoisier has been called the father of modern chemistry. By his experimental work he not only made many new discoveries but refuted the long-held belief that water could be converted into earth and the current theory that the existence of an invisible, inflammable gas, phlogiston, explained many of the problems of combustion. His own experiments showed that air was composed of two gases, which he called oxygen and ‘azote’ (later known as nitrogen), and that oxygen played an essential role in the respiration of animals and plants. In 1783, almost simultaneously with *Cavendish and *Priestley, he announced that water is a combination of hydrogen and oxygen. He wrote the important Opuscules physiques et chymiques (1774) and constructed the first table of elements. Methods of Chemical Nomenclature (1787), written with the assistance of *Berthollet and *Fourcroy, coined about 30 names still in use for elements. In 1789, he proposed the law of the conservation of mass—essentially that matter is neither created nor destroyed, but is transformed in the course of chemical changes. By burning, for example, coal is converted into carbon dioxide, other gases and particulates, but the total mass is conserved. Although mass cannot be created or destroyed, it may be rearranged in space and changed into different types of particles. (This is a central premise in the argument for anthropogenic global warming.) By burning objects in a sealed chamber he established that combustion was accompanied by the chemical combination of oxygen with the substance burned (creating what became known as oxides). From 1791 he worked with *Laplace and *Legendre to establish a uniform metric system of weights and measures, adopted in 1799. He was a liberal constitutionalist, believed in social reform, and played his part in the various Revolutionary assemblies, but he had made powerful scientific enemies, including *Marat. His previous role as tax farmer led to his arrest and condemnation during the Terror. Appeals to delay his guillotining met with the chilling response: ‘The Revolution has no need of savants or chemists.’ He was executed with his father-in-law and 25 others. His widow later married (briefly) Count *Rumford.
McKie, D., Antoine Lavoisier: Scientist, Economist, Social Reformer. 1952; Donovan, A., Antoine Lavoisier: Science, Administration and Revolution. 1993; Poiner, J-P., Lavoisier. 1996; Smart Bell, M., Lavoisier in the Year One. 2005.
Law, Andrew Bonar (1858–1923). British Conservative politician, born in New Brunswick, Canada. A successful iron merchant in Glasgow, he served as Member of Parliament 1900–06, 1906–10, 1911–23, being twice defeated, and was Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade 1902–06 until the Liberals swept into office. When *Balfour retired as Conservative leader, Law was unexpectedly elected (as a compromise candidate) to succeed him, marking an end to the tradition of aristocratic leadership. His principal target was *Asquith’s Home Rule Bill. When World War I broke out (1914) he supported the government and in 1915 served as Colonial Secretary in the coalition formed by *Asquith. Law’s close friend (and fellow Canadian) Max Aitken (*Beaverbrook) played a central role in dislodging Asquith as Prime Minister and replacing him with David *Lloyd George. Law then became Chancellor of the Exchequer 1916–18 and Lord Privy Seal 1919–21, until his resignation due to illness. In October 1922 a Conservative revolt ended the coalition, Lloyd George had to resign and Law succeeded as Prime Minister for six months until inoperable cancer forced his resignation (May 1923); he died in October. He had a mastery of detail and could deliver long, intricate speeches without notes.
Blake, R., The Unknown Prime Minister. 1955.
Law (of Lauriston), John (1671–1729). Scottish financier, born in Edinburgh. He narrowly escaped execution in London (1694), for killing a man in a duel, escaped to the Netherlands, then Venice, and finally, France. He wrote Money and Trade Considered (1705), founded a private bank in Paris, attracted interest through his adventurous ideas on how governments could trade out of bankruptcy and served, improbably, as Controller General of Finances 1720. He was responsible for ‘the Mississippi Bubble’, selling stocks for a company to exploit France’s colonies in North America which then collapsed. He died in Venice.
Law, Phillip Garth (1912–2010). Australian explorer and administrator. He directed the Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition (ANARE) 1949–66, explored 4,500 km of coast and set up bases at Mawson, Davis and Casey. He wrote Antarctic Odyssey (1983).
Law, William (1686–1761). English clergyman. Forced to give up his Cambridge fellowship for refusing to swear an oath of allegiance to *George I, he spent most of his life in controversial and devotional writings, which, however, sparkle with epigrammatic wit. His books, especially A Serious Call to a Devout Way of Life (1729), in which he asserted that Christianity is not mere obedience to a moral code but a complete pattern of life, had great influence on Dr *Johnson and, amongst others, the *Wesleys, and thus on the whole Evangelical movement.
Walker, A. K., William Law: His Life and Work. 1973.
Lawes, Sir John Bennet, 1st Baronet (1814–1900). English agricultural chemist. Educated at Eton and Oxford, he inherited his birthplace Rothamsted Manor, Harpenden, Hertfordshire and in 1843 established the Rothamsted Experimental Station, England’s first agricultural laboratory. He followed *Liebig’s experiments and developed the first superphospate, which revolutionised Australian farming. He worked with Sir Joseph Henry Gilbert (1817–1901) and also conducted experiments in animal nutrition.
Lawrence, St (d.258). Christian martyr. He was one of seven deacons of Pope Sixtus II, who were beheaded in Rome during the persecution in the reign of the emperor Valerian. The tradition that he was tortured on a gridiron is not accepted by scholars, though it has formed the subject of many classical paintings.
Lawrence, Carmen Mary (1948– ). Australian politician and psychologist. She was an academic psychologist in Perth and Melbourne, a State MP 1986–94 and Premier of Western Australia 1990–93, the first female Premier in Australian history. In the Commonwealth Parliament 1994–2007, she served as *Keating’s Minister for Human Services and Health 1994–96. The first National President of the ALP directly elected (2003) by branch members, she served 2004–05. She was outspoken about asylum seekers and the environment.
Lawrence, D(avid) H(erbert) (1885–1930). English novelist, poet and essayist, born in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire. His father was a drunken and almost illiterate coal-miner, his mother a former school teacher with Puritan values. His early years were squalid. Frail but studious, he left high school at 16, working first as a clerk, then as a teacher in Nottingham and London. His youth was troubled by an obsessive relationship with his mother and by tuberculosis symptoms which made him increasingly irritable. The publication of The White Peacock (1911) pointed to his future career; it was followed by the semi-autobiographical Sons and Lovers (1913). Meanwhile he had fallen in love and eloped with Frieda von *Richthofen, the German wife of an English scholar, Ernest Weekley, whom he married in 1914. Such a marriage in wartime, added to his bitter class-consciousness, heightened the persecution mania from which he had always suffered. Expelled from Cornwall in 1917 as a suspected German spy, he became a restless traveller after the war, living in Italy, Germany, Ceylon, Australia, the US (New Mexico) and Mexico. Books from this period include Sea and Sardinia (1921) Kangaroo (1923) and Mornings in Mexico (1927). He finally settled on the French Riviera and died near Nice. The novels reflect the often contradictory emotional and intellectual impulses stirred by the circumstances of his life and the theories he formed in an attempt to build up a personal philosophy that would enable him to cope with them. Thus the mother–son relationship becomes the basis of a theory that the instincts of the blood are superior to the reasonings of the mind; he wrote: ‘My religion is in the blood, the flesh, as being wiser than the intellect.’ In rebellion against his Puritan background he stands for sexual freedom and frankness, but though in the long-banned Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1928) the language of the gamekeeper-lover is wilfully coarse, the main impression left by the lovemaking scenes is one of deep tenderness. To be set against this attitude to sex is his vision of woman as an inert consumer of man’s vitality, keeping him earthbound and preventing his spirit and intellect from taking wing. Lawrence was torn and almost destroyed by these inner conflicts.
Among his other novels were Women in Love (1921), Aaron’s Rod (1922) and The Plumed Serpent (1927). His short stories, in such collections as The Woman Who Rode Away (1928), range over many countries and many themes, including the macabre, his poetry (collected 1932) is vivid and sensitive. He remains one of the most important and controversial influences in 20th-century literature. He disliked and dismissed Joyce, and the feeling was mutual. The Plumed Serpent (1926) suggests some affinity to Fascism.
Nehls, E. (ed.), D. H. Lawrence, A Composite Biography. 3 vols, 1957–59; Maddox, B., The Married Man: A Life of D.H. Lawrence. 1994.
Lawrence, Ernest Orlando (1901–1958). American physicist. Professor of physics at the University of California 1928–58, in 1930 he proposed a machine that could accelerate atomic particles to enormous speeds and then use them to bombard atoms. He constructed (1931) the first model of such a machine, which he called the cyclotron and used it to carry out transmutation of elements and to produce artificial radioactivity. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics (1939).
Lawrence, John Laird Mair Lawrence, 1st Baron (1811–1879). British administrator, born in Yorkshire. He joined the East India Co. in 1830, serving for almost 30 years as an administrator, judge and tax collector in Calcutta, Delhi and the Punjab. As a moderate reformer, he curbed the power of Indian chiefs and was able to raise an army of 60,000 during the Indian Mutiny. Direct Crown rule was imposed from 1858 and Lawrence returned to London to organise the new administrative system. As Viceroy of India 1863–69, he built railways, irrigation and sanitation systems.
Lawrence, Sir Thomas (1769–1830). English painter, born in Bristol. Son of an innkeeper, he entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1787 and in 1789 achieved instant fame with a picture of Queen *Charlotte (now in the National Gallery, London). He became ARA (1791), court painter (1792), RA (1794), and President of the Royal Academy 1820–30. Described as ‘always in love and always in debt’, he was the most prolific and fashionable portrait painter of his time, and, though with so large an output he is often slick and over-facile, a masterly sense of character is shown in many of his portraits of royalty and celebrities, notably of the delegates to the Congress of Vienna (1814–15), now at Windsor Castle. His best portrait was of Lady Peel, now in the Frick Gallery, New York. He was a connoisseur who helped acquire the Elgin Marbles and works by *Michelangelo and *Raphael for the new National Gallery.
Garlick, K., Sir Thomas Lawrence. 1951.
Lawrence, T(homas) E(dward) (known as ‘Lawrence of Arabia’) (1888–1935). British archaeologist, soldier and writer, born in Tremadoc, North Wales. Son of Sir Thomas Chapman, Baronet, he became interested in medieval studies at Oxford and visited (1910) Palestine and Syria to study the castles of the crusaders, which he subsequently vividly described. From 1911 to 1914 he was in Syria engaged in archaeology and surveying. When Turkey entered World War I, Lawrence, with his intimate knowledge of Arabs and their language, was sent by Military Intelligence in Egypt to organise Arab resistance behind the Turkish lines. In this, he worked closely with the emir *Faisal, later King of Iraq, whose close friend he became. He later described his exploits and experiences in The Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1926) and its shortened form Revolt in the Desert (1927). He declined the award of a KCB (1918), and suggestions that an OM was offered are implausible. At the Paris Peace Conference (1919) he championed the Arab claim to independence. He regarded its refusal as a betrayal, and in consequence, after brief service in the Colonial Office 1921–22, he sought anonymity in the RAF as Aircraftsman Ross. He was a friend of *Shaw, *Hardy and *Forster. Publicity caused him to disappear once more, but he returned to the RAF under the name of Shaw and served in India 1927–29 in a clerical post. He published a colloquial prose translation of *Homer’s The Odyssey (1932). He was killed in a motorcycling accident. The complex character of this scholar-hero has been a constant subject of speculation and controversy in books, plays and films.
Wilson, J., Lawrence of Arabia. 1990; Korda, M., Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia. 2010.
Lawson, Henry (Hertzberg) (1867–1922). Australian writer. Of Norwegian descent, he spent his boyhood moving from job to job throughout Australia. His first verses appeared (1887) in the Sydney Bulletin, and thereafter, though his travels continued, he gave his life to authorship and became one of the most important figures in the Australian literary tradition. His books of prose and verse, e.g. While the Billy Boils (1896), On the Track and Over the Sliprails (1900), provide an episodic panorama humorous, sentimental or tragic of Australian life in city and bush.
Laxness, Halldor Kiljan (original name Gudjonsson) (1902–1998). Icelandic novelist. Influenced successively by German expressionism, Roman Catholicism and Communism, he returned to introspective passivity. Some of his novels, all written in Icelandic, were translated into 30 languages, and include Independent People (1935), The Fish Can Sing (1957) and Paradise Reclaimed (1962). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature (1955).
Layard, Sir (Austen) Henry (1817–1894). British archaeologist and diplomat, born in Paris. He worked in a solicitor’s office 1833–39, then travelled through Turkey, Syria and Persia. Stratford Canning (later *Stratford de Redcliffe) used him as an unofficial diplomat agent (i.e. spy) from 1842 and also sent him to make archaeological investigations of Assyrian sites. At Nineveh (Mosul) and Babylon (1845–47 and 1849–51) he unearthed a great mass of sculptured material and cuneiform tablets (now in the British Museum), from which the history of Assyria has been largely deduced. In 1849 he found 12 tablets in Nineveh containing the Epic of Gilgamesh. Liberal MP 1852–57; 1860–89, he served as Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs 1852; 1861–66 and First Commissioner (i.e. Minister) for Works 1868–69. Ambassador to Spain 1869–77 and to the Ottoman Empire 1877–80, he assisted *Disraeli at the 1878 Congress of Berlin. He was an early enthusiast for *Piero della Francesca and Venetian glass, and published very successful volumes of autobiography.
Leach, Bernard Howell (1887–1979). British potter. The main influence on 20th-century ceramics in Britain, from 1909 he studied as a potter in Japan, and also visited artist potters in Korea and China. In 1920 he returned to England and with Shoji Hamada founded the Leach Pottery at St Ives. He subsequently practised and taught the Japanese tradition, bringing back into English ceramics a close relationship between artist and raw material, which had almost been lost. He received the CH in 1973.
Leach B. H., A Potter’s Work. 1973.
Leacock, Stephen (Butler) (1869–1944). Canadian humorist and political scientist, born in Hampshire. His family migrated to Canada in 1875. He studied in Toronto and Chicago, was professor of economics and political science at McGill University, Montréal 1908–36 but is best remembered for his humorous essays and stories, e.g. Literary Lapses (1910), Nonsense Novels (1911), and Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town (1912). It was a fresh vein of humour that he discovered and one that brought him sudden and immense popularity. Later he turned to more general literature, e.g. My Discovery of England (1922).
Davies, R., Stephen Leacock. 1960.
Leahy, William Daniel (1875–1959). American Fleet Admiral. Close to Franklin D. *Roosevelt from 1913, he became Chief of Naval Operations 1937–39. As Ambassador to France 1940–42 he was sympathetic to *Pétain and hostile to *de Gaulle, returning to serve as Chief of Staff to the Commander-in-Chief (i.e. Presidents Roosevelt and *Truman) 1942–45, essentially de facto Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In December 1944 he was promoted to Fleet Admiral, the first in US history. He opposed the use of the atomic bomb against Japan but continued under *Truman until 1949, pushing a hard line in the Cold War.
Leakey, Louis Seymour Bazett (1903–1972). English palaeoanthropologist and archaeologist, born in Kenya. Son of a missionary, Leakey studied in Cambridge taking a PhD in African prehistory. He was much influenced by the anthropologist, A. C. Haddon. In 1924 he took part in an archaeological research expedition to Tanganyika (Tanzania) and from 1926 led his own expeditions to East Africa. Palaeontological work with his wife Mary Douglas Leakey (née Nicol) (1913–1996) on the Miocene deposits of western Kenya led him to discover the skull of Proconsul Africanus, the earliest ape skull then found. His archaeological investigations led him to the Acheulian site of Olduvai, in the Rift Valley where the skull of Australopithecus boisei, and the first remains of Homo habilis, a hominid dated at some 1.7 million years, were found. Leakey’s archaeological work on the early hominids was set out in many books of which the most important are The Stone Age Cultures of Kenya (1931) and The Miocene Hominidae of East Africa (1951). Other skulls have since been discovered of the founders of Acheulian culture at Olduvai, dubbed Homo erectus. His son Richard Erskine Leaky (1944– ) discovered hominid remains in tufas dating back perhaps 2.5 million years. He directed the National Museum of Kenya 1974–89, broke with President *Moi and formed his own political party, the Safina, in 1995. He lost both legs in an aircraft crash in 1993 and was elected FRS in 2007.
Leakey, M., Disclosing the Past. 1984.
Lean, Sir David (1908–1991). English film director. A skilled writer and editor, his 16 films won 28 Academy Awards and include Brief Encounter (1945), Great Expectations (1946), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Dr. Zhivago (1965) and A Passage to India (1984).
Lear, Edward (1812–1888). English artist, illustrator, poet and musician. He worked for the Zoological Society, making superb ornithological drawings, and was then engaged by the 13th Earl of Derby to provide plates for The Knowsley Menagerie (1846). He wrote many famous limericks, quirky and original, but often with a hint of unease. His famous Book of Nonsense includes 'The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea/In a beautiful peagreen boat’. His travels in Greece, Italy and elsewhere are described in books illustrated by his own delightful line and tone drawings. Suffering from depression and epilepsy, he settled in San Remo in 1871 with Foss, his cat, and died there.
Noakes, V., Edward Lear. 1968; Attenborough, D., The Natural History of Edward Lear. 2016; Uglow, J., Mr Lear. A Life of Art and Nonsense. 2016.
Leavis, F(rank) R(aymond) (1895–1978). English literary critic, born in Cambridge. Editor of the literary quarterly Scrutiny 1932–53 and a Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge 1936–64, he was a formidable critic and controversialist, promoting George *Eliot, Henry *James, Joseph *Conrad, D. H. *Lawrence and what he called ‘the great tradition’ and denouncing *Flaubert, *Joyce and C. P. *Snow. He received the CH in 1978. His wife Q(ueenie) D(orothy) Leavis (1906–1981) was also a powerful critic. After decades of denigrating *Sterne, *Dickens and *Hardy, they softened their position on Dickens in 1970.
Leavitt, Henrietta Swan (1868–1921). American astronomer, born in Massachusetts. She worked as a stellar photographer at the Harvard Observatory, and developed new techniques for determining the magnitude of stars. She discovered four novas and 2,400 stars. In 1912, she observed that in the Cepheid variable stars there is a highly regular cycle of fluctuation in brightness determined by the stars’ luminosity. This had a profound influence on Edwin *Hubble.
Lebed, Aleksandr Ivanovich (1950–2002). Russian general and politician. In 1991 he defended *Yeltsin during the attempted coup and won 15 per cent of the vote in the first round of the presidential election of June 1996. Yeltsin then appointed him as Chief of National Security, sacking him in October. He died in a plane crash.
LeBlanc, Roméo (-Adrien) (1927–2009). Canadian politician. A journalist, he became a Liberal MP 1972–84, Minister 1974–84, President of UNESCO 1979–80 and Governor-General of Canada 1995–99.
Lebrun, Albert François (1871–1950). French politician. A Left Republican Deputy 1900–20, Minister for the Colonies 1911–13, 1913–14, Minister for Liberated Regions 1917–19, Senator 1920–32 and President of the Senate 1931–32, he was elected President of the Republic in 1932 and re-elected in 1939. On France’s collapse (1940) in World War II, unable to assert any authority, he was dismissed by Marshal *Pétain.
Lebrun, Charles (1619–1690). French artist. He first studied in Rome and was much influenced by *Poussin. With the support of *Colbert he became something akin to an artistic dictator in the reign of *Louis XIV. He was a leading light in the newly founded Académie Royale and was appointed director of the tapestry factory of Les Gobelins. With these positions he was able to direct and combine the works of artists in different fields into a single decorative scheme. He can be regarded as the virtual creator of the Louis XIV style and it is against this setting that his vast and rather overpowering pictures must be judged. Much of his work is in the Palace of Versailles, where he decorated the state apartments (1679–84).
Le Brun, (Marie) Elisabeth Louise (née Vigée) see Vigée Le Brun, (Marie) Elisabeth Louise
Le Carré, John (pen name of David John Moore Cornwell) (1931– ). English novelist. After working as a teacher and diplomat, he achieved popular and critical success with a series of novels about spying, 11 of which were filmed. His books include The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1963),Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1974), Smiley’s People (1979), The Little Drummer Girl (1983), A Perfect Spy (1986), The Russia House (1989), The Night Manager (1993), The Tailor of Panama (1996), The Constant Gardener (2001), Absolute Friends (2003), Our Kind of Traitor (2010), A Delicate Truth (2013) and A Legacy of Spies (2017).
Sisman, A., John le Carré: The Biography. 2015.
Lecky, William Edward Hartpole (1838–1903). Anglo-Irish historian, born near Dublin. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin he had independent means and devoted himself to research. He wrote Rationalism in Europe (1865) and A History of European Morals (1869), but his great work was A History of England in the Eighteenth Century (8 volumes, 1878–90) in which ideas and institutions are given as much prominence as political events. Secular, sceptical and conservative, progressive but pessimistic, and an opponent of Home Rule for Ireland, he was Unionist MP for Trinity College Dublin 1895–1902 and received the OM (1902).
McCartney, D., W.E.H. Lecky. 1994.
Leclerc de Hautecloque, Philippe François Marie (1902–1947). French general. A member of an ancient aristocratic family, he joined the army in 1920 and, despite having flirted with Action Française, resisted the German invasion. On the collapse of France (1940), he escaped to England, adopted the nomme de guerre of Leclerc and joined the Free French forces under *de Gaulle. He showed his brilliance when (1942) he led an expeditionary force from the Chad for 2,400 km across the Sahara to join the British in the Western desert. Later he was a divisional commander in Tunisia (1943) and in the campaign (1944) for the liberation of France. The Germans surrendered Paris to him in August 1944. Commander-in-Chief in Indochina 1945–46, he was killed in an air crash in Algeria and posthumously created a marshal.
Le Clézio, Jean-Marie Gustave (1940– ). French-Mauritian novelist, born in Nice. Educated in Britain and France, he worked in the US, Thailand, Panama and Mexico. He wrote in a variety of forms and his themes turn on exile, migration, childhood and ecology. Les Géants (The Giants, 1973), published by Vintage Classics is an attractive introduction. Like *Sterne and *Perec, he experiments with form, inserting diagrams and even advertisements in his text. He won the 2008 Nobel Prize for Literature as an ‘author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization’ but little of his work has been translated into English.
Leconte de Lisle, Charles Marie René (1818–1894). French poet, born in Reunion (Indian Ocean). Son of a planter, he went to Brittany (1837) to study law which he abandoned for literature. His family recalled him but by 1845 he was again in France struggling to make a living by journalism. He took part in the revolution of 1848 but, disillusioned by its result, abandoned politics. His first work Poèmes antiques appeared in 1852; his Poésies barbares (1862) attracted more attention. He became the recognised leader of the Parnassian group of poets who in a reaction from Romanticism and subjective emotionalism sought objectivity and perfect form. He also produced adaptations of the Greek dramatists and translations of classical authors from *Homer to *Horace; his Poèmes tragiques was published in 1884. But he was moved as much by hatred of the present as by love of the past. In his disillusion he saw history as a series of stands, in which one by one the upholders of strength and beauty perished. Apart from his poetry he published historical works anonymously or as ‘Pierre Gosset’. In 1886 he was elected to the Académie française.
Le Corbusier (Charles-Édouard Jeanneret) (1887–1965). Swiss-French architect, town planner and writer, born in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Son of a craftsman in enamel, he was trained at a local art school and tried his hand at Art Nouveau in Italy and Vienna, before he went in 1908 to Paris where he achieved some success among the modern artists who followed *Cézanne. From 1916, however, he turned almost exclusively to architecture. His aim, expressed in print in Towards a New Architecture (1922), being to make use of engineering techniques (steel frameworks, concrete etc.) not merely functionally but to give artistic freedom to the architect in his endeavour to provide brighter living in terms of air, sunlight and space. Rooms leading into one another with movable partitions were among his methods for achieving this. He designed many interesting buildings in France and elsewhere, but perhaps the most impressive illustration of his ideas is the Unité d’Habitation (1952) at Marseille, a great block of two-storey maisonettes with shops, recreation facilities etc., making a complete community—vertical living as it was called. Though much of the work of his imitators is merely monumental, in Le Corbusier himself the artist is always uppermost. His Swiss House (1932) in the Cité Universitaire, Paris, has been described as ‘a precise and monumental interplay of form within light’ and the chapel Notre-Dame-du-Haut at Ronchamp, France (1950–55) as a ‘tense dynamic rhythm of plastic forms’. Le Corbusier was chosen to design (1951–56) Chandigarh, the new capital of the Punjab. Through his writings and his drawings, despite his comparatively few finished works, he was one of the most important influences on modern architecture.
Le Corbusier, My Work. 1960.
Lederberg, Joshua (1925–2008). American geneticist. Educated at Columbia and Yale, he shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine with G. W. Beadle, and E. L. Tatum for their work on the sexual recombination of bacteria.
Ledoux, Claude Nicolas (1736–1806). French neo-classical architect, born in Champagne. He studied in Paris and reacted against the prevailing Baroque style. A Utopian, he planned an ideal city at Chaux, reflecting visionary Enlightenment concepts. His masterpiece, the Royal Saltworks at Arc-et-Senans, near Besançon, built 1775–80, is a large semi-circular complex, magnificently restored, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2009. He designed many elegant toll-gates which were demolished during the Revolution.
Le Duan (1908–1986). Vietnamese politician. Born to an Annamese peasant family, he worked on the railways, became an effective guerrilla and was jailed (1930–36 and 1940–45). General-Secretary of *Ho’s Lao Dong party (1960–86), he was regarded as a pragmatist.
Lê Dúc Thợ (Phan Dinh Khai) (1911–1990). Vietnamese soldier and politician. Imprisoned 1930–36, 1939–44, he served on the Vietnamese Communist Party’s Politburo from 1955 and negotiated the Paris Peace Accords (January 1973), which ended years of war. Awarded the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize with Henry *Kissinger, he declined his share of the prize money.
Lee, (Nelle) Harper (1926–2016). American novelist, born in Alabama. To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) won the Pulitzer Prize and was a successful film. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007. Go Set a Watchman, written before Mockingbird, but describing events 20 years later, was published in 2015 when the author was disabled by illness.
Lee Kuan Yew (1923–2015). Singaporean politician. Educated at Raffles College, Singapore, and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, he was called to the bar in London (1950), and returned to Singapore as a trade union adviser. He founded the People’s Action Party (PAP) in 1954, originally accepting Communist support. He was elected to the Legislative Council in 1954 and took a leading role in the negotiations that led to the granting of full self-government for Singapore (1959). The PAP defeated David Marshall’s Labour Front in 1959. As Prime Minister 1959–90 he followed pro-Western and moderately authoritarian rule, encouraged economic growth and technological development. His left-wing associates broke away shortly after his appointment, but their efforts against him were defeated by a referendum in 1962. His only major mistake was taking Singapore into the new Federation of Malaysia in 1963. He underestimated the strength of Malay-Chinese hostility and was forced to withdraw in 1964. Politically, he moved steadily from Left to Right. His approach combined Confucian philosophy, the puritan work ethic and Hobbesian pessimism about human nature, and was an enthusiast for capital and corporal punishment. He was an enthusiast for intimidating opponents, controlling the media, short hair, clean streets and high execution rates. Made an honorary CH (1970) and GCMG (1972) in 1990 he was succeeded by Goh Chok Tong, but remained in the government as Senior Minister 1990–2004 and Minister Mentor 2004–11. His son Lee Hsein Loong (1952– ), educated at Cambridge and Harvard, became a soldier, Deputy Prime Minister 1990–2004 and Prime Minister 2004– .
Josey, A., Lee Kuan Yew, 3 vols, 1969, 1974, 1980.
Lee, Robert E(dward) (1807–1870). American Confederate general, born in Stratford, Virginia. He was the son of Henry Lee (1756–1818), a brilliant cavalry commander in the War of Independence, known as ‘Light Horse Harry’, friend of *Washington and Governor of Virginia 1792–95. Robert E. Lee served in the Mexican War (1846–48) and gained rapid promotion. He was superintendent (1852–55) of the military school at West Point, and in 1859 led the force that suppressed John *Brown’s anti-slavery rising at Harper’s Ferry. When the Civil War broke out (1861), although personally opposed both to slavery and secession, as a Virginian he supported the Confederacy, and in 1862 was given supreme command in Virginia. Though in the Richmond campaign of that year he was outnumbered, he manoeuvred to gain local superiority at decisive points and thus discomfited *McClellan, the Union commander. Having disposed of John Pope by a threat to his rear, he boldly invaded Maryland. Though he had a narrow escape at Sharpsburg was able to retire almost without loss. In 1862 and 1863 the tactical and strategical skill which enabled him to see the enemy’s move was nearly always apparent. Gettysburg, Pa. (July 1863) was the turning point of the war, the most northerly battle and the one with the greatest loss of life, both sides fighting to the point of exhaustion. But *Meade won the day. By 1864 the disparity in numbers was having its effect, but Lee still held his opponent, *Grant, at bay by a clever use of field fortifications. The long postponement of the inevitable ended with the surrender at Appomattax Courthouse (April 1865). Lee, with his modesty, generosity and strategic skills became a legendary hero to Southerners (although he opposed erecting monuments to Confederate generals, concerned that the wounds of the Civil War would never heal). Respected by the Northerners, he cooperated with ‘Reconstruction’ but always opposed giving the vote to African-Americans. Lee became almost a legendary hero to southerners and northerners alike. Lee became President of Washington College (now Washington and Lee University), Lexington, Va. 1865–70.
Dowdey, C., Lee. 1965; Thomas, E. M., Robert E. Lee. A Biography. 1997; Field, R., Robert E Lee. 2010; Trudeau, N. A., Robert E. Lee. 2011.
Lee, Sir Sidney (né Solomon Lazarus) (1859–1926). English editor. He succeeded Sir Leslie *Stephen as editor-in-chief (1891–1917) of the Dictionary of National Biography (DNB) 1891–1917. His own numerous books included biographies of *Shakespeare, Queen *Victoria and *Edward VII.
Leeds, 1st Duke of see Danby, Thomas Osborne, Earl of
Leeuwenhoek, Antoni van (1632–1723). Dutch naturalist, born at Delft. Apprenticed to a draper, he often used a lens to examine the texture of cloth and developed a method of grinding optical lenses to give greater magnification. He made many simple single lens microscopes and became a self-taught student of anatomy and biology. He observed bacteria and protozoa and described spermatozoa. He demonstrated the blood circulation through the capillaries, was the first to describe blood corpuscles accurately and made important observations of the structure of muscle, hair, teeth, skin and eye. His equally valuable zoological work revealed the Infusoria and Rotifera and disproved the idea of spontaneous generation. He was *Vermeer’s executor (1675) and secured election as FRS (1680).
Dobell, C., Antony van Leeuwenhoek and His Little Animals. rev. 1958.
Legendre, Adrien Marie (1752–1833). French mathematician. Through the influence of *d’Alembert he became (1777) professor of mathematics at the École Militaire, Paris, transferring (1795) to the École Normale. He carried out important researches on the theory of elliptical function, and wrote a treatise on the theory of numbers.
Léger, Fernand (1881–1955). French painter, born in Argentan, Normandy. Son of a farmer, he went to Paris (1905) to follow art. Influenced at first by Impressionism and Cézanne, he began to develop his individual style from the time (1910) he met Picasso and Braque and joined in the first Cubist exhibition. Service in World War I drew his attention to the possibilities inherent in mechanical contrivances of all kinds, wheels, cogs, shining surfaces etc. which he introduced into his paintings with their broad planes and bright colours. As his art developed, his pictures became warmer and more human, acrobats began to appear, boys with bicycles, and suggestions of landscape. His versatility was shown in murals, tapestries, stained-glass windows (at Audincourt) and mosaics.
Delevoy. R., Léger. 1962.
Léger, Paul Emile (1904–1991). Canadian cardinal. After service in France and Japan he became Archbishop of Montréal 1950–67 resigning to work as a missionary to lepers in Africa. His brother Jules Léger (1913–1980) was an academic, diplomat and administrator: Ambassador to Italy 1962–64, to France 1964–68, Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs 1968–73 and Governor-General of Canada 1974–79.
Lehár, Franz (Ferenc) (1870–1948). Hungarian composer. After studying music he went to Vienna as a conductor of military bands. He then turned to composing operettas which won great popularity, e.g. The Merry Widow (1905).
Lehmann, Lotte (1888–1976). German soprano. In Vienna 1916–38, then in the US, she achieved early success in Strauss operas, and between 1924 and 1946 was the outstanding Marschallin in *Strauss’s Rosenkavalier. She also excelled in *Mozart, *Wagner and as Leonora in Fidelio and was an accomplished lieder singer and teacher.
Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm, Baron von (1646–1716). German philosopher and mathematician, born in Leipzig. Son of a professor at Leipzig University, he studied law and philosophy there, and then entered the service of the Archbishop-Elector of Mainz. A diplomatic mission to Paris gave him the opportunity of four years’ (1672–76) intensive study and contact with other leading scientists. He then became librarian to the Duke of Brunswick, on his return journey visiting England, where he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society (1673) for his invention of the calculating machine.
One of Leibniz’ fundamental beliefs was that the search for truth should be the common task of men of all nations. To this end he tried to invent a universal language and at the same time worked on a system of symbols, like those of algebra, to be used in logic so as to give it a mathematical basis. It was this work that led to his discoveries relating to the differential and integral calculus, for which he invented the notation still used. The accusation that his system was stolen from *Newton was completely unfounded.
As a philosopher, Leibniz was influenced by *Descartes and also by *Spinoza, whom he met. His metaphysical system, which has interested later philosophers (notably Bertrand *Russell), grew out of a dissatisfaction with existing doctrines, including the atomic view of the universe. He argued that everything consists of certain substances (monads) which are immaterial, have no extension whatever in space and do not interact in any way. To explain the fact that these independent monads do not seem to act in unison—go together to make up things—he supposed that God had instituted what he called ‘a pre-established harmony’, i.e. monads move in accordance with a built-in plan that gives rise to the world as we know it. Leibniz, whose versatility extended to religion (an attempt to reunite the Churches) history (publication of documents relating to the house of Brunswick), and codification of law, was satirised by *Voltaire in Candide as Dr Pangloss, who believed that ‘everything happens for the best in the best of all possible worlds’. Optimism is central to Leibniz’ beliefs and is the subject matter of theodicy (Essais de Theodicée sur la bonté de Dieu, la liberté de l’homme et l’origine du mal, 1710). Nevertheless, he died alone and neglected: like Newton, he never married.
Leicester of Holkham, 1st Earl of see Coke, Thomas William, 1st Earl of Leicester of Holkham.
Leicester, Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of (1532–1588). English courtier. Son of the Duke of *Northumberland, he was sentenced to death with his father for their attempt to secure the crown for Lady Jane *Grey. Northumberland was executed but his son was pardoned and freed in 1554, coming into court favour with the accession of Queen *Elizabeth, his childhood friend at *Henry VIII’s court. Offices and emoluments were lavished upon him, and when (1560) his wife, Amy *Robsart (married 1550), was found dead at the foot of the stairs at Cumnor Place near Abingdon, where she lived in seclusion, it was rumoured that Leicester (with or without Elizabeth’s complicity) had contrived her death in order to be free to marry the Queen. But though Elizabeth stood by him and in 1564 created him Earl of Leicester, the prospect of their marriage became increasingly remote. He was Chancellor of Oxford University 1564–88, founder of the Oxford University Press, expert dancer and tennis player, patron of the arts, financial backer of Francis *Drake, and investor in training, exploration, mining and manufacturing companies. He endowed a hospital, which still survives. His famous 19-day reception for the Queen at Kenilworth in 1575 is described in *Scott’s novel of that name. He had a son, also Robert Dudley, by Douglas (née Howard), the dowager Baroness Sheffield, but it is unlikely that they married, as she later claimed. In 1578, he secretly married Lettice Knollys, the widowed Countess of Essex, greatly distressing the Queen, when she found out. Their son, yet again Robert Dudley, died at the age of three. Apart from his role at court, he worked (often uneasily) with William Cecil, Lord *Burghley in running Elizabeth’s government. In 1585, he was given command of an English army to support the Dutch in their struggle for independence with the Spaniards, and, in spite of the military incapacity he then displayed, he was chosen in the Armada year (1588) to command the forces gathered at Tilbury to prevent a Spanish landing. The celebrations of her fleet’s victory in October were clouded for Elizabeth by news of her favourite’s death. Her pet name for him was ‘Eyes’ (ôô) and she kept his letters with her until she died.
Jenkins, E., Elizabeth and Leicester. 1972.
Leichhardt, Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig (1813–1848). Prussian explorer. He arrived in Sydney in 1841, and led an expedition 1843–45 from Moreton Bay near Brisbane to the Gulf of Carpentaria. In November 1847 he again started from Moreton Bay in an attempt to cross the Continent from east to west, but, last heard of in the following April, he disappeared without trace.
Leif Ericsson (Eriksson) (c.970–1020). Norse explorer. Reputedly the first European to discover the American continent, and son of *Eric the Red, first coloniser of Greenland, he sailed along the North American coast about the year 1000, and after passing ‘Helluland’ (Baffin Island?), ‘Markland’ (almost certainly Labrador), he landed in ‘Vinland’ (Newfoundland), basing himself at L’Anse-aux-Meadows. A later attempt to settle Vinland failed.
Leigh, Vivien (Vivian Mary Hartley) (1913–1967). English actor, born in India. Remarkable for her delicate beauty, she made her film debut in 1934. She won Academy Awards as Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind (1939) and Blanche du Bois in Streetcar Named Desire (1951). Married (1940–60) to Laurence *Olivier, she appeared on stage with him in *Shakespeare, *Sheridan and *Shaw.
Edwards, A., Vivien Leigh. 1977.
Leighton, Frederic Leighton, 1st Baron (1830–1896). English painter. After spending most of his early life in Italy, he studied in Dresden and Paris and became the leading neoclassical painter of the Victorian era. His nudes, refined almost to the point of sexlessness and elegantly posed in Grecian architectural settings, became immensely popular. He was President of the Royal Academy 1878–96. The first British artist to be made a peer, he died on the day his elevation was announced.
L.E.L. see Landon, Letitia Elizabeth
Lely, Sir Peter (Pieter van der Faes) (1618–1680). Dutch painter. He lived in England (from 1641 and became painter at court in succession to *Van Dyck. Although after the parliamentary victory in the Civil War he managed to adapt his style to the demands of his new patrons, he was happier at the Restoration to revert to court paintings. His most famous pictures are the Beauties of King *Charles II’s entourage (now at Hampton Court), and the more remarkable series, because more expressive of character (now at Greenwich), of the 12 British admirals in the Second Dutch War. Despite his large output, Lely, who amassed fame, property and a knighthood (1680), seldom became perfunctory.
Beckett, R. B., Lely. 1951.
Lemaître, Georges-Henri Joseph Édouard (1894–1966). Belgian astronomer and mathematician, born in Charleroi. He began to study engineering, served in World War I and was then ordained as a priest in 1923. He studied physics at Cambridge and MIT and became professor of astrophysics at Louvain in 1927. In that year in a Belgian scientific journal he proposed that the universe began with a small ‘cosmic egg’ which has been expanding ever since, and in 1929 this was confirmed by Edwin *Hubble’s observations. In 1948 George *Gamow helped to popularise this concept, dismissed by Fred *Hoyle as ‘the big bang’, a term which was soon widely adopted. Lemaître became President of the Pontifical Academy of Science 1960–66. An asteroid (1565 Lemaître) was named for him.
Lemkin, Raphael (1900–1959). Polish-Jewish-American lawyer, born in Bezwodne (now in Belarus). He grew up in Lviv (now in Ukraine, then in Poland) and was a multi-lingual prodigy. He escaped from Poland in September 1939 and taught in the US. In Axis Rule in Occupied Europe (1944), he coined the word ‘genocide’ to describe acts intended ‘to destroy in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group’ (e.g. Jews, Armenians, gypsies, Tutsi). ‘Genocide’ was a factor in the prosecution case at the Nuremberg trials of Nazi leaders (1945–46) and was adopted by the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948, in force from 1951). Lemkin received 10 nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize; all failed, and he died impoverished and exhausted. (*Lauterpacht.)
Sands, P., East West Street. 2016.
Lemon, Mark (1809–1870). English author and journalist. He wrote many plays, novels and children’s stories, but is best remembered as the founder, with Henry Mayhew, of Punch, of which he was sole editor from 1843 until his death.
Lenard, Philipp Eduard Anton (1862–1947). German physicist, born in Bratislava (then in Hungary). He studied at Budapest and Heidelberg universities and held chairs in theoretical physics in Kiel 1898–1907 and Heidelberg 1907–31. He pioneered research into cathode rays. In 1894 he first obtained cathode rays outside a tube, by allowing them to pass from the tube through a window of aluminium foil; such rays became known as Lenard rays. His observations helped to prepare the way for *Rutherford’s first atomic model in 1911—he had suggested a model of the structure of the atom as early as 1903. He also studied the ejection of electrons from metals by the action of ultraviolet light, and found that the energy of the emitted electrons is independent of the intensity of the incident radiation, and depends only upon its wavelength. He won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1905. Under *Hitler he was an ardent proponent of ‘Aryan science’.
Lenclos, Anne (called Ninon de Lenclos) (1620–1705). French courtesan. She was a woman of intelligence and great beauty and amongst her many lovers (and friends) were distinguished men such as *La Rochefoucauld. Her salon in Paris was a meeting place for literary figures. In her last years she took a special interest in her lawyer Arouet’s son, who afterwards took the name *Voltaire.
Magne, E., Ninon de Lenclos. 1948.
L’Enfant, Pierre Charles (1754–1825). French architect. An engineer in the French army, he served on the American side in the War of Independence. He was commissioned (1791) by George *Washington to prepare the original plans for Washington, the new capital city. The central feature of his grandiose plan was the dome-surmounted Capitol, built upon a small hill and approached by four great converging avenues, thus dominating the city. The plans, clearly influenced by Versailles, were discarded as far too extravagant and he was dismissed (1792). His designs were later restudied and the existing city, built up over the years, follows his original plan fairly closely.
Lenglen, Suzanne (1899–1938). French lawn tennis player. She dominated women’s lawn tennis in the years following World War I and raised the standard of women’s play to a height far beyond any previously reached. She was women’s singles champion at Wimbledon 1919–23, 1925. In 1926 she turned professional.
Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich (V. I. Ulyanov) (1870–1924). Russian revolutionary and creator of the Soviet state, born in Simbirsk. Son of a school inspector, his mother was the daughter of a doctor and from this middle-class family sprang two revolutionary sons. The elder, Aleksandr, took part in a revolutionary conspiracy to assassinate Tsar *Aleksandr III and was hanged in 1887. The younger, who was to take the name Lenin, studied law and was expelled from Kazan University for subversive activity. He abandoned the legal profession and after having studied Marx intensively went to St Petersburg where he organised the illegal League for the Liberation of the Working Class. Arrested in 1897 he was exiled for three years in Siberia, where he married a fellow revolutionary, Nadezhda *Krupskaya. He then left Russia to pursue his revolutionary activities abroad.
At a conference (1903) in London the Russian Social Democratic Labour party split into two factions the Mensheviks (‘minority’) and the more extreme Bolshevik (‘majority’) dominated by Lenin. He was clandestinely in Russia for the abortive risings of 1905 but fled to Switzerland in 1907. From there and other places in Europe he continued, through his political writings and underground organisation, to control the revolutionary movement in Russia. In 1912 the Bolsheviks became in fact (though not formally until 1917) a separate party upon the expulsion of the Mensheviks from the RSDLP. During World War I Lenin stayed in Switzerland to await a chance to lead a revolution in Russia. On the outbreak of the first Russian Revolution (March 1917) the Germans, with the object of weakening Russian war efforts, brought Lenin and a group of supporters through Germany from Switzerland in a sealed train and sent them to Petrograd (as St Petersburg had been renamed) via Stockholm and Helsinki. He then set about overthrowing the provisional government of *Kerensky. Under the slogan ‘All power to the Soviets’ he seized power in a second revolution in November. He was Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars (i.e. Premier) 1917–24 (technically of the Russian Soviet Socialist Republic 1917–22; of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics 1922–24). He agreed to the severe terms of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk to secure peace with Germany but the Red Army had to struggle until 1921 to overcome the various counter revolutionary movements of the ‘white’ Russian leaders *Denikin and *Kolchak, who had some support from the Western Allies. Meanwhile as Chairman of the Communist Party and a Politburo (Political Bureau) member 1917–24, Lenin was effectively dictator. In 1919 he established the Comintern (Communist International) to foster world revolution. In the chaotic economic conditions then prevailing it was impossible to carry through his projected communist revolution (War Communism). There was a temporary retreat into the New Economic Policy, which was a partial return to private enterprise. His health deteriorated rapidly after a gunshot wound (1918) and he was incapacitated by a stroke in 1922.
After 1922 he lived at his dacha in Gorki, an outer suburb of Moscow, now Leninskie Gorki, and died there. Shortly before his death Lenin wrote a warning that *Stalin should be removed from his post as Secretary-General of the Communist Party. This was suppressed, and in the struggle for power after Lenin’s death between his chief lieutenants, *Trotsky and Stalin, the latter triumphed. Although in his writings Lenin was the chief theoretician of Marxism he was most important as a skilful revolutionary and a master of political and party organisation. Aleksandr *Yakovlev estimated that 8 million died in the Civil War and terror 1918–22 and 5 million more in the 1921 famine.
Petrograd was renamed Leningrad five days after his death; the name St Petersburg was restored in 1991. Lenin’s embalmed body was displayed in a mausoleum in Red Square, Moscow, which became a national shrine visited by thousands daily. Though for a time Stalin enjoyed an equal place with him before the Soviet public (and shown at his side in the Lenin Mausoleum 1953–61), Lenin was restored to primacy after *Khrushchev denounced the ‘personality cult’ of Stalin and, even after the collapse of the USSR, he still evokes a wary respect.
Shub, D., Lenin. Rev. ed. 1966; Volkogonov, D., Lenin: Life and Legacy. 1994; Sebestyen, V., Lenin the Dictator. 2017.
Lennon, John Winston (1940–1980). English singer, songwriter, artist and political activist, born in Liverpool. After creating The Quarrymen, a skiffle group, he joined Paul *McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison in the *Beatles (1962–70). They changed popular culture. He wrote many songs, including Imagine and Give Peace a Chance. He came to detest McCartney, the Beatles broke up acrimoniously and he devoted himself to peace protests, coming under FBI surveillance. In 1969, he married the singer, artist and political activist Yoko Ono (1933– ), withdrew from performances in 1975, returning in 1980. In December 1980, he was shot dead in Manhattan by a paranoid fan who wanted to be remembered for his association with Lennon.
Lenoir, Jean Joseph Étienne (1822–1900). Belgian French inventor. He built the first internal combustion engine in 1859 (fuelled by lighting gas) and the first ‘horseless carriage’ followed in 1860. However, Lenoir’s machine was much less efficient than *Otto’s and he died poor.
Le Nôtre, André (1613–1700). French landscape architect. He succeeded his father as Chief of the Royal Gardens. Later (1657) he became ‘controller’ of the royal buildings as a result of the impression he created by the park and grounds (1656–61) laid out at Vaux-le-Vicomte for Nicolas *Fouquet. Among his other parks were those of St Germain-en-Laye, St Cloud and Chantilly. His greatest achievement was the gardens of Versailles (1662–90).
Fox. H. M., André le Nôtre, Garden Architect to Kings. 1962.
Lenthall, William (1591–1662). English politician. He was Speaker of the House of Commons 1640–53, 1654 and 1659–60, famous for refusing *Charles I access to the Commons (1642) when he sought to arrest five members, and for being dragged from the chair when *Cromwell forcibly dissolved the Long Parliament (1653).
Lenya, Lotte (1898–1981). Austrian-American singer and actor. She married the composer Kurt *Weill in 1926, created the role of the prostitute Jenny in Die Dreigroschenoper (1927), appeared on the Broadway stage and in films, e.g. From Russia with Love.
Leo I, St (‘the Great’) (c.390–461). Pope 440–61. Born in Rome of Tuscan parents, a noble character and distinguished theologian, he did much to establish the primacy of Rome. His exposition of the divine and human natures of Christ was accepted by the Council of Chalcedon (451). His resolute bearing persuaded *Attila the Hun to spare Rome but he could not save the city from sacking by the Vandals (455).
Leo III (known as ‘the Isaurian’) (c.680–740). Byzantine Emperor 717–40. He was a successful general who rebelled against the feeble Theodosius and usurped the throne. After saving Constantinople from the Saracens he stabilised Asia Minor, strengthening the administration by subdividing the Asiatic provinces. He is chiefly remembered for the pronouncement (726) by which he tried to suppress the use of religious pictures and images (icons) and so started the great iconoclast controversy.
Leo X (Giovanni de’Medici) (1475–1521). Pope 1513–21. Second son of Lorenzo the Magnificent (*Medici) of Florence, he was made a cardinal at the age of 13. He led a graceful, cultured life and used the opportunities provided by his position as Pope to become, in the tradition of the Medicis, a munificent patron of the arts. The tapestries of the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican were executed by *Raphael on his orders and he invited *Leonardo da Vinci to Rome. He proved his skill in diplomacy by maintaining a balance in Italy between *François I of France and the emperor *Charles V. However, he underrated the influence of *Luther and took no active steps to forestall him by initiating the necessary reforms.
Leo XII (Annibale Francesco Clemente Melchiorre Girolamo Nicola Sermattei della Genga) (1760–1829). Pope 1823–29. A papal diplomat and administrator, he had no pastoral experience in a see. As Pope, he gave the Jesuits control of Catholic education, attacked the idea of religious toleration, revived the Index of Prohibited Books, was hostile to the Jews and loved shooting birds.
Leo XIII (Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci) (1810–1903). Pope 1878–1903. Son of a nobleman, he studied law but became a priest in 1837, Apostolic Nuncio to Belgium 1843–48 and Bishop of Perugia 1848–78. Elected on the third ballot to succeed *Pius IX, much of the credit for the modernisation of the papacy can be ascribed to him. In many encyclical letters he expounded his Church’s attitude to the social and political ideas of his day. He denounced both materialism and socialism but in his famous Rerum Novarum (1891) he analysed the conditions and problems of the working classes with generosity, understanding and realism, and in this and other letters, restated the Christian ideas in relation to the changing patterns of social life. In theology he asserted the pre-eminence of St Thomas *Aquinas and directed that Thomism should be the basis of all priestly training. His attitude to primitive peoples was liberal and constructive and he encouraged a great increase of missionary activity. He achieved an important diplomatic success by bringing to an end the German Kulturkampf, *Bismarck’s campaign to remove Catholic influence from education. In 1883 he opened the Vatican archives to scholars of all faiths and encouraged the study of astronomy and natural science. He published 86 encyclicals and is regarded as the most brilliant pope of recent times and also the oldest (dying at 93). His was the third longest pontificate (after Pius IX and *John Paul II) and he became the first pope to be filmed, to record his voice, use a telephone or be driven in a motorcar.
Gargan. E. T. (ed.), Leo XIII and the Modern World. 1961; Chadwick, O., A History of the Popes 1830–1914. 2003.
Leonardo da Pisa see Fibonacci, Leonardo
Leonardo da Vinci (in full, Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci) (1452–1519). Italian polymath, painter, sculptor, architect, military engineer and scientist, born at Vinci, between Pisa and Florence. The illegitimate son of Piero da Vinci, a Florentine notary, and Caterina di Meo Lippi, a 15-year-old orphan, from the age of 12 he lived with his widowed father, who, having no children in wedlock, treated him as legitimate. (Later, in Milan, Leonardo’s mother came to live with him.) At 15, he was apprenticed to the Florentine painter and sculptor *Verrocchio, in whose workshops he worked until 1481, having been accepted into the painters’ guild of Florence in 1472. Unique in the history of art because of the exceptional scope of his intellect, his powers of observation and the versatility and strength of his technique, his interest in natural science was sustained by a conviction that knowing how to see is the basis of understanding nature. His diverse talents led him to attempt an enormous variety of work, much of it never completed. Left-handed, vegetarian, probably heretical and certainly homosexual, he escaped from charges of sodomy in 1476.
In 1482, he went to the court of Ludovico *Sforza, Duke of Milan, as painter, sculptor, designer of court entertainments and technical adviser on military buildings and engineering. In 1482, he was commissioned to produce a huge statue of a horse, 7.3 metres high, honouring Francesco Sforza, to be cast in bronze. Drawings and plans for mounting it survive, but the project was never completed and a full-sized clay model was destroyed by French troops in 1499. In 1506–08, he planned a great equestrian statue (Gran Cavallo), but only sketches survive. Three small sculptures have been attributed to him. His drawing Vitruvian Man (1490; *Vitruvius), regarded as a European icon, has been much reproduced, including on EU coins. In Milan, he painted the great (but severely damaged) mural The Last Supper (c.1495–98), in fresco, and a version of The Virgin of the Rocks in oils. He also began to write down his own theories of art, and to record his scientific observations in books of drawings and explanatory text. In 1499–1500, he returned to Florence, leaving again in 1502 to work for a year as military adviser to Cesare *Borgia. In 1503, he began work on the mural painting The Battle of Anghiari, which he never finished. Before returning to Milan in 1506 he had also begun three paintings which he worked on in subsequent years—Leda and the Swan (now lost, c.1500), The Virgin and Child with St Anne (1500) and Mona Lisa (La Gioconda, 1503–06).
Leonardo and his young rival *Michelangelo shared a mutual detestation. Sforza had been overthrown by the king of France in 1499, but Leonardo nevertheless returned to Milan as the king’s adviser on architecture and engineering. In 1513, he went to Rome, possibly expecting papal commissions which he did not receive, and in 1516 left Italy for France, appointed painter, architect and engineer to *François I. Most of the rest of his life was devoted to finishing St John the Baptist and to editing his scientific studies. He died at the Château Cloux, in Amboise, where he is buried.
His surviving work consists of 18 paintings definitely attributable, thousands of drawings and extensive writings. Notes and diagrams are all that survive of his varied and sometimes enormous civic engineering schemes. His notebooks covered painting, architecture, mechanics and natural science, including plans for a flying machine and parachute, detailed studies on anatomy, embryology, bird flight, hydrodynamics, vortices, cloud formation and astronomy. More than 7,500 pages of his notes (written in mirror script) survive—perhaps one third of his output, but were not published until 1883. Leonardo was a man of great sensitivity and compassion.
In November 2017, a heavily restored small painting, Salvator Mundi (c.1500), bought as a copy in 2005 for US$1175, was sold as an original at auction in New York for $US450 million, setting a world record for an art work.
Clark, K. M., Leonardo da Vinci: an Account of his development as an Artist. 2nd ed. 1952; Richter, J. P., The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci. 2 vols. 3rd ed. 1970; Bramly, S., Leonardo: The Artist and the Man. 1992; Isaacson, W., Leonardo da Vinci. 2017.
Leoncavallo, Ruggiero (1858–1919). Italian operatic composer. He achieved fame and wealth with Pagliacci (1892), one of the most widely performed of all operas. His other works include La Bohème (1897), overshadowed by *Puccini’s more successful work, and Zaza (1900). He wrote his own librettos.
Leonidas (d.480 BCE). King of Sparta and national hero of Greece. With only 300 Spartans he held the pass of Thermopylae, north of Athens, against the invading army of the Persian king, Xerxes, but after two days of heroic resistance, a path leading to his rear was betrayed to the enemy. Fighting to the end, Leonidas and every one of his men were killed.
Leontieff, Wassily Wassilief (1906–1999). American economist, born in Russia. Educated in Leningrad and Berlin, he taught at Harvard from 1931. He won the 1973 Nobel Prize for Economics for his development of input–output analysis, a study of the relationship within an economy between total inputs (raw materials, labour, manufacturing and related services) and total demands for final goods and services.
Leopardi, Giacomo, Conte (1798–1837). Italian poet. Described by critics as the greatest Italian lyricist since the 14th century, he suffered greatly from constant ill health. His parents distrusted his liberal ideas and he fled as soon as he could from the reactionary atmosphere of his home. He prepared an edition of *Cicero’s works for a Milan publisher, settled later in Florence and spent his last years in Naples. Apart from his works of scholarship and philosophy, he found in lyric poetry an instrument that proved sensitive to all his moods, mainly of disillusion with life as he found it. The main collection of his poems, I Canti (1836) has been translated into English many times.
Leopold I (1640–1705). Holy Roman Emperor 1658–1705. Ruler of Austria, Hungary and Bohemia, most of his reign was spent in a prolonged struggle with the Turks. In 1683 Vienna was saved only by the intervention of the Poles under Jan *Sobieski. In 1701 he joined the coalition against France to secure the Spanish throne for his son Charles in whose favour he had renounced his own rights (*Philip V of Spain).
Léopold I (Léopold-Georges-Chrétien-Frédéric von Wettin) (1790–1865). King of the Belgians 1831–65. Born in Coburg, son of Franz, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, he fought with the Russian armies in the later stages of the Napoléonic Wars. A Protestant, he married (1816) *Charlotte, daughter of the British prince-regent (*George IV), but she died in childbirth a year later. Created a field marshal, KG and GCB, his connections with Great Britain gave him some insight into its political system which he used to good effect. In 1830 he refused the Greek throne, but in the following year was chosen as the first King of the Belgians. He ruled with such constitutional prudence that his country escaped the revolutionary turmoils of 1848. Léopold was a trusted adviser of his niece Queen *Victoria, who married one of his nephews, *Albert.
Leopold II (1747–1792). Holy Roman Emperor 1790–92. Third son of the empress *Maria Theresa and brother and successor of *Joseph II, as grand-duke of Tuscany (from 1765) he had, among other reforms, abolished the death penalty and torture. As Emperor, he had no time to display his qualities and died before he could give effective aid to his sister *Marie Antoinette in revolutionary France.
Léopold II (Léopold Louis Philippe Maria Victor von Wettin) (1835–1909). King of the Belgians 1865–1909. Son of *Léopold I, during his reign Belgium’s industrial and colonial activities expanded greatly. In 1876, in collaboration with H. M. *Stanley, he founded (in his private capacity, not as king) an association to explore and exploit the Congo. In 1884 a European International Congress on African affairs sanctioned the establishment, under Léopold’s personal control, of a ‘Congo Free State’, from which he gained an immense fortune, first from ivory, then rubber. Forced labour and other inhumane practices used by the administrators caused a scandal, following which Léopold transferred the Congo to the Belgian Government. At home, industrialisation proceeded rapidly and the attendant deterioration in social conditions led to labour troubles and political unrest. Energetic, rapacious and hypocritical, he was unhappily married with no male heirs. Separated in 1895, he had many mistresses and married the last, secretly, days before he died.
Hochschild, A., King Leopold’s Ghost. 1998.
Léopold III (Léopold-Philippe-Charles-Albert-Meinrad-Hubertus-Marie-Miguel von Wettin) (1901–1983). King of the Belgians 1934–5l. Son of *Albert I, in 1926 he married Astrid, Princess of Sweden (1905–1935) who was killed near Lucerne when a car driven by Léopold crashed. During World War II, he took command of the army, surrendered to Germany (1940), and remained in Belgium during the Nazi occupation, all against the advice of his Cabinet. In 1941 he married morganatically the exceptionally beautiful Mary Lilian Baels (1916–2002), who was created Princesse de Réthy, but not queen. Both actions aroused intense hostility. After liberation a regency was created under his brother Charles and Léopold lived in Switzerland. In 1950 a plebiscite voted 57 per cent in favour of his return but following strikes and demonstrations he abdicated in favour of his son *Baudouin I. Léopold’s second son *Albert II succeeded in 1993.
Le Pen, Jean-Marie (1928– ). French politician. He graduated in law, served as a parachutist in Indochina and Algeria, became a follower of Pierre *Poujade and a deputy 1956–62. He was leader of the National Front (FN) 1972–2011, using his oratory and organisational skills to build up strong national support by advocating forced repatriation of non-European immigrants. His party won no seats in the French elections of March 1993 despite 12 per cent of the vote. In June 2002 he was runner-up in the first round of the election for President, losing heavily to *Chirac in the second, and in 2007 became the oldest presidential candidate in French history. His youngest daughter Marine (Marion Anne) Le Pen (1968– ), a lawyer, municipal councillor and MEP 2004– , succeeded him as leader of the FN 2011–17. In 2015, she excluded her father from any role in the FN for his persistent denial of the Holocaust and justification of French collaboration in World War II. In the 2017 presidential election, she ran second in the first round, then lost to Emmanuel *Macron in the second, with 34 per cent of the vote. However, she won a seat in the National Assembly 2017– .
Lepidus, Marcus Aemilius (d.13 BCE). Roman leader. A strong supporter of Julius *Caesar, after his murder he joined with Mark *Antony and Octavian (*Augustus) in forming (43) the Second Triumvirate. In 36 Lepidus, who had been assigned Africa as his sphere of command, left there to seize Sicily. Augustus then deprived him of office.
Lermontov, Mikhail Yuryevich (1814–1841). Russian poet. Of Scottish descent, he became a cavalry officer (1832) but was exiled to the Caucasus for a year for publishing a revolutionary poem on the death of *Pushkin (1837). He was again banished in 1840 for fighting a duel, and in another duel in the following year he was killed. His poems reveal him as a true romantic: they consist mainly of lyrics, many inspired by the wild beauties of the Caucasus. The Demon (1839), a supernatural narrative poem, shows Byronic influence (indeed Lermontov has been compared with *Byron both for his passionate praise of freedom and for his impulsive character). In another vein is The Song of the Merchant Kalashnikov, which is imbued with the spirit of Russian folklore. Masquerade is the best known of his verse plays. His finest work was the short novel A Hero of Our Times (1840) an isolated masterpiece, but the first of the long line of Russian psychological novels.
L’Ami, C. E., and Welikotny, A., Michael Lermontov: Biography and Translation. 1967.
Le Roy Ladurie, Emmanuel Bernard (1929– ). French historian. A pupil of Fernand *Braudel, he taught at the Collège de France 1973–99. He worked within the Annales tradition but made effective use of econometrics and anthropology, e.g. in Montaillou (1978) the story of a French village 1294–1324, which became an international bestseller. Director of the Bibliothèque Nationale Paris 1987–94, he was particularly interested in environmental factors (e.g. the impact of climate change) and micro-history.
Lerroux, Alejandro (1864–1949). Spanish politician. Originally an ardent republican, he was exiled several times before 1931 but served as Foreign Minister 1931–33 and 1934–36 and Prime Minister 1933–34, 1935. His opponents denounced him as an opportunist.
Lesage (Le Sage), Alain René (1668–1747). French dramatist and novelist, born in Brittany. He started his literary career with translations from Latin, Greek and Spanish. His early plays too, were adapted from the Spanish and it was not until 1707 that his first original work appeared. Turcaret a satirical comedy about financiers and considered the best work of its kind since *Molière, was produced at the Comédie Française in 1708. Lesage gained a greater reputation as a novelist with Le Diable boîteux (The Devil on Two Sticks) published in 1707. This was followed by a picaresque novel, Gil Blas de Santillane (1715–35), in which the hero climbs the ladder of success from robber’s servant to a ministerial post and encounters on the way a wonderful array of characters in almost every class of Spanish society. This great work, which influenced *Smollett (who translated it) and *Fielding, marked the peak of Lesage’s achievement. He married in 1694 and lived quietly and happily with his wife and three sons.
Leschetizky (Leszetycki), Theodor (1830–1915). Polish pianist and teacher. A pupil of *Czerny, he toured widely but became famous as a teacher in Vienna: his students included *Paderewski, *Schnabel and *Horszowski. He was also a conductor and composer.
Leskov, Nikolai Semyonovich (1831–1895). Russian writer. Having visited many parts of Russia and met people of all classes, he was able to cover a wider range of Russian society than his contemporaries *Turgenev and *Dostoevsky. He was clever at catching individual oddities of appearance and speech, but though he often writes with irony, optimism is the keynote of his mood. The best known of his novels is The Cathedral Folk (1872) about the provincial clergy.
Lesseps, Ferdinand Marie, Vicomte de (1805–1894). French diplomat, born in Versailles. After resigning from the diplomatic service (1851), he revived his interest in the project he had conceived, during a visit to Egypt (1832), of constructing a canal across the isthmus of Suez. His opportunity came in 1854, when an old friend, Muhammad Sa’id Pasha, became khedive. Funds were raised by loan and in 1860 work began. On the canal’s completion (1869), honours were showered upon de Lesseps, the hero of the hour: created a viscount, elected to the Académie française, awarded a GCSI by Britain.
A grandiose plan to repeat his success, this time at Panama, was launched in 1879. Work on a sea-level canal without locks began in 1881, but fever and the difficulties of the task exhausted the funds, and so caused the financial jugglery that brought disaster to the scheme and disgrace to de Lesseps. Though his sentence of five years’ imprisonment for fraud was quashed on technical grounds, he was a ruined man.
Bonnet, G. E., Ferdinand de Lesseps. 2 vols, 1951, 1959.
Lessing, Doris May (née Taylor) (1929–2013). British novelist, born in Iran. Educated in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where some of her books were set, she became a Communist and early feminist, living in England from 1949. She wrote novels and short stories, mainly in a forthright, colloquial style, which express her socialism and her interest in feminine psychology. Her novels included The Grass is Singing (1950), Martha Quest (1952), The Golden Notebook (1962), The Good Terrorist (1985) and The Fifth Child (1988). She was a prolific writer of science fiction, short stories, plays, and essays. She received a CH in 2000 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2007.
Thorpe, M., Doris Lessing. 1973.
Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim (1729–1781). German dramatist and critic, born in Saxony. He studied theology at Leipzig University, went to Berlin (1748) and with a friend started a theatrical journal to which he contributed several articles including one on *Plautus. A second journal of the same type followed (1754–58), and he resumed university studies in Wittenberg. Back in Berlin he formed a close friendship with the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn. In discussion and correspondence at this time he formulated his ideas that the natural drama of *Shakespeare and his English successors was to be greatly preferred to the classical tragedies of *Corneille, against which he waged incessant critical warfare. His own Miss Sara Sampson (1755) a tragedy of common life—a new type in Germany—exemplified his viewpoint, as does his second tragedy Emilia Galotti (1772). In between came one of the best German comedies, Minna von Barnhelm (1767), in which the influence of English writers is clear. In Laokoon (1776), an influential work on aesthetics, he assigns limitations to the various arts (unacceptable nowadays), e.g. that only static treatment of subjects should be attempted by the plastic arts. Lessing was secretary to the Governor of Breslau (1760–65) and was then (until 1769) occupied at Hamburg with another journal of theatrical criticism and comment. Eventually (1770) he settled permanently in Wolfenbüttel. Lessing was a great fighter for intellectual liberty and religious toleration to which subject his poem Nathan der Weise (1779) was devoted.
Garland, H. B., Lessing, the founder of Modern German Literature. 2nd ed. 1962.
Leszczyński, Stanisław (1677–1766). King of Poland 1704–09 and 1733–35. Son of a Count of the Holy Roman Empire, he became a protégé of *Charles XII of Sweden, who forced (and bribed) his election as king by the Polish Diet. When the Russians, under *Peter the Great, defeated Charles at Poltava (1709), Stanisław was deposed and went into exile in Pomerania, then to Alsace. In 1725, his daughter Marie was married to *Louis XV of France but his son-in-law gave him little effective support in the War of the Polish Succession, which followed the second election (1733) of Stanislas as King of Poland, and he once more lost his throne. In compensation, he was made Duke of Lorraine and Bar 1738–66. An enlightened ruler and patron of the arts, his treatises on government reveal the influence of *Montesquieu. His capital at Nancy became a model of city planning, with the superb Place Stanislas, Place de la Carrière and Place d’Alliance. He died at Lunéville, his second capital.
Le Tellier, François Michel see Louvois, François Michel le Tellier, Marquis de
Lettow-Vorbeck, Paul Emil von (1870–1964). German soldier. During World War I he defended German East Africa (now Tanzania) against General *Smuts in one of the most brilliant campaigns of colonial military history. He became active in right-wing politics, was a Reichstag member 1929–30, and an opponent of *Hitler.
Leverhulme, William Hesketh Lever, 1st Viscount (1851–1925). British industrialist. He began his business career in his father’s grocery at Bolton, Lancashire. In partnership with his brother he started the manufacture of soap from vegetable oils (instead of tallow). This product—Sunlight soap—proved to be the starting-point of one of the greatest industrial enterprises of the century. Port Sunlight on the Mersey (begun in 1888) was among the first factory centres to combine the needs of industry with model housing for the workers. By mergers and purchase the business continued to expand and, linked with its Dutch counterparts, came to form the great international combination, Unilever. Lever, who became a baronet (1911), a baron (1917) and a viscount (1922), devoted much of his wealth to public and private benefactions.
Le Verrier, Urbain Jean Joseph (1811–1877). French astronomer. He taught astronomy at the École Polytechnique from 1839 and in 1846 was admitted to the Académie. In the turmoil that followed the revolution of 1848 he played a political role, was made a senator by Louis Napoléon (*Napoléon III) in 1852 and director of the Paris Observatory. From his study of the irregularities of the motions of the planet Uranus he was able to predict the position (independently predicted by J. C. *Adams) of the previously unidentified planet Neptune. Later he found the theoretical solutions that permitted him to construct more accurate tables of the movements of the sun and the more important planets.
Grosser, M., The Discovery of Neptune. 1962.
Lévesque, René (1922–1987). Canadian politician. He was a journalist, foreign correspondent and broadcaster, and a member of the Québec legislature 1960–85, Liberal until 1970, when he founded the Parti Québécois. He defeated the Liberals to become Premier of Québec 1976–85.
Levi, Primo (1919–1987). Italian novelist, born in Turin. Trained as a chemist, he was a Partisan during World War II and survived Auschwitz. The experience haunted him and he committed suicide. His books include If this is a Man (1947), The Periodic Table (1975) and If Not Now, When? (1982).
Levi ben Gershom (Levi Gersonides of Avignon, also known as Ralbag) (c.1228–1344). Jewish philosopher, astronomer and Biblical commentator. His chief work, Wars of the Lord deals with the immortality of the soul, the nature of prophecy, God’s omniscience, divine providence, the nature of the celestial sphere and the eternity of matter. He wrote a notable commentary on *Euclid.
Levi-Montalcini, Rita (1909–2012). Italian neurologist, born in Turin. She worked with refugees, conducted research at St Louis 1947–77 and Rome (from 1969) and shared the 1986 Nobel Prize for Medicine for her work in isolating the nerve growth factor (NGF) in cells. She became a Senator for Life in 2001 and, in 2009, the first Nobel centenarian.
Lévi-Strauss, Claude (1908–2009). French social anthropologist, born in Brussels. He taught at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil 1935–39, worked in New York as an academic and diplomat 1942–47, returning to France in 1949 as director of studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Études 1950–74, and then as a professor of the Collège de France 1959–82. In Structural Anthropology (1958) he attacked the prevailing functionalist (*Malinowski) school of sociology, proposing, along Hegelian lines, that a universal primitive logic imposed patterns of meaning on natural phenomena, i.e. that totemism is not a reflex reaction to mysterious natural forces but a conscious imposition of symbolism to preserve complex divisions in tribal society. He was elected to the Académie française in 1973.
Lévi-Strauss, C., A World on the Wane. 1961.
Levine, James Lawrence (1943– ). American conductor and pianist, born in Cincinatti. He studied at the Juilliard School and worked under Georg *Szell. He was music director of the Metropolitan Opera New York 1976–2016, the Munich Philharmonic 1999–2004, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra 2004–11.
Lewes, George Henry (1817–1878). English writer. Editor of the Fortnightly Review (1865–66), he wrote many popular philosophical works and a biography of *Goethe, and lived with Mary Ann Evans (George *Eliot) from 1854 until his death. He wrote Problems of Life and Mind (5 vols, 1873–79).
Lewis, Carl (1961– ). American athlete. In the Olympic Games of 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996 he won nine gold medals for long jump and sprinting.
Lewis, Cecil Day see Day Lewis, Cecil
Lewis, C(live) S(taples) (1898–1963). English scholar and writer. He was a fellow and tutor at Magdalen College, Oxford 1925–54 and professor of medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge 1954–63. He wrote on medieval courtly love in The Allegory of Love (1936) and on Christian belief in a number of popular works, especially the well known Screwtape Letters (1942). He also wrote science-fiction allegories, e.g. Out of the Silent Planet (1938) and children’s books, The Chronicles of Narnia. One of the ‘Narnia’ series, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950), was translated into 47 languages and sales are estimated at 65 million copies. His late finding of love was the basis of the film Shadowlands (1993).
Wilson, A. N., C.S. Lewis. 1991.
Lewis, Essington (1881–1961). Australian industrialist. He became a mining engineer, joined Broken Hill Proprietary (BHP) in 1904, rising to become General Manager 1921–38, then Chief General Manager 1938–50 and a central figure in Australia’s mineral and industrial development. He was Director-General of Munitions and Aircraft Production 1941–45, receiving the CH in 1943.
Lewis, Gilbert Newton (1875–1946). American physical chemist, born in Massachusetts. As Dean of the College of Chemistry at Berkeley, California 1912–40, he turned the department into one of the leading centres for chemistry in the United States. Lewis’s career was a series of endeavours to unite chemistry and physics, theoretical and experimental approaches. He first worked in the field of thermodynamics, attempting to apply *Gibbs’ and Duhem’s ideas of free energy to chemistry via the concept of the ‘escaping tendency’ (or ‘fugacity’) of gases, the tendency of a substance to pass from one chemical stage to another. He was, however, more successful with his work on valence theory. In 1916 he proposed his theory that the chemical bond was a pair of electrons shared jointly by two atoms. This idea was successfully taken by Irving *Langmuir, who took most of the credit. In his later years, Lewis did important work in photochemistry. In the late 1930s and early 1940s he produced important experimental papers on fluorescence and phosphorescence spectra.
Lewis, John L(lewellyn) (1880–1969). American trade union leader. Having worked as a miner from the age of 12, he became (1920) President of the United Mineworkers of America, an office he held until 1960. In 1935 he broke away from the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and formed the Congress of Industrial Organisations (CIO), a more political and aggressive body of which he became president. In 1942 he led his union out of the CIO. It rejoined the CIO in 1946, but withdrew once more in 1947. Lewis was successful in obtaining better conditions and wages for coalminers. He accepted mechanisation with the inevitable consequence of massive reductions in the numbers of coalminers employed.
Alinksy, S., John L. Lewis. 1949.
Lewis, Matthew Gregory (1775–1818). English novelist. His sobriquet ‘Monk’ Lewis derived from his famous ‘Gothic’ romance, Ambrosia, or the Monk (1795), a tale of horror that won him the friendship of Sir Walter *Scott, *Byron and the Prince Regent. Other novels and poems followed in the same vein. He died from yellow fever, caught during a visit to the West Indies to improve the lot of the slaves on estates he had inherited.
Peck, L. F., Life of Matthew G. Lewis. 1961.
Lewis, Meriwether (1774–1809). American explorer. A soldier with strong scientific knowledge, he became private secretary to Thomas *Jefferson who chose him to lead an expedition to find a northwest passage to the Pacific. His co-leader was William *Clark. With a party of 40 (‘the Corps of Discovery’), Lewis and Clark left Wood River, near Missouri (May 1804), sailed up the Missouri River, crossed the Rocky Mountains, reached the Pacific via the Columbia River, returning to St Louis (September 1806), having travelled 12,800 kilometres. He became Governor of Louisiana Territory and died of an unexplained gunshot wound in Washington (*Sacagawea).
Dillon, R. H., Meriwether Lewis. A Biography. 1965; Ambrose, S. E., Undaunted Courage. 1996; Danisi, T. C., Meriwether Lewis. 2009.
Lewis, (Henry) Sinclair (1885–1951). American novelist, born in Sauk Center, Minnesota. Son of a doctor, he became a journalist and wrote several minor works before beginning, at 35, the series of penetrating social satires on American life for which he is now remembered. In Main Street (1920) he pilloried the narrow-mindedness of small-town life in the Midwest; Babbitt (1922) described the spiritual vulgarity of the business classes; Arrowsmith (1925) dealt with the fight of an honest physician against the inroads of commercialism; Elmer Gantry (1927) was an attack on a hypocritical evangelist. In 1930 Lewis became the first American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. His later novels include It Can’t Happen Here (1935), an attack on Nazism, Cass Timberlane (1945), and Kingsblood Royal (1947), a study of racial bigotry.
Lewis, Sir W(illiam) Arthur (1915–1991). West Indian economist, born in St Lucia. He held chairs at Manchester and Princeton, investigated third-world economies and wrote The Evolution of the International Economic Order (1978). Knighted in 1963, he shared the 1979 Nobel Prize for Economics with Theodore Schultz.
Lewis, (Percy) Wyndham (1884–1957). English painter and novelist, born in New York. Trained at the Slade School, London, he was a pioneer of modernism in English art. The Vorticist group, which he led and of whose periodical Blast he was co-editor with Ezra *Pound, derived some of its ideas from Futurism and Cubism, but in his own paintings Wyndham Lewis never restricted himself to a single style. He was a founder member of the London Group. Outside his art he had a separate reputation as a satirical novelist, his works including Time and the Western Man (1918) and The Apes of God (1930). Rude Assignment (1950) is his autobiography.
Handley-Read, C. (ed.), The Art of Wyndham Lewis. 1951.
Ley, Robert (1890–1945). German politician. A chemist, he joined the Nazi Party in 1924 and was notorious for his anti-Semitism in the Rhineland district. Ley was the head of the German labour front 1933–45, suppressed trade unions and recruited slave labourers. He committed suicide during the Nuremberg trials.
Leys, Simon (pen name of Pierre Ryckmans) (1935–2014). Belgian social scientist, Sinologist, essayist and critic, born in Brussels, lived in Australia. He studied in Louvain, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong, migrated to Australia in 1970 and held chairs in Chinese at The Australian National University and Sydney University. He was briefly a Belgian cultural attaché in Beijing (1972). His books included a devastating critique of *Mao’s regime, Chinese Shadows (1974, translated 1977), a novella about historical contingency, The Death of Napoleon (1986, translated 1992, also filmed), The Analects of Confucius (commentary and translation, 1997), With Stendhal (2010), and The Hall of Uselessness (essays, 2011). His writings won many international awards.
Pacquet, P., Simon Leys. 2017.
Li Bo (Li T’ai-po) (c.700–762). Chinese poet of the T’ang dynasty. Whenever he was not wandering in disgrace because of his dissipated life, Li Bo appears to have lived at the emperor’s court. His 2000–odd surviving poems—seldom more than 12 lines long—treat of the pleasures of life, and are famous for their delicate imagery and lyrical quality. Li Bo is said to have been drowned while trying (drunkenly) to embrace the reflection of the moon. Arthur *Waley translated many of his verses into English.
Li Hongzhang (Wade-Giles: Li Hung-Chang) (1823–1901). Chinese minister and mandarin, born in Anhui. He supported General *Gordon and the ‘Ever Victorious Army’ in suppressing the Taiping Revolt (1864) and became Viceroy of Zhili 1870–94, 1900–01 under the Manchus. He tried to introduce reforms along more modest lines than those of the Meiji restoration in Japan but found the Manchu dynasty and the Confucian system were resistant to change. Chinese influence in Vietnam was replaced by France (1883–85) and China was beaten in the Japanese war (1894–95) and humiliated in the Boxer Rebellion (1900–01). He tried to urge reform on the Dowager Empress *Cixi Hsi. The first railway was built and the services were reformed during his term as Prime Minister 1895–98. He was often called ‘the Asian *Bismarck’.
Li Lisan (originally Li Rongzhi) (1899–1967). Chinese Communist politician, born in Hunan Province. Son of a teacher, he studied for a year in Paris and after his return joined the Chinese Communist Party in 1921. An effective organiser, he became General Secretary of the CCP 1928–30. His strategy of attacking the Guomintang in the cities (instead of *Mao’s concentration on the peasantry) failed spectacularly. Li was blamed, sent to Moscow to repent, stayed there 1931–46 and married a Russian. Brought back to China by Mao in 1946, he became Commissar for Labour 1949–54. After the China–Russia split he was accused of being a Soviet agent, beaten up by Red Guards and denounced in the Cultural Revolution. His death was attributed to suicide, but murder is a distinct possibility. He was rehabilitated in 1980.
Li Peng (1928–2019). Chinese Communist politician, born in Chengdu, Sichuan. His father Li Shuoxon, a radical writer, was executed by the Guomintang in 1930. As a young man he received the patronage of *Zhou Enlai, studied electrical engineering and worked in Russia and (briefly) England. He became Vice Minister for Electric Power 1980–81, Minister for Water and Electric Power 1981–85 and Minister for Education 1985–88. A member of the CCP Politburo 1985–2003 and its Steering Committee 1987–2003, he became Acting Prime Minister 1987–88 and Prime Minister 1988–98. He ordered the army to suppress the demonstration in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, in July 1989, but primary responsibility lay with *Deng Xiaoping. He chaired the National People’s Congress 1998–2003.
Li Po see Li Bo
Li Ssu (280?–208 BCE). Chinese statesman. He worked with the emperor *Qin Shihuang in unifying China, promoting the concept of ‘the mandate of heaven’, creating the structure of centralised government, punishing dissent and executing the ‘burning of the books’.
Li Xiannian (1905–1992). Chinese Communist politician. He joined the CP in 1927, was a veteran of the Long March and served as Vice Premier and Finance Minister 1954–76. He was appointed President of the Peoples’ Republic 1983–88 after the office had been left vacant for 15 years.
Li Yuanghung (1864–1928). Chinese general and politician. Originally a naval engineer, he became a general, a reluctant revolutionary and an uneasy ally of *Sun Yatsen. He was Vice President of the Chinese Republic 1912–16, and President 1916–17, 1922–23.
Liang Qichao (1873–1929). Chinese teacher and publicist. He founded the first Chinese newspaper in Peking (1898) and was associated with *Kang Yuwei in the ‘Hundred Days of Reform’ and fled to Japan when the movement was crushed. He supported attempts to set up a constitutional monarchy but then collaborated with *Sun Yatsen and held several government administrative and diplomatic posts. He translated and popularised *Darwin and *Spencer, and became *Mao Zedong’s favourite author.
Liaquat Ali Khan (1895–1951). Pakistani politician, born in Punjab. His parents were high-caste Muslims and he studied at Aligarh and Oxford universities. Deputy leader of the Muslim League under *Jinnah 1940–47, he served under *Nehru as India’s Finance Minister 1946–47, then, after partition, became the first Prime Minister of Pakistan 1947–51, also Minister for Defence 1947–51 and Foreign Affairs 1947–49. He was assassinated by a Pashtun gunman: the reasons are unclear. He remains the longest serving Pakistani Prime Minister.
Libby, Willard Frank (1908–1980). American chemist. He worked on the atomic bomb during World War II and was a member of the US Atomic Energy Commission 1954–59. He taught at Chicago and UCLA, winning the 1960 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing a technique using the radioactive isotope carbon-14 (14C) to date materials such as trees, parchments and fabrics, an indispensable tool in archaeology and earth science. He was a member of the US Atomic Energy Commission 1954–59.
Libeskind, Daniel (1946– ). American architect, artist and set designer, born in Łódź. His buildings include the Imperial War Museum, Manchester, the Jewish Museum, Berlin and the One World Trade Centre, New York (2003–14).
Lichtenstein, Roy (1923–1997). American painter and sculptor, born in New York. He worked as a product designer, taught at New York State and Rutgers universities and held his first one-man exhibition in New York in 1962. He was a pioneer in pop art and his most famous works involved blowing up the kitsch images found in comic strips and advertising; later he transformed familiar art images into comic strip form. He was also an accomplished sculptor in metal. Ohhh … Alright (sic) was sold for $US42.6 million in 2010 and ‘Woman with Flowered Hat’ for $US56 million in 2013.
Liddell Hart, Sir Basil Henry (1895–1970). British military expert. He served in World War I and retired from the army (1927) to become military correspondent for The Times and the Telegraph. He advocated mechanised forces and a strategy of movement. His theories were closely studied in Germany and greatly influenced the organisation of the rejuvenated German army under *Hitler. He wrote many books on the history of strategy and tactics and on military leaders, e.g. The Future of Infantry (1933),The German Generals Talk (1948), and The Tanks (1959).
Liddell Hart, B. H., Memoirs. 2 vols, 1965–66.
Lidgett, John Scott (1854–1953). English clergyman. A theologian and Progressive on the LCC 1908–28, he led the successful campaign for the uniting of the separated branches of the Methodist Church in Britain and was first president of the United Church 1932–33. Lidgett became Vice Chancellor of London University 1930–32 and received a CH (1933). He was joint editor (with G. P. *Gooch) of the Contemporary Review 1911–53.
Lie, Trygve Halvdan (1896–1968). Norwegian lawyer, politician and UN administrator, born in Oslo. He was legal adviser to the Norwegian trade union movement 1922–35, a Socialist member of the Storting 1935–46, Minister for Justice 1935–39, Minister for Trade 1939–40 and Foreign Minister 1940–46, in the wartime government in exile. He chaired the commission that drafted the United Nations Charter and was elected as the first Secretary-General of the United Nations 1946–52. He took initiatives in resolving deadlocks, at first with Soviet support, and sought China’s admission to the UN, but after backing UN intervention in Korea (1950) was denounced as being under State Department influence. He compromised UN independence by collaborating with the FBI to purge American left-wingers from its secretariat during the *McCarthy period. He wrote In the Cause of Peace (1954) and returned to Norway as Governor of Oslo 1955–63, and was a minister again 1963–65.
Lieberman, Joe (Joseph Isadore) (1942– ). American Democratic politician. Educated at Yale, he became Attorney-General of Connecticut 1983–89. He was US Senator from Connecticut 1989–2013, and Al *Gore’s candidate for Vice President in 2000. He lost Democratic endorsement for the Senate in 2006 because of his support for the Iraq war but was re-elected as an Independent Democrat. He endorsed John *McCain in 2008 and Hillary *Clinton in 2016.
Liebermann, Max (1847–1935). German painter. He studied in Weimar and (1872–79) in Paris, where he came under the influence of *Millet and *Courbet. His early pictures were realistic, many of them genre scenes (e.g. Women Plucking Geese), but after moving to Berlin (1884) he painted from a much brighter palette, and from 1890, under the influence of the French Impressionists, his subjects, e.g. bathing scenes on the Wannsee, became full of light. He became leader (1899) of the newly founded Berlin movement known as the Sezession.
Scheffler, K., Max Liebermann. 1953.
Liebig, Justus, Baron von (1803–1873). German chemist. He first studied under *Gay-Lussac in Paris, and became professor of chemistry at Giessen 1834–52 and Munich 1852–73. He was an important contributor to organic chemistry and its application to agriculture. He especially studied plant and nutrition processes. He also isolated chloroform (1832).
Liebknecht, Wilhelm (1826–1900). German journalist and politician. With his friend Karl *Marx, he was founder of the Social Democratic Party (1869), served in the Reichstag and edited Forwards. His son, Karl Liebknecht (1871–1919), as a member of the extremist left wing of the Social Democratic party in the Reichstag (1912–16), assailed his party’s acquiescent attitudes to World War I and was imprisoned (1916–18) for incitement to treason. He formed with Rosa *Luxemburg, the Communist body known as Sparticists and in 1919 led their rising in Berlin. Arrested after its defeat, he was killed while being taken to prison.
Meyer, K. W., Karl Liebknecht: Man without a Country. 1957.
Ligeti, György Sándor (1923–2006). Jewish-Hungarian composer, born in Romania. His father and brother died in concentration camps. He studied in Budapest, left Hungary in 1956, working in Vienna, Cologne and Hamburg. Enormously prolific, he experimented with many different styles: in the 1960s he moved towards the removal of melody, harmony and rhythm. His works include Poème Symphonique for 100 metronomes (1962), Requiem (1963–65), a chamber concerto for 13 instrumentalists (1969–70), Le Grand Macabre (opera, 1974–77), concertos for piano (1985–88) and violin (1990–93).
Lij Iyasu see Iyasu, Lij
Lilburne, John (c.1614–1657). English political agitator. Having already been imprisoned as an anti-Church pamphleteer, he rose during the civil war to be Lieutenant Colonel in the parliamentary army, and there became leader of a Puritan and Republican sect whose adherents were known as Levellers, since their demands included extreme egalitarian social reforms. *Cromwell, whose arbitrary methods they had denounced, easily defeated a mutiny in 1649 and the movement and its leader suffered temporary exile and soon lost importance.
Gregg, P., Free-Born John. 1961; Hill, C., The World Turned Upside Down. 1991; Gregg, P., Free Born John. rev. 2001.
Lilienthal, David Eli (1899–1981). American administrator. He was a director 1933–41 and chairman 1941–46 of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and later first Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (1946–50).
Lilienthal, Otto (1848–1896). German engineer. A pioneer in aeronautics and keen student of the flight of birds, he designed successful gliders and he made more than 2000 flights before he was killed in a glider accident.
Lillie, Beatrice (Lady Peel) (1894–1989). British revue artist and comedian, born in Canada. She began as a straight ballad singer, with little success, and turned to comic singing in 1914. During the 1920s she achieved international fame as a singer and comedian in revue.
Lili’uokalani (née Lydia Lili’u Loloku Walania Kamaka’eha) (1838–1917). Queen of Hawaii 1891–93. The last sovereign and only reigning queen, she succeeded her brother (David) Kalākaua (1836–1891) king 1874–91, a moderate liberal, and tried to impose an older style of autocratic monarchy. In 1893 she stepped down at the request of the Missionary Party, but appealed to the US to reinstate her. When this failed she finally abdicated in 1895. When the US proposed annexation in 1898 she opposed it bitterly and supported a nationalistic independence movement. She wrote the popular song Aloha Oe in 1898.
Linacre (or Lynaker), Thomas (1460?–1524). English humanist and physician. After becoming a Fellow of All Souls, Oxford (1484), he travelled in Italy and felt the invigorating impact of the new learning upon continental scholarship. He graduated in medicine at Padua, then returned to Oxford, became Greek tutor to *Erasmus and *More, and from 1509 was one of the royal physicians. He founded the Royal College of Physicians (1518) but abandoned the practice of medicine on becoming a priest (1520). He wrote a Latin grammar for Princess *Mary (1523), followed by a much larger work on the same subject. He also made Latin translations from the Greek medical works of *Galen and parts of *Aristotle.
Lin Biao (also Lin Piao) (1907–1971). Chinese soldier and politician, born in Hubei. He joined the Socialist Youth League in 1925, the year he began his military career at the Huangpu Academy. He took part in *Chiang Kaishek’s Nationalist uprising but, when the Communist and Socialist groups abandoned Chiang in 1927, he went with the Communists and joined *Mao Zedong in Jiangxi Province. He became a commander with Mao’s Red Army in 1928 and a corps commander in 1934. As such he helped to head the ‘Long March’ north when Jiangxi was overrun by Nationalist Forces.
In 1937–38 (when the civil war in China was halted in order to fight the Japanese) he served as a divisional commander. He was in Russia for medical treatment 1939–42. The civil war began again in 1946, when Lin Biao’s victories in Manchuria were largely responsible for the fall of Chiang. In the People’s Republic (established in 1949) he became Vice Premier of the State Council in 1954 and Minister of Defence in 1959. His reorganisation of the army, combining military skill with political consciousness, was the main spur to the Great Cultural Revolution of 1966–69. He became Vice Chairman of the party in 1969 and Mao’s designated successor. However, in September 1971, he appears to have led an abortive coup against Mao and tried to reach Moscow but his plane crashed in Mongolia.
Lincoln, Abraham (1809–1865). 16th President of the US 1861–65. He was born in a log cabin near Hodgenville, Kentucky (on the same day as Charles *Darwin), son of Thomas Lincoln (1778–1851), a farmer of restless temperament from Virginia who moved on first to Indiana and, when Abraham was 21, to Illinois. In 1819, a year after his first wife’s death, Thomas married Sarah Bush Johnston, a widow with three children who brought order into the household and introduced her stepson to the delights of reading with such books as The Pilgrim’s Progress and Robinson Crusoe, so providing the spur to a remarkable feat of self-education. Meanwhile Abraham helped the family income with odd jobs such as operating a ferry on the Ohio River. It was a river journey to New Orleans (1828) that gave the awkward, lanky youth, 1.93m in height, his first view of the greater world and the shock of seeing slavery in action. Soon afterwards he left home, he worked in New Salem, Illinois, as clerk, store-keeper and (in 1833) postmaster, and was captain of the local volunteers, becoming well known for his racy anecdotes and homespun humour. He was elected to the Illinois State Legislature in 1834, serving until 1841. His romance with Anne Rutledge who died of fever in August 1835 has passed into American folklore but rests on very slender foundations. In 1837 the year he moved to Springfield, he was admitted to the bar after having virtually taught himself law. His marriage (1842) to Mary Todd (1818–1882) to whom he was temperamentally unsuited probably led him to pursue his political interests more single-mindedly. The Lincolns had four sons, two died before 1865. Lincoln was a very successful advocate who acted in many railroad and criminal cases. He was a Whig member of the US House of Representatives 1847–49 where he took an unpopular stand against the Mexican War and began to campaign against the extension of Negro slavery to the northwestern territories. His reputation was still largely local. He failed to secure appointment as US Commissioner for Lands in Illinois (1849), declining an offer of the secretaryship of Oregon Territory in the same year. In 1854 the Kansas-Nebraska Act, promoted by Stephen A. *Douglas, had abolished the ‘Missouri Compromise’ of 1820 which had prohibited slavery north of 36°30’, and left the issue of slavery to the vote of settlers in each new state. When ‘bleeding Kansas’ became a battle ground over slavery, this led to the formation of the Republican Party (1854). Lincoln did not join until 1856 but soon became a leading member, although he failed to win nomination for the Senate or as Vice President. He was not an abolitionist—he saw slavery as an economic question that threatened the status of white labourers in the new states and territories of the west, and his moral objections to the ‘peculiar institution’ only developed later. In 1858 he campaigned against Douglas for US Senator and in seven great debates (published in broadsheets and in book form soon after) the rivals argued the implications of the slavery issue. Lincoln declared, ‘“A house divided against itself cannot stand”. I believe this government cannot endure permanently, half slave and half free.’ He won the debates and the popular vote but lost the election which was decided by the Illinois legislature. In February 1860, a powerful speech at the Cooper Union, New York, attracted national interest and won him support outside the mid-West. At the Republican Convention held at Chicago in May 1860 he gained the presidential nomination on the third ballot, defeating his better known rivals W. H. *Seward, Simon Cameron from Pennsylvania, S. P. *Chase. Douglas, his 1858 rival for the Senate, won the Democratic nomination for president. Lincoln made no campaign speeches but his policies were well known from his debates with Douglas and the Cooper Union address. In November he won the election with 40 per cent of the votes because the Democrats were split between three candidates (Douglas, Breckinridge of Kentucky, Bell of Tennessee). Six weeks later South Carolina led a secession from the Union of the southern slave-owning states; in February 1861 the Southern Confederacy was formed and in April an attack on the federal Fort Sumter at Charleston, SC, sparked off the Civil War on the issues, not only of slavery but of the right to secede. (Many Southerners referred to the War of Southern Independence.) It was not until 1863 that a proclamation emancipating slaves (but only in the states in arms against the Union) was issued. Lincoln had to contend with a divided Cabinet and blundering and miscalculation in the conduct of the war. But his firmness and wisdom enabled the weight of numbers, equipment and wealth, which lay with the North, to have decisive effect. The Gettysburg Address, at the dedication of a war cemetery (November 1863), only 272 words long, defined democracy as ‘government of the people, by the people, for the people’, emphasising the concept of ‘nation’ rather than ‘union’. Re-elected President by defeating General George *McClellan (1864), in his second inaugural address he proposed a policy of conciliation: ‘With malice toward none; with charity for all … let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds … to do all which may achieve a just and lasting peace …’. Only Lincoln, perhaps, was brave, generous and strong enough to give reality to his own vision and to him the opportunity was denied. Five days after Lee’s surrender (April 1865) at Appomattox had brought the Civil War to an end, Lincoln was shot in Ford’s Theatre, Washington by the fanatical actor John Wilkes *Booth. Lincoln was reflective, self-doubting and he talked in testable, evidence-based propositions, appealing to ‘the better angels of our nature’. He never used his own name in a speech and wrote wonderful letters. Superficially he seemed a simple and straightforward character—but closer examination reveals his great depth and complexity. Underlying his ironic whimsy was a vein of deep mysticism and melancholy, intensified by his unhappy marriage. His law partner and biographer W. H. Herndon wrote, ‘That man who thinks that Lincoln calmly gathered his robes about him, waiting for the people to call him, has a very erroneous knowledge of Lincoln. He was always calculating and planning ahead. His ambition was a little engine that he knew no rest.’ Not a great administrator but an outstanding moulder of public opinion, he was devout in the manner of an 18th-century deist and had little sympathy for the religion of the Churches. Lincoln had a high-pitched, penetrating voice, awkward hands and movements, and his feet hurt. He was the first bearded president and may have suffered from Marfan’s syndrome (a hereditary heart and bone disease). He left an estate of $90,000. The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, with its huge statue by Daniel Chester French, was dedicated in 1922. In 20 major studies by historians and political scientists ranking US presidents, Lincoln was chosen as No. 1 by 11, and ahead of Franklin *Roosevelt and George *Washington in the aggregate.
His son Robert Todd Lincoln (1843–1926) was Secretary of War under *Garfield and *Arthur 1881–85, Ambassador to London 1889–93 and President of the Pullman Railway Company 1897–1911.
Thomas, B.P., Abraham Lincoln.1952; Vidal, G., Lincoln. 1984; Wills, G., Lincoln at Gettysburg. 1992; Donald, D.H., Lincoln. 1995; Holzer, H., Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln President. 2004; Goodwin, D. K., Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. 2005; White, R. C., A. Lincoln. A Biography. 2009; Gopnik, A., Angels and Ages. 2009.
Lind, Jenny (Johanna Maria Lind-Goldschmidt) (1820–1887). Swedish soprano. Long resident in Britain, famed for her brilliant coloratura singing, she was known as the ‘Swedish nightingale’. She performed until 1849 mainly in opera, and later in concerts and oratorios. She married the German conductor and composer Otto Goldschmidt. Her kindness and generosity added to her popularity.
Lindbergh, Charles A(ugustus) (1902–1974). American aviator, born in Detroit. His Swedish-born father was a US Congressman 1907–17. He achieved unprecedented international fame when he flew The Spirit of St Louis, a 220 hp monoplane, built by the Ryan Co. of San Diego to his own design, on the first solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic, from Roosevelt Field, New York to Le Bourget, Paris (5,809 km—3,610 miles, 33½ hours), 20–21 May 1927. The ‘Lone Eagle’ received the Congressional Medal of Honor and decorations from Britain (AFC), France, Belgium and Germany. In 1929 he married Anne (Spencer) Morrow (1906–2001), daughter of US Senator Dwight Morrow. Their infant son Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr (1930–1932) was kidnapped and murdered, a crime for which (Bruno) Richard Hauptmann was convicted and executed (1936). From 1931 he worked with Alexis *Carrell on devising a perfusion pump for a future artificial heart. In 1936 he inspected European air forces, met *Hitler and *Goering in 1938, expressed strong views about German military superiority and joined the ‘America First’ movement which campaigned for US neutrality in the event of a European war. He advised the Ford Motor Company and United Airlines during World War II but flew (unofficially) on 50 combat missions in the Pacific. A consultant to Pan American Airways after the war, he received the Pulitzer Prize for The Spirit of St Louis (1953) and was made a brigadier in the USAF reserve by President *Eisenhower (1954). Anne Lindbergh, an aviator herself, wrote books about flying, including Listen! The Wind (1938), essays, novels and The Wave of the Future (1940), an apologia for fascism. After 1957, Lindbergh adroitly managed to maintain and conceal three families in Germany simultaneously, and to sire seven children. He became actively involved in conservation issues, especially whales and eagles, retired to Hawaii and died there.
Berg, A. S., Lindbergh. 1998; Lindbergh, R., Forward From Here. 2008.
Lindemann, Frederick Alexander see Cherwell, 1st Viscount
Lindsay, Norman (Alfred William) (1879–1969). Australian artist and author, born in Creswick, Victoria. He joined the Sydney Bulletin in 1901 and became its chief cartoonist, sharing its racist and ultra-nationalist views. His voluptuous nudes, in water colour, oil, pencil and etching, were deeply controversial. His novels, including A Curate in Bohemia (1913), Redheap (1930), Saturdee (1932) and Age of Consent (1935) challenged middle-class morality. The children’s book The Magic Pudding (1918) was his most admired work. His brothers: (Sir) Lionel Lindsay (1874–1961), (Sir) Daryl Lindsay (1889–1976) and sister Ruby Lindsay (1885–1919) were all artists. His son, Jack (John) Lindsay (1900–1990) was a publisher, novelist and translator. Born in Melbourne, educated in Queensland, he left Australia in 1926, established Fanfrolico Press, wrote 169 books, including 38 novels, 25 translations, studies of *Petronius, *Blake, *Turner, *Cézanne and William *Morris, and was active in the Communist Party.
Linklater, Eric (1889–1974). Scottish author. The best known of his humorous novels include Poet’s Pub (1929), Juan in America (1931), Juan in China (1937) and Private Angelo (1946).
Linlithgow, 1st Marquess of see Hopetoun, 7th Earl of
Linlithgow, 2nd Marquess of, Victor Alexander John Hope (1887–1952). Scottish Conservative politician and administrator. Son of the 7th Earl of *Hopetoun, later created a marquess, he was educated at Eton, served in World War I, became a colonel, held minor offices in Conservative governments and chaired two commissions on India: one on nutrition, the other on constitutional reform. Having declined appointment (1935) as Governor-General of Australia, an office held by his father, he became an unexpected choice as Viceroy of India 1936–43, the longest term ever served. He faced growing civil disobedience, World War II and *Gandhi’s ‘Quit India’ campaign (1942).
Linna, Väinö (1920–1992). Finnish novelist. He left school early, became a lumberjack and served in the war against Russia 1939–40. He won fame with his novel The Unknown Soldier (1954) and the trilogy Under the North Star (1959–63).
Linnaeus, Carolus (Carl von Linné) (1707–1778). Swedish botanist and taxonomist, born in Småland. He studied medicine at the universities of Lund, Uppsala (Sweden) and Harderwijk (Netherlands), but became preoccupied with natural history, botany and classification. In 1732, in a 2,000 km exploration of Lapland, he discovered and classified many new plants. Linnaeus was the founder of modern taxonomy, the systematic classification of plants and animals, demonstrating the interconnectedness in a virtual tree of life.
He developed a binomial system (generic name + specific name) for plants and animals and published the first edition of Systema Naturae in the Netherlands in 1735. His methodology enabled accurate definitions of species, and was applied to zoology and mineralogy. Although later modified, it brought order to scientific nomenclature. Later editions of Systema Naturae expanded, and in the 10th edition (1758) he classified humans as homo sapiens (‘wise man’, using himself as the type specimen) and whales as mammals (blue whale = Balaenoptera musculus). He was the first to use symbols for male ♂ and female ♀ .
He visited England in 1736 and made influential converts. He was professor of medicine and botany at Uppsala University 1742–62 and rector 1762–72.
Linnaeus, ennobled in 1761, was much admired by *Rousseau, *Goethe and *Darwin. Despite his opposition to the concept of evolution (he thought that, once created, species were unchanging), his work laid the basis for it. His favoured students, or ‘apostles’, included Daniel Solander who sailed to Australia with *Cook. Other ‘apostles’ sent Linnaeus specimens from North America and Japan.
After Joseph *Banks declined an offer, James Edward Smith bought Linnaeus’ collection of books, papers, letters and specimens in 1784, brought them to London and founded the Linnean Society in 1788.
Anderson, M., Carl Linnaeus: Father of Classification. 1997; Blunt, W., Linnaeus: The compleat naturalist. 2004; Broberg, G., Carl Linnaeus. 2008.
Lin Piao see Lin Biao
Linus (c.10–c.79 CE). Second Bishop of Rome c.67–79, born in Volterra, Tuscany. Son of Herculanus and Claudia, he is referred to in II Timothy 4:21 as being in Rome with St *Paul. *Irenaeus names him as St *Peter’s successor as Bishop of Rome (i.e. Pope).
Lin Yutang (1895–1976). Chinese author and teacher. Educated in the US and Europe, he became a professor at the Peking National University and wrote many works on history and philosophy, including My Country and My People (1935),The Wisdom of Confucius (1938),The Wisdom of China and India (1942) and The Importance of Understanding (1960). He left China in 1936.
Lipatti, Dinu (Constantin) (1917–1950). Romanian pianist. He studied in Bucharest, then in Paris with *Cortot, *Boulanger and *Dukas. In his brief career he acquired a unique reputation as virtuoso and poetic interpreter. He died of leukaemia, leaving a legacy of magnificent recordings.
Lipchitz, Jaques (1891–1973). French sculptor, born in Latvia. Of Polish-Jewish parentage, he worked in Paris from 1909 and was the first to produce Cubist sculpture. Later works were based on Biblical or mythological themes.
Lipperschey, Hans (c.1570–1619). Dutch inventor. A spectacle maker in Middelburg, he is usually credited with inventing the first telescope (c.1608), traditionally after inadvertently watching a child playing with a lens. *Galileo soon improved Lipperschey’s crude instrument.
Lippi, Filippino (1457–1504). Italian painter. Son of Filippo *Lippi, he was a pupil of *Botticelli whose influence (as well as that of his father) is reflected in his works. He skilfully finished (1484–85) *Masaccio’s frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel, Florence, and most of his subsequent work was done in Florence or Rome. At his best he can be compared with the greatest, but some of his work is pretentious, fussy and even vulgar. Among his best known pictures are the Madonna kneeling before the Child (Uffizi, Florence) and the Madonna and Child with St Jerome and St Francis (National Gallery, London).
Lippi, Fra Filippo (c.1406–1469). Italian painter. He was sent to a Carmelite monastery (1421) but in 1431 was allowed to heave the cloister. Some of the romantic incidents of his career are probably exaggerated or even invented. Whether he was captured by pirates is uncertain, but he seems to have been accused of forgery (1450) and to have abducted a nun who became the mother of Filippino *Lippi. His earlier work was strongly influenced by *Masaccio, but later he freed himself and developed a more lively and dramatic style. Like Fra *Angelico, he painted mostly Madonnas and angels, but despite the radiance of their innocence he portrayed them with a closer approach to realism. His frescoes at Prato and Spoleto are considered his finest work.
Pittalugu, M., Filippo Lippi. 1949.
Lippmann, (Jonas Ferdinand) Gabriel (1845–1921). French-Jewish-Luxembourgish physicist. He held a chair of physics at the Sorbonne 1883–1921 and in 1891 demonstrated a method for photographing in colour, producing a faithful picture of the spectrum. He was awarded the 1908 Nobel Prize for Physics. Lippmann also predicted the nature of the ‘piezo-electric’ effect later discovered by Pierre *Curie. During World War I he worked out a primitive type of radar that was used for detecting the presence of submarines.
Lippmann, Walter (1899–1974). American editor and author. His articles on political affairs, which appeared in the New York Herald Tribune (1931–66), were syndicated throughout the world. They were influential in the formation of public opinion in the US. He coined the phrase ‘cold war’ and acquired an enormous reputation as a pundit with a sound grasp of US and European affairs, but showed little interest in the ‘third world’.
Lipton, Sir Thomas Johnstone, 1st Baronet (1850–1931). British merchant and sportsman, born in Glasgow. Of Irish parentage, after spending five years in various jobs in America he returned to Glasgow and in 1871 opened his first small grocery. Gradually, he built up a chain of shops throughout Great Britain, supplied by the tea, coffee and cocoa plantations he had acquired overseas. As his wealth grew, Lipton became a friend of *Edward VII and a noted yachtsman. His five attempts (1899–1930) to win the America’s Cup in Shamrock and its similarly named successors made him one of the best known sportsmen of his time.
Lisle, 1st Viscount, Arthur Plantagenet (1461/75–1542). English courtier, born in Calais. Son of the future king *Henry IV and (probably) Elizabeth Wayte, he lived in the household of his half-sister Elizabeth of York, wife of *Henry VII and mother of *Henry VIII. Constable of Calais 1533–40, he wrote about 3,000 surviving letters, which are a valuable resource. He was arrested in 1540, released in 1542 and apparently died of excitement.
Lister, Joseph Lister, 1st Baron (1827–1912). English surgeon, born in Essex. He was the son of Joseph Jackson Lister (1786–1869) a Quaker wine merchant and amateur microscopist whose researches on the structure of red corpuscles gained him an FRS. The young Joseph studied medicine at London University and, having become MD and FRCS (1852), joined the famous Edinburgh surgeon, James Syme (whose daughter he married), as assistant. From 1855, when he was appointed assistant surgeon at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, and especially after his appointment as professor of surgery at Glasgow University (1860) and as surgeon to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary (1861), his reputation steadily mounted. It was not only for his surgical skill but for his investigations, which shed important new light on the involuntary muscles of eye and skin, on the causes of inflammation, on pigmentation and on coagulation of the blood. The major problem in surgery at the time was the high rate (25–60 per cent) of deaths from post-operative sepsis (partly a result of the introduction of anaesthesia, which had greatly increased the number of major operations performed, and had also lessened the need for speed). In the light of *Pasteur’s discoveries, Lister rejected the theory that the introduction of air was harmful. He concluded that the blood poisoning and suppuration that occur in a wound surgically or otherwise inflicted are due to micro-organisms (loosely called germs). To destroy these he used a spray of carbolic acid with such success that in his wards the post-operative mortality rate fell almost at once from 43 to 15 per cent. He found means to overcome the difficulty that carbolic acid is itself a tissue-irritant. He also introduced catgut, which is absorbed by the body, for ligatures instead of silk or hemp, the removal of which often caused renewed haemorrhage.
He was greater as a teacher and innovator than surgeon, designed special operating tables and surgical tools, introduced the use of white operating costumes instead of street dress, emphasised aseptic (excluding germs) rather than antiseptic (killing germs) measures, and used drainage tubes for wounds and incisions. Lister’s successes were followed by further distinctions: he became a professor of surgery at Edinburgh (1869) and at King’s College, London (1879), and was President (1895–1900) of the Royal Society. A baronetcy was awarded in 1883, in 1897 a peerage and in 1902 the OM and the Copley Medal. The Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine (founded 1903) preserves his name.
Goldman, M., Lister Ward. 1987.
Liszt, Franz (Ferencz) (1811–1886). Hungarian composer and pianist, born in Raiding. Son of a steward on Prince Esterhazy’s estate, he studied music under his father, a keen amateur, and gave his first public performance as a pianist at the age of nine. With money provided by a group of Hungarian noblemen, he went to Vienna, where he studied under *Czerny and *Salieri, and won praise from *Beethoven. From 1823 his tours, which included three visits to England, won him widespread admiration but after the death (1827) of his father, who had accompanied him, Liszt taught in Paris and came under the musical influence of *Berlioz, *Paganini (whose works he transcribed for the piano) and *Chopin. His thought and way of life were affected by a friendship with the romantic novelist George *Sand, coincident (from 1833) with a love affair with the Comtesse d’Agoult, who bore him a son and two daughters, the younger of whom, Cosima, became the second wife of Richard *Wagner. Liszt parted from his mistress in 1839 and spent the next eight years making concert tours throughout Europe, in the course of which he reached the pinnacle of his fame as a virtuoso pianist. In 1847 he met the Princess Caroline zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, with whom he lived until 1865, when he entered the Franciscan Order and was known as ‘Abbé Liszt’. Liszt became conductor of the ducal opera at Weimar in 1848 and thereafter ceased to play the piano professionally. In his new post he was a generous patron of many artists, producing several operas by Wagner, whom he supported financially, and helping Berlioz and *Schumann. After his resignation (1858) he spent his remaining years mainly in teaching at Weimar, Budapest and Rome. He composed about 1300 works. Almost half are transcriptions. The finest of the 400 original compositions include the symphonic poems Tasso, Orpheus, Mazeppa and Prometheus, two piano concertos (1857 and 1863), the Dante Symphony (1856), the Faust Symphony (1853–56) and the Piano Sonata (1854). He wrote many ‘Transcendental Studies’ for piano, transcribed many songs and violin works as display pieces, and composed organ pieces and several major religious works including the oratorio Christus (1866). Liszt was one of the most important pioneers of the Romantic school in music. His invention of the one-movement symphonic poem influenced composers such as *Tchaikovsky and Richard *Strauss, while Wagner learned from his principle of thematic transformation. His bold harmonic innovations affected composers even in the 20th century. Contemporary critics considered Liszt the greatest virtuoso pianist of all time. By giving a complete solo recital for the first time and playing a whole program from memory he gave the concert pianist a status he had never before enjoyed. Moreover, through his pupils, many of whom he taught without payment, his new pianoforte techniques shaped those of future generations.
Walker, A., Liszt. 3 vols, 1971, 1987, 1998; Watson, D., Liszt. 1990.
Littleton, Sir Thomas (1402–1481). English jurist. He was recorder of Coventry (1450), King’s Sergeant (from 1455) and a judge of Common Pleas (from 1466). He wrote a notable textbook on land tenure (originally in legal French), on which Sir Edward *Coke later published a famous commentary, Coke upon Littleton (1628).
Littlewood, Joan (Maud) (1914–2002). British theatrical producer. With her repertory company, founded in 1945 and established (1953) at the Theatre Royal, Stratford, in East London, she became known for advanced ideas and techniques which included much improvisation and, in the manner of *Brecht, audience participation. Among the young playwrights who achieved success under her auspices were Brendan *Behan (The Quare Fellow) and Sheelagh Delaney (A Taste of Honey). Oh What a Lovely War! produced in 1963 after a short retirement, was an original and controversial treatment of World War I, later filmed.
Litvinov, Maksim Maksimovich (real name M. M. Vallakh) (1876–1951). Russian diplomat. An early Bolshevik and friend of *Lenin, he worked in London from 1907, married an English woman, and was appointed diplomatic agent to Britain after the 1917 Revolution. As Deputy Foreign Commissar 1921–30, 1939–46 and Foreign Commissar 1930–39 he had little authority in directing foreign policy, but attempted to make it more palatable. By leading Russia into the League of Nations (1934) and championing the cause of collective security, especially against Nazi Germany, he made Soviet policies more generally acceptable.
Liu Shaoqi (Liu Shao-chi) (c.1898–1979). Chinese Communist politician, born in Hunan. Little is known of his early life, but he apparently studied in Moscow, became a spy at Guomintang headquarters and was an official in the Communist Government of Jiangxi 1932–35. He suffered from tuberculosis and did not take part in the Long March, a significant omission. Regarded as one of the leading theoreticians of the Chinese Communist Party, he wrote the pamphlets How to be a good Communist and On the Party Struggle. He was Deputy Premier 1949–59 and succeeded *Mao as President of China 1959–68 until his expulsion from the party and denunciation as ‘China’s *Khrushchev … a lackey of imperialism, modern revisionism and Kuomintang reactionaries … a Renegade, Traitor and Scab’. Liu stood for a scientifically controlled urban industrial China against Mao’s vision of ‘revolutionary romanticism’ and the spontaneity of the masses. He was imprisoned from 1967 and died in horrible conditions.
Liu Xiaobo (1955–2017). Chinese writer, critic and human rights activist, born in Changchun, Jilin. He taught at Beijing University, was imprisoned four times and sentenced to 11 years jail in December 2009. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2010 ‘for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China’, his diagnosis of liver cancer led to an international campaign for his release for treatment in the US or Europe. He became the second Nobel Peace Prize winner to die in custody (Carl von *Ossietzky).
Liverpool, Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of (1770–1828). English Tory politician. Son of Charles Jenkinson, 1st Earl of Liverpool (1729–1808), leader of the ‘King’s friends’ and his Anglo-Indian wife, he was educated at Charterhouse School and Oxford. Elected MP 1790–1803, he only took his seat in 1792 when he came of age. *Pitt appointed him to the Indian Board of Control 1793–96 and under his successor *Addington, he had a sudden promotion as Foreign Secretary 1801–04 and was responsible for the Treaty of Amiens (1802). Created Baron Hawkesbury in 1803, and Home Secretary 1804–06, 1807–08, on Pitt’s death he declined to become Prime Minister. In 1808, he succeeded his father as Earl of Liverpool. In the most critical stage of the Peninsular War he was Secretary of State for War and the Colonies 1809–12. On Spencer *Perceval’s assassination, he became Prime Minister 1812–27, holding office for 15 years until he had a stroke. He had some able ministers, including *Canning, *Castlereagh, *Wellington and *Peel, keeping together the liberal and reactionary wings of his party, by tact, experience and common sense. He opposed the slave trade and the Combination Acts, modified the criminal law but was ambivalent about Catholic emancipation. He guided his country through the last stages of the Napoléonic wars, the period of repression that followed and its more liberal aftermath. He was the first Prime Minister to wear trousers.
Gash, N., Lord Liverpool. 1984; Hay, W. A., Lord Liverpool. A Political Life. 2018.
Livia (Livia Drusilla, also known as Livia Augusta) (58 BCE–29 CE). Roman patrician. Daughter of a senator, she married first a cousin, Tiberius Claudius Nero, and had two sons, *Tiberius, the future emperor, and Drusus. Her father and husband were opponents of Julius *Caesar, and after his assassination the family was exiled in Greece. Octavian, later known as *Augustus, met her, fell in love, divorced his own wife and persuaded Livia to divorce her husband and marry him (38 BCE). Their marriage lasted for 51 years but was childless. Livia cultivated an image of domestic simplicity, spinning her own wool, but was suspected of involvement in intrigue and even murder. She was an important influence on Augustus, who adopted his stepson as heir. When Augustus died, the Senate gave Livia the title ‘Augusta’. Tiberius soon resented his mother’s interventions but she was posthumously deified in 42 CE by her grandson *Claudius, son of Drusus.
Livingstone, David (1813–1873). Scottish explorer and missionary, born at Blantyre, Lanarkshire. From the age of 10 he worked for 16 years in a local cotton mill. He read the missionary journals that his devout father received and also learnt Latin at evening classes. In 1832 he left the Church of Scotland to become a Congregationalist and was attracted by American revivalism. He studied science at Anderson’s College, theology and Greek at Glasgow University and had some medical training at the Charing Cross Hospital, London (1838–40).
Having joined the London Missionary Society he was sent (1840) to the settlement in Bechuanaland created by Robert Moffat, and married his daughter Mary (1821–1862) in 1845. He began to explore and to carry the Christian message northwards and discovered Lake Ngami, now in Botswana in 1849. Having sent his wife and children to England in 1852, he started from Cape Town on a journey across Central Africa that ended (1856) at Quilimane at the mouth of the Zambezi River. In November 1855 he was the first European to see the great waterfall Mosi-oa-Tunya (‘the smoke that thunders’) which he named Victoria Falls.
On his treturn to England and the publication of Missionary Travels (1857), he was acclaimed by the public, but the London Missionary Society felt that he spent too much of his time in exploration. His next expedition (1858–64) was sponsored by the government. During this period his wife, and many helpers, died. He explored Lake Shirwa and much of the Lake Nyasa area, which he thought suitable for a mission and commercial centre, but the steamers sent out to him proved defective, and he found, to his indignant horror, that slave traders were using his discoveries to extend their activities. He published The Zambezi and its Tributaries (1865) on his return, and in March 1866 set out again, hoping to combine missionary work with settling the dispute concerning the sources of the Nile. He discovered Lakes Moero and Bangweulu (1867–68) and, after returning for rest to Ujiji, again struck westward and reached the River Lualaba, uncertain whether it was the Nile or, as it afterwards proved, the Congo. Meanwhile nothing had been heard of him at home until, in October 1871, he was discovered (‘Dr Livingstone, I presume?’), once more in Ujiji, by H. M. *Stanley at the head of a relief expedition. Together they proved that Lake Tanganyika had no northern outlet, but, though ill, Livingstone refused to return with Stanley until he had made one more attempt to solve the Nile problem. He went back to Lake Bangweulu, but having reached the village of Chief Chetambo, was found dead one morning by his followers, aged 60. Despite all dangers, his embalmed body was carried to the coast and then taken to London for burial in Westminster Abbey.
Seaver, G., David Livingstone: his Life and Letters. 1957; Jeal, T., Livingstone. 1973.
Livy (Titus Livius) (59 BCE–17 CE). Roman historian, born in Padua. He became a member of the literary circle of the emperor *Augustus. His greatest work, which took 40 years, was a history of the Roman people in 142 books, 35 of which survive. Books 1–10 (to 293 BCE) and Books 21–45 (218–167 BCE), which include the struggle with *Hannibal in the Second Punic War, Livy wrote with the patriotic purpose of glorifying Rome. He consulted the earlier annalists and the Greek historian *Polybius but though he does not wilfully distort, he does not bring to bear any critical faculty. His narrative, however, seldom flags and his reputation as a writer has been maintained.
Walsh, P. G., Livy: His Historical Aims and Methods. 1961.
Llewellyn, Richard (Richard Dafydd Vivian Llewellyn Lloyd) (1907–1983). Welsh novelist, born in Pembrokeshire, writing in English. His novel How Green Was My Valley (1939), a romantic chronicle of a 19th-century mining community, was an immediate success. Later books, moderately successful, did not have the background of the mining valleys with their strong character.
Llewelyn ap Iorwerth see Llywelyn ap Iorweth
Llewelyn ap Gruffydd see Llywelyn ap Gruffudd
Llosa, Mario Vargas see Vargas Llosa, Mario
Lloyd, Harold (Clayton) (1893–1971). American film actor and comedian, born in Nebraska. From 1912 he appeared in a long series of comic films and by the 1920s rivalled *Chaplin and *Keaton. He failed to make the transition to talkies but his films were successfully revived on television and he left a fortune.
Lloyd, John Selwyn Brooke, Baron Selwyn Lloyd (1904–1978). British Conservative politician. A barrister, he rose to be a brigadier in World War II and in 1945 entered parliament. He served in a succession of Conservative governments from 1951: as *Eden’s Foreign Secretary 1955–60, he was the principal defender of the Suez campaign, then Chancellor of the Exchequer 1960–62, and Speaker of the House of Commons 1971–76.
Lloyd George, David, 1st Earl Lloyd George of Dwyfor (1863–1945). British (Welsh) Liberal politician, born in Manchester. After his father, William George, a teacher, died he was brought up in Wales by his mother and her brother, Richard Lloyd, a bootmaker. Educated at a village school, he became a solicitor, local councillor, and organiser of a rural union. Liberal MP for Carnarvon Boroughs 1890–1945, he was a Welsh nationalist, ardent Gladstonian, fierce opponent of the Boer War and the object of Conservative hatred. Under *Campbell-Bannerman he became President of the Board of Trade 1905–08. As *Asquith’s Chancellor of the Exchequer 1908–15 he was architect of the ‘welfare state’, introducing the Old Age Pensions Act (1908) and the National Insurance Act (1911). His Budget of 1909, providing for a graduated income tax, was rejected by the House of Lords, leading to a constitutional crisis resolved by the Parliament Act of 1911, which ended the veto power of the Lords over legislation. Originally opposed to World War I, he became the most vehement activist in the coalition Cabinet as Minister for Munitions 1915–16 and, after *Kitchener was drowned, Secretary of State for War 1916. He intrigued with Conservatives to overthrow Asquith, whose talents were ill-suited for war, and became Prime Minister, December 1916, holding office until October 1922. He had an uneasy relationship with his generals but worked closely with *Clemenceau and backed *Foch as Generalissimo. After the ‘khaki’ election of November 1918, called to capitalise on patriotic fervour, he won decisively but was inceasingly dependent on Conservative support in the House of Commons. He led the British delegation to the Versailles Peace Conference in 1919, and was at the peak of his influence. Personally mistrusted, he became increasingly notorious for his sexual exploits and amassed a fortune by selling knighthoods, baronetcies and peerages. In October 1922 he was forced from power when Tory MPs voted by majority to withdraw from the coalition. In the November 1922 election, won by Bonar *Law, the Liberals fell to third place, behind Labour, and the party never recovered. He attempted a reconciliation with Asquith, led the Liberal Party 1926–29, and (advised by *Keynes) proposed a vigorous economic program in the 1929 election.
A passionate orator, he was known as ‘the Welsh wizard’. He published War Memories (1933–36) and The Truth about the Peace Treaty (1938). He received the OM in 1919 and an earldom in 1945. J. M. Keynes called him ‘the most intellectually subtle’ of the World War I leaders. In 1936 he visited *Hitler and was impressed, but he became an opponent of appeasement, helped to eject *Chamberlain in 1940, declined *Churchill’s offer of a seat in the War Cabinet and may have hoped for a return to leadership himself. His second son Gwilym (1894–1967) was first elected as a Liberal MP, then became a Conservative, rising to be Home Secretary and Minister for Welsh Affairs 1954–57, and created Viscount Tenby in 1957. His daughter Megan (1902–1966) was a Liberal MP 1929–51, then transferred her allegiance and was elected as a Labour MP 1955–66.
Grigg, J. Lloyd George. 4 vols, 1973, 1978, 1984, 1985; Hattersley, R., David Lloyd George. The Great Outsider. 2010.
Lloyd Webber, Andrew, Baron Lloyd Webber (1948– ). British composer. Educated at Westminster, Magdalen College, Oxford and the Royal College of Music, he wrote a series of phenomenally successful musicals. They include Jesus Christ Superstar (lyrics by Tim Rice, 1970), Evita (1976), Cats (poems by T. S. *Eliot, 1981), The Phantom of the Opera (Richard Stilgoe and Charles Hart, 1986), Aspects of Love (Stilgoe and Hart, 1989) and Sunset Boulevard (1993). He also wrote a much performed Requiem Mass (1985). His second wife Sarah Brightman created most of his soprano leads. His brother Julian Lloyd Webber (1951– ) was a cellist, made many television programs and recordings and wrote Travels with my Cello (1984).
Llywelyn ap Gruffudd (c.1223–1282). Last sovereign Prince of Wales 1258–82. Trying to emulate the achievements of his grandfather, *Llywelyn the Great, he overcame his brothers and exacted homage from other princes. He even obtained from *Henry III, fully occupied with his problems in England, recognition (1267) as Prince of Wales, but he overreached himself by refusing homage on *Edward I’s accession (1272). War followed (1277) in which Llywelyn lost his title and all lands except Anglesey and Snowdonia. In 1281 he was goaded again into rebellion. His death in a skirmish in the following year facilitated Edward’s conquest of Wales.
Llywelyn ap Iorwerth (known as ‘the Great’) (d.1240). Prince of Gwynned 1195–1240. By first consolidating his ancestral lordships in North Wales and then gradually extending his power over rival princes to the south, he did more than any other single man to create the possibility of a Welsh national state. Moreover, by taking advantage of the difficulties of the English king *John, whose daughter he married, he was able to stem further Anglo-Norman aggression.
Lobachevsky, Nikolai Ivanovich (1793–1856). Russian mathematician. Professor of mathematics at the University of Kazan 1822–46, he proposed, in Principles of Geometry (1829–30), the first complete system of non-Euclidean geometry. He was dismissed from the university in 1846 and died in poverty.
Bonola, R., Non-Euclidean Geometry. Repr. 1955.
Lobengula (c.1833–1894). Matabele chief (from 1870). A section of the Zulu people, escaping (c.1820) from the tyranny of King *Shaka, had subdued the Mashonas and settled in what became known as Matabeleland. Here Lobengula was chief when he was persuaded (1888) to grant Cecil *Rhodes mining rights in his territory (which later became part of Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe). He died a fugitive after being defeated by white settlers with whom he came into conflict.
Locke, John (1632–1704). English philosopher, born in Wrington, Somerset. Son of a lawyer, he was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford, where he was later a tutor. He also became interested in science and began to practise medicine. Through his practice he met Lord Ashley, later 1st Earl of *Shaftesbury (with whose political ideas he was closely in tune), and became his secretary. After Shaftesbury’s final disgrace (1682) Locke lived for five years in Holland. He returned to England after the accession of *William III and Mary and eventually became eminent as the provider of a philosophical basis for Whig doctrine. His greatest work, the starting point for empirical theories of philosophy, was his Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). All knowledge, he claims, derives from sense-experience. Every mind is initially a tabula rasa or blank slate upon which the lessons of sense-experience are subsequently written. This experience, in Locke’s language, is of ideas, both those that result from sense impressions or sense-data, and those introspective ones that refer to the operation of the mind. The world, indeed, which gives rise to these ideas does not, in fact, reflect them in every way, some ideas (those of primary qualities, e.g. solidity and extension) having counterparts in the actual world, but others (those of secondary qualities, e.g. colour and taste) being dependent on our own perceptual equipment and not existing in the actual world. Locke’s theory of knowledge and metaphysics, as has been pointed out, is in essence the 17th-century scientific view. His political ideas, as set out particularly in his treatise Civil Government (1690) are similarly tied to his age. He argues that the ruler of a state is to be regarded as one party to a contract, the other party being those over whom he rules. If the ruler breaks his contract by not serving the good end of society he may be deposed. Locke’s contemporary influence was enormous and he became known throughout Europe as the philosopher of freedom. From 1691 Locke, already in ill health, found a home and tranquillity (except for four years from 1696 as Commissioner of the Board of Trade) with Sir Francis and Lady Masham at Otes, their house at High Laver, near Epping. His literary activity was mainly concerned with successive editions of his Essay and replies to criticism. In the anonymous Reasonableness of Christianity (1695) he brought to religion the same spirit of tolerance that he had already brought to politics, and sought to recall the Churches to scriptural simplicity from their obsession with dogma.
Cranston, M. W., John Locke: A Biography. 1957; Laslett, P., Locke’s Two Treatises of Government. 3rd edn. 1988.
Lockhart, John Gibson (1794–1854). Scottish writer and editor, born in Lanarkshire. He studied at Oxford, met *Goethe in 1817 and married Walter *Scott’s daughter, Sophie in 1820. He edited the Quarterly Review 1825–53, disparaged the poetry of *Burns, *Shelley, *Keats and *Tennyson and wrote several novels and biographies, notably the Life of Sir Walter Scott (7 volumes, 1837–38), understandably partisan, but once ranked as one of the greatest since *Boswell’s Life of *Johnson.
Lockyer, Sir (Joseph) Norman (1836–1920). English astronomer and pioneer astrophysicist. A civil servant, not university educated, he worked at the War Office until 1875 but became an enthusiastic amateur astronomer. He later became director of the Solar Physics Laboratory at the Royal College of Science. He pioneered the use of the spectroscope for analysing the chemical composition of the sun, and he gave the name ‘helium’ to the new element that was discovered (1868) in the solar spectrum as a result of observations made independently by Lockyer and Pierre Janssen. He founded the scientific periodical Nature (1869) and was its editor 1869–1919. A pioneer of archeoastronomy, he was professor of astronomical physics at the Royal College of Science (now Imperial College), London 1885–1913. A prolific author on science and golf, knighted in 1897, he became President of the British Association 1903–04.
Lodge, Henry Cabot (1850–1924). American Republican politician, born in Boston. Educated at Harvard, he lectured in history there, edited the North American Review 1873–76 and the works of Alexander *Hamilton, and was a US Congressman 1887–93. As a US senator 1893–1924, he was both imperialist and isolationist, successfully leading the fight against ratifying the Treaty of Versailles and US membership of the League of Nations (1920).
His grandson, Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr (1902–1985) was US Senator from Massachusetts 1937–44, 1947–53, Ambassador to the United Nations 1953–60, Republican vice presidential candidate 1960, and Ambassador to South Vietnam 1963–64, 1965–67. In 1969 he became US delegate to the Paris peace talks.
Garraty, J. A., Henry Cabot Lodge, a Biography. 1953.
Lodge, Sir Oliver Joseph (1851–1940). English physicist. After helping in his father’s business as a boy, he gained an exhibition at the Royal College of Science and was later a demonstrator at University College, London. In 1881 he became professor of physics at Liverpool University and was principal of Birmingham University 1900–19. He did pioneer work on wireless telegraphy, and invented the coherer, a tube loosely filled with iron filings, that could be used as a simple detector for electromagnetic signals. Later he devised the system of radio ‘tuning’ that became generally used. In later life Lodge became a convinced spiritualist and wrote widely on the subject. Among many academic and professional honours he was awarded (1887) the Rumford Medal of the Royal Society and a knighthood (1902).
Lodge, Thomas (1558?–1625). English writer. Son of a lord mayor of London, he is best known as the author of a romance Rosalynde (1590), the source of Shakespeare’s As You Like It. He combined with a versatile literary career the study of law and medicine and freebooting expeditions to the Canaries (1588) and South America (1591). In addition to Rosalynde he wrote amorous sonnets, imitations of *Horace, translations from *Josephus, and historical romances. With Robert *Greene he wrote the play A Looking Glasse for London and England (1594) which exposed contemporary vice and demanded reform.
Tenrey, E. A., Thomas Lodge. 1969.
Loeb, Jacques (1859–1924). American biologist, born in Germany. His early work was concerned with the localisation of the brain’s visual functions, but in 1891 he went to America, where his principal studies were connected with instinct and free will, leading to the investigation of behaviour and regeneration in the lower animals. Among the best known of his experiments was one in which he achieved a kind of artificial parthenogenesis, initiating, by chemical means, the development of a sea urchin’s unfertilised egg. From 1910 he worked with the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research.
Loewi, Otto (1873–1961). German-Jewish pharmacologist. Professor of pharmacology at Graz University 1909–38 and New York University 1940–45, he shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1936 with Sir Henry *Dale for his discoveries on the chemical transmission of nerve impulses.
Loewy, Raymond Fernand (1893–1986). American industrial designer, born in Paris. Trained as an electrical engineer, he lived in the US from 1919, working first as a fashion illustrator, then as an industrial designer. He designed the Coca Cola bottle, Studebaker cars, biscuits for Nabisco, domestic consumer goods, and created logos for Lucky Strike cigarettes and the US Post Office.
Lombard, Peter (c.1100–1160). Italian theologian. He studied at Bologna and in Paris, where he eventually became bishop (1159). He was known as the ‘master of sentences’ from his four books, in which sentences culled from *Augustine and other early Christian Fathers were accompanied by comments from other religious writers, the whole providing a systematic discussion of various aspects of Christian faith.
Lombroso, Cesare (1836–1909). Italian criminologist. After studying mental diseases he became professor of forensic medicine at Turin. He evolved the theories, set out in his books The Delinquent Man (1876) and The Man of Genius (1888), that criminals belong to a distinct anthropological type and that genius springs from some form of physical or mental illness. His theories have been largely rejected, but his vast collection of anthropometric data on criminals was of the greatest value to *Bertillon and other criminologists. His observation, that when in the course of interrogation a person tells a lie his blood pressure changes, significantly anticipated the modern lie-detector.
Lomonosov, Mikhail Vasileivich (1711–1765). Russian scientist, born in Archangel. Son of a shipowner, he studied in many places, including Kiev, St Petersburg, Moscow, and Marburg (with Christian Wolff). He first showed talent as a linguist and philosopher, but increasingly inclined towards chemistry and mathematics. Mining and mineralogy then caught his interest, and he studied at Freiberg under Johann Henckel. He returned to St Petersburg in 1741, and spent the rest of his life there. He was imprisoned (1743–44) for the vehemence of his protests against corruption in society. Much of his work in physics consisted of attempts to find, within the framework of corpuscularian matter theory, adequate theoretical explanations of heat, gravity and weight. He anticipated *Lavoisier in proposing (1748) the law of the conservation of mass and rejecting the phlogiston theory. He also performed mineralogical experiments, attempted to provide a theory of electricity, and kept tables of the weather. He was the first to lecture about science in Russian. He took keen interest in the mineral resources of Russia, wrote about Russian geography, and speculated on the Arctic regions. A man of great culture, he wrote a large body of poetry, much of it religious, and made compilations of Russian history and antiquities. He also wrote a grammar and a rhetoric textbook, made the first accurate maps of Russia and became the virtual founder (1755) of the University of Moscow, renamed Lomosonov in 1940. He was buried as a public hero, but *Catherine the Great destroyed his political writings. Craters on the Moon and Mars, asteroid 1379 Lomonosowa, and a Moscow airport are named for him.
London, Jack (John Griffith) (1876–1916). American novelist, born in San Francisco. Largely self-educated, he gathered material for his highly successful adventure stories from his early experiences as (among other occupations) a sailor, a gold prospector and a tramp. His novels, several of which are set in Alaska include The Call of the Wild (1903), The Sea Wolf (1904) and The Iron Heel (1907). Martin Eden (1909) and John Barleycorn (1913) are autobiographical. He also wrote socialist tracts and never lost his revolutionary fervour. He committed suicide during a bout of depression. His works were widely read in Russia.
Long, Crawford Williamson (1815–1878). American surgeon. In 1842 he used ether while removing a tumour from a boy’s neck, but as this and subsequent cases were unpublicised for many years, he had no effect on the development of anaesthesia.
Long, Huey Pierce (1893–1935). American politician. A farmer’s son, he became a lawyer, gained control of the Democratic party machine in his native Louisiana and built it up to sustain his personal power. He was elected Governor of the state 1928–31 and US Senator 1931–35. His ‘Share the Wealth’ campaign, which he pursued with all the arts of a demagogue, gained him considerable popularity and the nickname ‘the Kingfish’, derived from his slogan ‘Every man a king’. He also became famous for the prolonged ‘filibusters’ by which he held up the business of the Senate. In Louisiana his dictatorial rule, secured by intimidation and falsification of election results, ended only with his assassination. His son Russell Billiu Long (1918–2003) was US Senator 1948–87 (elected at the minimum constitutional age of 30). Huey’s brother Earl Kemp Long (1895–1960) was Governor of Louisiana 1939–40, 1948–52, 1956–60. Towards the end of his third term he was abducted, taken to Texas and certified insane. However, he soon escaped and resumed the governorship, claiming that he had been victimised by extreme segregationists.
Liebling, A. J., The Earl of Louisiana. 1961; Williams, T. H., Huey Long. 1970.
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth (1807–1882). American poet, born at Portland, Maine. Educated at Bowdoin College, he became professor of modern languages there 1829–36 and at Harvard University 1836–54. Craigie House in Cambridge, Mass. is preserved as a literary shrine. Longfellow was at his best in long narrative poems, e.g. Evangeline (1847) Hiawatha (1855) an Indian epic later set to music by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and The Courtship of Miles Standish (1863). Tales of a Wayside Inn (1863 with a further series in 1872) contained such poems as Paul Revere’s Ride. In an earlier collection (1842) had appeared The Wreck of the Hesperus, The Village Blacksmith and Excelsior. Longfellow himself took special pride in the Christmas trilogy, an attempt to reconcile religion with modern thought. The first part, The Golden Legend (1851), is a particularly successful reconstruction of a medieval story. Longfellow’s enormous reputation has declined, much of his poetry is now seen to be superficial, and the predictable rhythms and cadences of his verse have often been parodied. His translation of *Dante’s The Divine Comedy (1867, further revised), a major achievement, is still available as a book, on CDs and as a download. Longfellow was twice widowed. His prose-romance Hyperion (1836) expressed his grief at the death of his first wife. His second wife Frances Elizabeth Appleton, by whom he had six children, was burned to death.
Wagenknecht, E. C., Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Portrait of an American Humanist. 1966.
Longford, Earl and Countess of see Pakenham
Longman, Thomas (1699–1755). English bookseller and publisher. The son of a merchant from Bristol, he bought a bookseller’s shop in Paternoster Row, London, in 1724. One of his best-known projects was a share in the publication of Samuel *Johnson’s Dictionary. He was followed by a nephew, also Thomas (1730–1797), and then by Thomas Norton Longman (1771–1842) and his son Thomas (1804–1879). The company published works by *Wordsworth, *Southey, *Coleridge, *Scott and *Macaulay.
Longstreet, James (1821–1904). American soldier, born in South Carolina. One of the leading Confederate generals, but with a tense relationship with Robert E. *Lee, he fought in the battles of Bull Run (1862), Antietam (1862), Fredericksburg (1862) and Gettysburg (1863). After the Confederate defeat, he supported U.S. *Grant’s administration and ‘Reconstruction’, was Minister to the Ottoman Empire 1880–81 and became a Catholic convert.
Lonsdale, Frederick (Leonard) (1881–1954). English playwright. Son of a tobacconist, he wrote witty and fast-moving comedies of upper class life, with a swift repartee in the tradition perfected later by Noël *Coward. His best known plays are The Last of Mrs Cheyney (1925) and On Approval (1927).
Donaldson, F., Freddy Lonsdale. 1957.
Lonsdale, Dame Kathleen (née Yardley) (1903–1971). Anglo-Irish crystallographer, born in Kildare. Educated at University College, London, she worked with W. H. *Bragg in developing X-ray analysis of crystals. A pacifist and Quaker, she was imprisoned briefly during World War II. She and the biochemist Marjory Stephenson were the first women to be elected FRS (1945) and she became professor of chemistry at University College, London, 1949–68. ‘Lonsdaleite’, a hexagonal diamond, found in meteorites, the hardest substance known, was named for her.
Loos, Adolf (1870–1933). Austrian architect, born at Brno. He studied in Germany and the US and became an admirer of the American architect Louis *Sullivan, returning to Europe to head the attack on ‘Art Nouveau’ and excessive decoration, designing buildings of uncompromising severity. His ideas were published in his Ornament and Crime (1908). He pioneered the use of reinforced concrete in building municipal housing in Vienna. In 1923 he settled in Paris.
Loos, Anita (1888–1981). American writer. Her two books, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1925) and its sequel But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes (1928) with their new style of sophisticated humour, achieved tremendous success.
Lope de Vega see Vega Carpio, Lope Félix de
López Obrador, Andrés Manuel (known as AMLO) (1953– ). Mexican politician, born in Tabasco. Trained as a political scientist, he was a member of several parties and became Head of Government (i.e. Mayor) of Mexico City 2000–05. He lost narrowly in the Presidential elections of 2006 and 2012, winning decisively in 2018.
Lorca, Federico Garcia (1899–1936). Spanish poet, born near Granada. Much of his poetry was inspired by the cave-dwelling gypsies of the Granada area. This became apparent in his Poema de Cante Jondo (1931), his first important work, and in Romancero Gitano which fully established his fame. Here he sees the endless fight of the gypsy against the world around him as a kind of symbolic struggle. The poem Oda del Rey de Harlem with its suggestion of jazz rhythms is one of several recalling a visit to America (1929–31). On his return he made a new reputation as a playwright with Blood Wedding Yerma and The House of BernardaAlba. Though he belonged to no political party Lorca was shot by the Falangists at the outbreak of the Civil War.
Brown, G. G., A Literary History of Spain. Vol. 6. 1972.
Lord, Thomas (1755–1832). English sportsman, born in Yorkshire. He was noted as the founder of Lord’s cricket ground in St John’s Wood, the home of the Marylebone Cricket Club since 1787.
Lorentz, Hendrik Antoon (1853–1928). Dutch physicist. Professor of mathematical physics at Leyden 1878–1912, he was an authority on *Planck’s quantum theory, to which he made important contributions. His studies on the application to moving bodies of *Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism helped to prepare the way for *Einstein’s formulation of the theory of relativity. Lorentz attempted to unify the mathematical treatment of light, electricity and magnetism. One of the results of his work was his explanation of the Zeeman effect. He shared, with *Zeeman, the Nobel Prize for Physics (1902).
Lorenz, Konrad (Zacharias) (1903–1989). Austrian ethologist, born in Vienna. Son of a surgeon, he was educated at the University of Vienna and later lectured there in comparative anatomy and animal psychology. Working from the family home at Ahtenberg in the 1930s, he made comprehensive studies of how animals behave in natural environments and became known as the ‘father of ethology’. He wrote both scholarly and popular books, e.g. King Solomon’s Ring (1949, English translation 1952), Man Meets Dog (1950, 1954) and On Aggression (1963, 1966). In 1973 he shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Karl von *Frisch and Nikolaas *Tinbergen. Lorenz was sometimes criticised for undue emphasis on genetically fixed (innate) action patterns and for extrapolating animal behaviour to humans.
Nisbet, A., Konrad Lorenz. 1976.
Lorenzo the Magnificent see Medici
Lorrain(e), Claude see Claude Lorrain(e)
Los Angeles, Victoria de (1923–2005). Spanish soprano, born in Barcelona. She toured extensively as a recitalist, and won great success in opera in London, New York and Milan.
Lothair I (799?–855). King of the Franks 843–55, Roman Emperor 817–855. Son of the emperor *Louis I, and grandson of *Charlemagne, he was made co-Emperor in 817 but his father’s arrangements in the following year for the partition of the Frankish empire between his sons after his death, was followed by feuds and fighting between the members of his family which continued almost without intermission for the rest of the reign. Lothair’s claim to be sole emperor on his father’s death (840) was followed by renewed fighting with his brothers Louis and Charles which ended with the partition set out in the Treaty of Verdun (843), by which Lothair retained the imperial title but only that portion of imperial territory bounded by the rivers Rhine, Meuse, Saône and Rhône. This area, named Lotharingia after him and steadily reduced by the encroachment of its neighbours, was the Lorraine of future history. This partition marked the end of the Carolingian Empire.
Loti, Pierre (pseudonym of Louis Marie Julien Viaud) (1850–1923). French writer. He served as a naval officer for most of his adult life and spent some years in the South Seas, Indochina, Japan and China during the Boxer Rising. He retired as captain in 1910 but returned to fight in World War I. He wrote memoirs, descriptions of his voyages, and a number of very popular novels that are notable for their sensuous descriptions, their vein of romantic melancholy and their power of evoking the exotic places and peoples among whom he had lived so long. His novels include Pêcheur d’Islande (1886) Madame Chrysanthème (1887), Ramuntcho (1897) and Désenchantées (1906). He was a member of the Académie française from 1891.
Lotka, Alfred J(ames) (1880–1949). American bio-mathematician, statistician and demographer, born in Lviv (now in Ukraine) to US parents. Educated at Leipzig, Birmingham and Cornell universities, after years of teaching and government work, he became an actuary with the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. and published major studies on the mathematical implications of biological and societal change, e.g. ageing, population growth and distribution, demographic movement. In Elements of Physical Biology (1925), he anticipated anthropogenic climate change.
Lotto, Lorenzo (c.1480–c.1556). Italian painter, born in Venice. Influenced by *Bellini, he was an acute observer, a prolific painter of altarpieces and portraits, and retired to a monastery in 1554.
Loubet, Emile François (1838–1929). French Radical politician. He served as a senator 1885–99, Premier 1892, and President of the Senate 1896–99. His term as President of France 1899–1906 was marked by the ‘Entente-Cordiale’ with England (1904), the separation of Church and State (1905), and the conclusion of the *Dreyfus case.
Louis I and II. Kings of Bavaria see Ludwig I and II
Louis (Ludwig) I (known as ‘the Pious’) (778–840). King of the West Franks (Francia, later France) and Emperor of the West 814–40. Born in Aquitaine, the third son of *Charlemagne, his father made him co-Emperor in 813 and he succeeded to the throne the following year. In 816 the Pope went to Rheims and placed the crown upon his head, an assertion of papal supremacy which pointed to the controversies of the future. Louis’ first acts were aimed at cleansing the court of profligacy, even his own sisters were sent to convents. As a ruler, however, he was quite inadequate and his attempts (818) to arrange for the partition of the empire after his death between his three sons, *Lothair, Pepin and Louis (the German) opened a period of strife that outlasted his reign. Matters became worse when his second wife, Judith of Bavaria, gave birth to the future *Charles the Bald: that he should have a kingdom of his own, and her character, which enabled her to dominate her husband, introduced new and even more disruptive elements into the family struggle, which was still raging when Louis died, worn out and broken hearted.
Louis II (‘la Bègue’: ‘the Stammerer’) (846–879). King of the West Franks 877–79. Nephew of the Emperor *Charles II (the Bald), his succession was shared by his son Louis III (c 862–882), who reigned 879–882 and defeated the Vikings. Louis IV (d’Outremer, i.e. the foreigner) (921–954), was exiled in England until installed as King by nobles at a time of civil war, and reigned 936–54. His grandson Louis V (‘le Fainéant’, i.e. Do-nothing) (967–987), the last of the Carolingians, reigned 986–87, died childless and was succeeded by Hugues *Capet.
Louis VI (‘le Gros’: ‘the Fat’) (1081–1137). King of the Franks 1108–37. Of the Capetian dynasty, he faced constant attack from *Henry I of England and the Holy Roman Emperor *Heinrich V, but strengthened royal control of his kingdom. His son Louis VII (the Young) (1120–1180), reigned 1137–80. He married *Eleanor of Aquitaine but this was annulled and she married the future *Henry II of England. He fought (1147–49) in the unsuccessful Second Crusade.
Louis VIII (1187–1226). King of France 1223–26. Son and successor of *Philippe II, before he came to the throne he was offered the English crown by a group of barons who wished to depose King *John. He arrived in England (1216) and was proclaimed King, but was forced to withdraw when John’s death deprived him of baronial support. As King, Louis took over the campaign against the Albigensian heretics and made important gains in Languedoc.
Louis IX, St (1214–1270). King of France 1226–70, canonised (1297). During his minority, his mother, Queen Blanche, widow of *Louis VIII and a remarkable woman in her own right, was regent and brought the Albigensian war to an end, ensuring a tranquil opening to his period of personal rule. The first disturbance resulted from his investment (1241) of his brother with the government of Poitou. The feudatories rose in rebellion and invoked the aid of *Henry III of England, who crossed to France in their support. Louis’ victory enabled him to acquire the north of Aquitaine at English expense. In 1244 he fell ill, and was inspired by gratitude for his apparently miraculous recovery to lead the 6th Crusade (1248–54) against Egypt, where he was captured by the Saracens (1250). When ransomed, he spent two years in the Holy Land, to return (1254) on the death of his mother, whom he had left as regent. Back in France, Louis ruled with wisdom and firmness, improving the administration of law and taxes. Architecture flourished in his reign during which the cathedrals of Chartres, Amiens and Beauvais took shape and the beautiful Sainte Chapelle, Paris was built (1246–48) by *Pierre de Montreuil, at his direction, to house relics acquired in the Crusades. He was regarded as the ideal medieval king, religious but not bigoted nor unduly subservient to the Church, simple in habits, friendly and popular. In 1270 he embarked upon another crusade but the odd decision to invade North Africa exposed his army to plague and he died at Carthage, near Tunis.
Pernond, R. (ed.), Le Siècle de Saint Louis. 1970.
Louis X (le Hutin) (1289–1316). King of France 1314–16. Son of *Philippe IV, he was dominated by his uncle Charles of Valois and gave important concessions to the barons.
Louis XI (1423–1483). King of France 1461–83. Born in Bourges, son of *Charles VII, even as a young man he showed his gift for dissimulation and was twice exiled. Known as ‘the universal spider’ (l’universelle aragne), as king he saw as his main task the strengthening of the monarchy, a course that brought conflict with the great feudal lords. The chief of these was *Charles the Bold, from 1467 Duke of Burgundy, and the struggle between these two and the combinations of power allied with each lasted throughout his reign. Louis’ principal weapons, dissimulation, corruption, treachery and intrigue account for his sinister reputation, but his cause was no more selfish and far less harmful to the country than that of his opponents. On one occasion, Louis, relying on his wits to outmatch those of Charles, overreached himself: almost unguarded he visited (1468) the Duke at Peronne. His arrival coincided with the news of an uprising at Liège (then part of the Burgundian heritage), thought to be fomented by Louis. Confronted with Charles’ rage, he barely escaped with his life after making the most humiliating concessions. The English Wars of the Roses provided another occasion for the rivals to take different sides, Louis favouring Lancaster, Burgundy York, but when the triumphant Yorkist, *Edward IV, invaded France, Louis found a wedge to split the alliance and bribed him to depart. The final account was settled only when (1477) Charles, embroiled with the Swiss and with René of Lorraine, both heavily subsidised by Louis, was defeated and killed. Louis seized the opportunity to annex the provinces of Burgundy and Artois, and Charles’ heiress, Mary, managed to save her inheritance in the Netherlands only by marrying Maximilian of Austria. By the time of his death Louis, by contrivance or accident, had gained in addition Maine and Provence, Roussillon and Cerdagne, Anjou and Guienne, and had rid himself of nearly all the nobles who had taken sides against him. It was thus an immeasurably strengthened monarchy he left to his son, *Charles VIII. His advisers (rather than ministers) were masters of corruption and intrigue, such as the barber Olivier le Dain, his notorious ‘gossip’ Tristan l’Hermite and the equally notorious Cardinal La Balue, who was caged on the walls of Loches for betraying his master’s secrets. Louis appears in *Shakespeare, *Scott and Victor *Hugo.
Kendall, P. M., Louis XI: The Universal Spider. 1970.
Louis XII (1462–1515). King of France 1498–1515. He succeeded his brother-in-law, *Charles VIII, and his first aim was to retain Brittany by marrying Charles’ widow *Anne, who would otherwise inherit. The obstacle, his own wife Jeanne, daughter of *Louis XI, was removed by dissolution of the marriage with the Pope’s connivance, gained by the bestowal of a dukedom and a pension upon the latter’s son Cesare *Borgia. Married to Anne, Louis pursued his dynastic claims in Italy, he succeeded in ousting Lodovico *Sforza from Milan, and, by coming to a bargain with his rival, *Ferdinand of Spain, was able to expel the king of Naples and share the spoils. The unnatural partners soon fell out and a catastrophic French defeat on the Garigliano led to the expulsion of the French. Louis’ subsequent attempts to maintain and enlarge his hold on northern Italy led to a bewildering series of shifting alliances and even more confusing campaigns, but by the end of his reign French power in Italy was broken. Despite his disastrous foreign policy, Louis was popular in France and the country was prosperous. On the death (1514) of Anne, he married the English princess Mary, sister of *Henry VIII, but almost immediately the accompanying festivities brought about the death of the ailing king.
Louis XIII (1601–1643). King of France 1610–43. Son and successor of *Henri IV, his personal part in the events of his reign was small. Under the regency of his mother *Marie de Médicis the early years saw the Huguenots in rebellion and the nobles competing for power. When he was 16, Louis tried to assert himself by entrusting power to his favourite, Charles Albert de Luynes, whose incompetence and unpopularity provoked renewed civil war. Fortunately his death (1621) paved the way for the rise to power of *Richelieu who entered the council in 1622 and from 1624 exercised almost supreme power. The years of his rule were marked by France’s skilful intervention in the Thirty Years’ War, the prelude to a long period of greatness. Not the least of Richelieu’s triumphs was the reconciliation, after a long estrangement, of Louis and his wife Anne of Austria, with the result that in 1638 a dauphin, the future *Louis XIV, was born.
Louis XIV (Louis Dieudonné; known as le Grand Monarque or le Roi Soleil) (1638–1715). King of France 1643–1715. Born at St Germain-en-Laye, under the will of his father, *Louis XIII, his mother Anne of Austria became regent for the boy king, but the substance of power she confided to *Richelieu’s successor Cardinal *Mazarin. The Thirty Years’ War, ended triumphantly for France by the Treaty of Westphalia (1648), was followed by the civil war known as the Fronde (after the frondeurs or stone-slingers in Paris street brawls). This began as a constitutional struggle by the Paris parlement and developed into an attempt to gain power by sections of the nobility, mortified at Mazarin’s exclusion of them from the tasks and perquisites of office. The insurrection failed, helped though it was by Spain, which in 1659 came to terms cemented by Louis’ marriage (1660) with *Maria Theresa, daughter of *Felipe IV. It was thus a peaceful and united country over which, on the cardinal’s death (1661), Louis began his personal rule. From the first he was determined that neither an over-powerful minister nor factions of the nobility should share in the function of government, he became his own prime minister and with unremitting industry and unfailing regularity presided over the daily meetings of his council. He chose his ministers carefully and they were seldom changed. The best known were *Colbert, who restored financial stability, encouraged industry and created a strong navy, and *Louvois, who was responsible for creating the strongest army in Europe. The main weakness of a system by which every aspect of government centred on the king and his small ministerial entourage was that as the king grew older the machinery of government also showed down. Ministers were replaced by lesser men and the brilliant successes of the early years were later dimmed by setbacks.
Since the monarchy was the centre of power, Louis proceeded to glamorise it. He built the palace of Versailles, Europe’s largest, between 1661 and 1710, using the architect *Mansart and the landscape designer *Le Nôtre and lived there from 1682. Versailles not only reflected the King’s love of grandeur but was deliberately intended to impress the world with the greatness of the monarchy and the glory of France. There gathered round him at Versailles not only ministers, functionaries and courtiers but men of every kind of genius, e.g. *Molière, *Racine, *Poussin, *Lully. Louis’ foreign policy matched his grandiose taste in architecture. His first efforts to seize the Netherlands and the Franche Comté (on behalf of his wife after Felipe IV died) were partially foiled, but as his diplomatic skill and the strength of the army grew so did his ambitions. He failed to subdue Holland in the long war which opened in 1672, but gained considerable successes over his Habsburg opponents, the Emperor and the King of Spain. The peace of Nijmegen (1678) left France with the Franche Comté and the frontier towns of Flanders, turned by *Vauban into almost impregnable fortresses. Louis at once used these gains as bases for further encroachments but Europe was now fully alarmed. William of Orange, infinitely strengthened when (1689) he became *William III of Great Britain, patiently built up coalitions against Louis, resulting in the War of the League of Augsburg (1689–97), which marked a decline in French power, for though Louis lost only minor territories (chiefly Luxembourg) he had to disown *James II and recognise William.
France might have suffered only temporary exhaustion had not Louis been unable to resist the temptation to accept, on behalf of his grandson Philippe, the legacy of Spain bequeathed by the childless *Charles II. In the War of Spanish Succession (1702–13), of which *Marlborough was the hero, he met with a series of defeats. He lost, thanks to diplomacy, little territory, and that mainly colonial, and *Felipe V continued to rule in Spain, but Louis’ glory was irretrievably tarnished and the country’s finances were in ruins. During this long period of fighting, the Edict of Nantes, which gave security and privileges to the Huguenots, was repealed (1685). Louis’ motives were partly religious but mainly sprang from his desire for administrative unity. The consequent emigration of many of the most skilled workers and merchants was a great loss. The king’s private life seldom interfered with his task of kingship. His three important mistresses were Louise de la Vallière, Madame de *Montespan, and Madame de *Maintenon, and he secretly married the last after the death (1683) of Maria Theresa. In the latter part of his reign, public misfortunes were matched by private grief. One after another members of the royal family died and it was his great-grandson who succeeded as *Louis XV.
Mitford, N., The Sun King. 1966; Wolf, J. B., Louis XIV. 1968; Dunlop, I., Louis XIV. 2000; Treasure, G., Louis XIV. 2001; ; Mansel, P., King of the World. The Life of Louis XIV. 2019.
Louis XV (known as le bien-aimé) (1710–1774). King of France 1715–74. Born at Versailles, son of Louis, Duke of Burgundy (d 1712), he succeeded his great-grandfather *Louis XIV at the age of five. France was then ruled by a regency for the third successive period, but neither the regent, the indolent, dissolute Duke of Orléans, nor his creature, the infamous Guillaume Dubois, showed talent for government. The main events were a useless war against Spain and the financial scandal caused by William *Law. Louis came of age in 1723 and in 1725 married Marie, daughter of Stanisław *Leszczyński, the deposed King of Poland. In 1726 the government came into the capable hands of Cardinal *Fleury and there followed a long period of tranquillity (broken only by the War of Polish Succession), in which France was at last able to rebuild its shattered economy and regain prosperity. Fleury died soon after the opening of the War of Austrian Succession (1741–48), to which he had reluctantly assented. In this war France supported *Friedrich II (‘the Great’) of Prussia against Austria and England, but a change of alliances was organised by the Marquise de *Pompadour, the mistress now in control of the king’s will, and her chosen minister, the Duc de *Choiseul, and in the Seven Years’ War (1756–63) France was allied against England and Prussia. The expense of these two wars, in which Canada and many other colonial possessions were lost by France, accelerated the coming of the Revolution. At Versailles, the king, intelligent and good-natured, with his mistresses (La Pompadour, *du Barry and many more) lived amidst an extravagant court.
Gooch, G. P., Louis XV. The Monarchy in Decline. 1956.
Louis XVI (Louis-Augustus) (1754–1793). King of France 1774–92. Born at Versailles, son of the Dauphin Louis (1729–1765) and grandson of *Louis XV, he was 20 when crowned and had already been married for four years to *Marie Antoinette, youngest daughter of *Maria Theresa. Until his phimosis was relieved by an operation he was unable to consummate his marriage for seven years. To his wife he remained devoted, but her frivolity and extravagance and her ingrained opposition to political changes were constantly harmful to her husband’s popularity.
The early part of the reign witnessed valiant efforts by ministers such as *Turgot and *Necker to sort out the financial tangles, but as soon as a serious attempt was made to tax the nobles and the privileged classes the court party, encouraged by the queen, forced their dismissal. Matters had become worse owing to France’s intervention on the American side in the War of Independence for, though the result assuaged French pride after the losses of the Seven Years’ War, it increased the burden of debt and popularised the ideas of constitutional liberty favoured by the colonists. Financial controllers, *Calonne and Brienne, failed in turn and at last in 1788 Necker, recalled, demanded the summoning of the Estates-General. In May 1789, at Versailles, this body met for the first time since 1614. The tiers-état (third estate or commons), representing the merchant classes and more liberal elements, decided to sit as a ‘national assembly’, in which members of the other estates, the nobility and the clergy could (though in fact few did) take part. This was the first revolutionary act. In July the Bastille was taken by the Paris mob and in October the royal family was brought by a triumphant crowd to Paris. Louis, well-meaning but slow witted, became progressively less able to control events. In April 1791, *Mirabeau, who might have guided him to constitutional safety, died. In June the royal family, under the queen’s influence, made a ludicrous attempt to flee the country but were caught at Varennes and ignominiously brought back. The king was soon at loggerheads with his legislative assembly, at the queen’s instigation, he and she wrote secretly to their fellow monarchs for aid. By 1792 France was at war with Prussia and Austria. The king’s part was suspected and in August the Tuileries palace was stormed by the mob. The royal family, which had taken refuge in the Assembly, was imprisoned. In September 1792 the newly elected National Convention deposed Louis and proclaimed the republic. He was brought to trial, sentenced on 20 January and guillotined the following day a brave, bewildered, unfortunate man. His son Louis (1785–1795?), proclaimed by the monarchists as Louis XVII, was said to have died in prison (June 1795), but there were persistent claims that he was smuggled out of France. Many pretenders later came forward. Pierre Poiret (d 1856) who lived in the Seychelles had some advocates, so did J. J. *Audubon. Louis XVI’s other child, Marie Therese (1778–1851), married her cousin, son of *Charles X, to become Duchess d’Angoulême and a figure of some importance in the days of the revived monarchy after *Napoléon’s fall.
Padover, S. K., Life and Death of Louis XVI. Rev. ed. 1963; Hardman, J., Louis XVI. 1993.
Louis XVIII (Louis-Stanislas-Xavier) (1755–1824). King of France 1814–15, 1815–24. Younger brother of *Louis XVI, he was Comte de Provence, known as ‘Monsieur’, thus avoiding confusion over the use of Christian names. During the Revolution, he became an emigré (1791) and after his brother’s execution and his nephew’s death (1795) took the title of Louis XVIII and was recognised as king by monarchists. He moved his court to Brussels, Coblenz, Verona, Mittau (now in Latvia) and Stockholm, maintaining links between the various groups of monarchist exiles, but not until *Napoléon fell (1814) was he able to return to France and take up his kingship. Napoléon’s escape from Elba forced him to withdraw to Ghent but after Waterloo he resumed his throne. He hoped to achieve national conciliation by mild constitutional rule, but he had neither the strength of will nor the ability to prevent the government passing into the hands of the ultra-royalists, led by his brother, the future *Charles X.
Louis (Bonaparte). King of Holland see Bonaparte, Louis
Louis, Joe (Joseph Louis Barrow) (1914–1981). African-American boxer, born in Alabama. He grew up in desperate poverty, and his family moved to Detroit. He won the world heavyweight boxing championship in 1937 and retained it until 1949, when he retired undefeated, having defended the title 25 times. He returned to the ring in 1950 and lost his title to Ezzard Charles. He then won eight more fights before being knocked out by Rocky Marciano in 1951.
Louis Napoléon see Napoléon III
Louis Philippe I (1773–1850). King of the French 1830–48. Like his father, the Duc d’*Orléans, who became known as Philippe Egalité, he supported the Revolution of 1789 during its early stages but later withdrew to live abroad, mainly in England. After Waterloo, he was looked upon with suspicion by the restored *Louis XVIII but was allowed to return (1817) to France, where he wisely remained in the background until, after the revolution of 1830, he was chosen king to replace the deposed *Charles X. Known as the ‘citizen king’ because of the informal bourgeois manners he adopted, he was at first very popular but he came to rely more and more on the conservative *Guizot and the nouveaux riches of the upper bourgeoisie, a change in the national mood being shown by several attempts on the king’s life. The most important external event of the reign was the French conquest of Algeria. As hopes for reform by constitutional means dwindled, the republican strength increased, but the revolution of 1848 was unexpected, and resulted from an almost accidental chain of circumstances. Louis Philippe took refuge in England and the eventual heir to the revolution was *Napoléon III. He died at Claremont, near Esher, Surrey, and was reburied in France, at Dreux, in 1876.
Haworth, T. E. B., Citizen King. 1961.
Louvois, (François) Michel le Tellier, Marquis de (1641–1691). French minister. He succeeded his father from whom he learned how to organise an efficient army as Minister of War 1677–91 under *Louis XIV. The introduction of better weapons, a quarter-master organisation and a professional approach, made the French army a highly effective force. Louvois aided and encouraged Louis in his aggressive ambitions.
Louÿs, Pierre (1870–1925). French writer, born in Ghent. He started (1891) a literary review, La Conque, which supported the Parnassian school. His lyric poetry (e.g. Astarté, 1891), based on Greek forms, is stylistically much admired. His novel Aphrodite (1896) was extremely successful.
Lovat, Simon Fraser, 11th Baron (c.1665–1747). Scottish chieftain and intriguer. To escape the consequences of his failure to carry off the child heiress of the previous Lord Lovat, followed by his forcible marriage to her mother, he took refuge in France. He returned to Scotland as a double agent, helping to prepare for a Jacobite invasion but communicating the plans to the British Government. After a period of imprisonment in France he was in Scotland again to offer his services to the government in the 1715 rising. In the later rising (1745) he sent his son to head his clansmen in support of the Jacobites, while he stayed at home expressing loyalty to *George II. After Prince *Charles Edward’s defeat at Culloden, Lovat was taken to London and beheaded, aged more than 80, being the last peer executed for treason.
Lovelace, (Augusta) Ada King (née Byron), Countess of (1815–1852). English mathematician. Only legitimate child of Lord *Byron, the poet, she was tutored in mathematics by Mary Somerville (née Fairfax) (1780–1872), a Scottish science writer. She became a friend and supporter of Charles *Babbage. If not quite the world’s first programmer, she published the first algorithm for a computer (1843) and, influenced by the complex textiles produced by *Jacquard’s automated looms, went further than Babbage in speculating about what could be achieved with symbols, not just numbers, in a general-purpose computer.
Moore, D. L., Ada, Countess of Lovelace. 1977; Toole, B. A., Ada, the Enchantress of Numbers: Prophet of the Computer Age. 1998.
Lovelace, Richard (1618–1658). English Cavalier poet. Heir to large estates in Kent, in 1649 he published the collection Lucasya, which includes his most famous poems: To Althea, From Prison (‘Stone walls do not a prison make/Nor iron bars a cage’) and To Lucasta, going to the Wars (‘I could not love thee (Dear) so much,/Lov’d I not honour more’). Both reflect episodes in his career, the first a term of imprisonment (1642) after he had presented a ‘Kentish Petition’ to parliament, the second (probably) his departure to join the French army at Dunkirk, where he was wounded (1646). Back in England he was again in prison (1648–49) and died in poverty.
Weidhorn, M., Richard Lovelace. 1970.
Lovell, Sir (Alfred Charles) Bernard (1913–2012). English astronomer. He was Director of the Jodrell Bank (Cheshire) Radio Telescope 1945–80, a pioneering facility in radio-astronomy, and professor of radio astronomy at Manchester University 1951–81.
Lovell, B., Story of Jodrell Bank. 1968.
Lovett, William (1800–1877). English Chartist. He went penniless (1821) to London, where he worked as a cabinet-maker and educated himself. In 1836 he became one of the founders and secretary of the London Working Men’s Association, which put forward the People’s Charter (with six points including manhood suffrage and voting by ballot), the starting point of the Chartist movement. It was incongruous that a man so averse to violence should spend a year in prison because of riots during the convention at Birmingham (1839), but it gave him time to write (with John Collins) Chartism: a New Organisation of the People (1840). The stress on moral rather than political action alienated his more extreme colleagues and he gradually lost influence. In later life his main interest was in education for the working classes.
Low, Sir David Alexander Cecil (1891–1963). British cartoonist, born in New Zealand. He made his reputation on The Bulletin in Sydney, and worked in England from 1919 as cartoonist for the London Star (1919–27), Evening Standard (1927–50) Daily Herald (1950–53) and finally for the Manchester Guardian. Though his viewpoint was in general anti-Conservative (especially during the appeasement era), pretentious stupidity, rather than party affiliation, was his real target. Some of the most effective of his cartoons featured ‘Colonel Blimp’.
Lowe, Sir Hudson (1769–1844). British soldier. He became a lieutenant general in the French wars and after Waterloo was made Governor of St Helena. He was accused of undue severity towards *Napoléon, especially by Barry *O’Meara, the latter’s surgeon, yet it seems though his manner was stiff and he refused to address his prisoner by his imperial rank, his conduct was formally correct. He was Commander-in-Chief in Ceylon 1824–31.
Lowe, Robert, 1st Viscount Sherbrooke (1812–1892). English lawyer and politician. An albino, he studied at Winchester and Oxford, became a lawyer in Sydney and served in the New South Wales Legislative Council 1843–49. A British MP 1852–80, he consolidated company law, was *Gladstone’s Chancellor of the Exchequer 1868–73, but opposed trade unions and extending the franchise.
Lowell, James Russell (1819–1891). American writer, editor and diplomat. He came from a distinguished Massachusetts family and was grandson of John Lowell (1743–1802), a noted judge. J. R. Lowell abandoned law for a literary career, he was first editor (1857–61) of the Atlantic Monthly and joint editor (1864–72) of the North American Review and had succeeded (1855) Longfellow as professor of modern languages at Harvard. Gradually his poetry, essays and critical studies won him an unchallenged leadership in literature. His best known verse was contained in the satirical Biglow Papers (1848), written to oppose the Mexican War and the annexation of Texas. Of his later prose works Among My Books (1870–76) and My Study Windows (1871) are well known. Lowell served as Minister to Spain 1877–80 and to Great Britain 1880–85.
Among other members of the great Lowell clan were: Percival Lowell (1855–1916), an orientalist and astronomer who founded the Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Arizona (1894), was an ardent proponent of canals on Mars, and hypothesised (from 1905) a trans-Neptunic ‘planet X’. Pluto was identified in 1930 by Clyde *Tombaugh and its name begins with Lowell’s initials; Amy Lawrence Lowell (1874–1925), his sister, was a poet who succeeded Ezra *Pound as leader of the Imagist group. Her collections of poems include Pictures of the Floating World (1919), and she also wrote critical essays and an incomplete biography of *Keats (1925). She was awarded a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.
Duberman, M., James Russell Lowell. 1967.
Lowell, Robert Traill Spence (1917–1977). American poet. Educated at Harvard, he became a Catholic in 1940 and served a short jail sentence during World War II as a conscientious objector. His first book of poetry was The Land of Unlikeness (1944) and he won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry with his second Lord Weary’s Castle (1957). Other volumes include The Mills of the Kavanaughs (1952),The Old Glory (1964), For the Union Dead (1965) and Near the Ocean (1967). He became a leader in the anti-Vietnam movement in the US. In addition to his powerful and pessimistic verse, he published much-praised translations, e.g. of *Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound (1967) and of *Baudelaire.
Hamilton, I., Robert Lowell. 1982.
Lowry, L(aurence) S(tephen) (1887–1976). English painter, born in Manchester. He worked as a rent collector, and slowly gained recognition for his spare, deceptively simple, industrial landscapes (peopled by matchstick figures) and seaside scenes and was elected RA in 1962. He declined honours five times—probably a record.
Rolde, S., Private View of L. S. Lowry. 1979.
Lowry, (Clarence) Malcolm (1909–1957). British novelist. Educated at Cambridge, he became an alcoholic whose life was marked by a long series of personal disasters and constant movement (Mexico, Canada, Haiti, the US). His masterpiece is Under the Volcano (1947), a richly textured account of cultural and personal tensions in Mexico in the 1930s. All his other works were published posthumously.
Bowker, G., Pursued by Furies. 1993.
Loyola, St Ignatius [of] (Iñigo López de Recalde) (1491/5–1556). Spanish-Basque founder of the Jesuit order, born in Loyola, Castile. When fighting against the French he was wounded (1521) at the siege of Pamplona in Navarre. During his long convalescence he underwent a conversion and at Manresa spent a year (1522–23) in prayer, in religious austerity and in service to the sick and poor. There, too, he probably wrote most of Spiritual Exercises, a book of rules and meditations designed to overcome passions, make sin abhorrent and bring the soul closer to God. After making pilgrimages to Rome and to Jerusalem he studied for several years in Spanish universities and in Paris. In 1534 with a handful of companions, including St Francis *Xavier, he took the vows at Montmartre that established the Society of Jesus. Loyola was ordained priest (1537) and when a Bull of Pope *Paul III officially established the order (1540) became its first general. With its founders insistence on strict discipline and devotion, and complete obedience to the Pope, the order although not designed as such, became almost at once the spearhead of the Counter-Reformation, at all times it has concentrated on education and missionary work. Ignatius was canonised in 1622.
Dudon, P., St Ignace de Loyola. 1949.
Lubbock, Sir John see Avebury, 1st Baron
Lübke, Heinrich (1894–1972). German politician. Not active in public life during the Third Reich, he was considered a suitable worker for the reorganised Christian Democrats of Westphalia after 1945. He served as a member of the North Rhine Westphalia Landtag 1946–52 and was Land Minister for Food, Agriculture and Forestry from 1947. He sat in the Federal Bundestag 1949–50 and 1953–59. In 1953 Chancellor *Adenauer appointed him Federal Minister for Food, Agriculture and Forestry. He worked constructively with Adenauer and served two terms as President of the Federal Republic 1959–69.
Lucan (Marcus Annaeus Lucanus) (39–65 CE). Roman poet, born in Córdoba. A nephew of *Seneca, he was educated in Rome and Athens. A favourite of *Nero for some years, he later joined in a conspiracy against him, was betrayed and committed suicide. His greatest work is the epic Pharsalia (10 books of which survive), describing the civil war between *Caesar and *Pompey. It is factually unreliable, being especially unfair to Caesar, and revels in gruesome details of the battle scenes, but it is eminently readable and was long popular.
Housman, A. E., Lucan. Repr. 1950.
Lucan, George Charles Bingham, 3rd Earl of (1800–1888). British soldier. He commanded the cavalry in the Crimean War when the jealous hostility between him and his subordinate, the Earl of *Cardigan, Commander of the Light Brigade, caused the misunderstanding that resulted in the famous and heroic charge up the ‘valley of death’ at Balaclava (October 1854) from which less than 300 out of nearly 700 men returned. He became a field marshal in 1887. His great-great-grandson, (Richard) John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan (1934–1974?), a charismatic figure once considered for the film role of James Bond, became an unsuccessful professional gambler. With the murder of his children’s nanny and an attack on his estranged wife in 1974, Lord Lucan was the immediate suspect. His role and disappearance became the subject of intense interest for decades. He was officially declared dead in 2016, presumably as a suicide, although it was speculated that he may have been fed to a tiger.
Lucas, George (Walton) (1944– ). American film producer and writer. A significant technological innovator, his films included six in the enormously successful Star Wars series (1977, 1980, 1983, 1999, 2002, 2005) and the Indiana Jones series (1981, 1984, 1989, 2008).
Lucas, Robert (1937– ). American economist. Professor of economics at Chicago, he won the 1995 Nobel Prize for Economics for his work on ‘rational expectations’ as a factor in economic choice.
Luce, Henry Robinson (1898–1967). American journalist and publisher. In 1923 he founded and edited the weekly news magazine Time followed by Fortune (1930) a business magazine, and Life (1936). His wife, Clare Boothe Luce (1903–1987) wrote successful plays, e.g. The Women (1937) and was a Republican Member of the House of Representatives 1943–47 and US Ambassador to Italy 1953–56.
Lucian (c.120–c.190). Greek satirical writer, born in Syria. After being a rhetorician in Antioch, he travelled in Italy, Greece and Gaul. He was already about 40 when he studied in Athens and learned enough about philosophy to be able to satirise the dogmas of almost every school, including Christianity. Later he held a government post in Egypt. All his writing shows his talent for satire and parody. In verse there are mock tragedies such as Tragoedopodagra (Tragic Gout), in prose such amusing works as True History, a parody of travellers’ tales, which is said to have influenced *Rabelais, *Swift and *Voltaire. He uses the savagery of his wit in Dialogues of the Dead and his powers of burlesque in Dialogues of the Gods. Zeus Cross-examined is a title that suggests its contents.
Lucretius (Titus Lucretius Carus) (99–55 BCE). Roman philosophical poet. Almost nothing is known of his life. His fame rests on his great work De rerum natura (The nature of things), one of the greatest of all didactic poems. It is an epic in six books, written in hexameters, and contains the clearest exposition that we have of the philosophic system of *Epicurus. Books I and 2 describe the atomic system of *Democritus as adapted by *Epicurus; Book 3 deals with the nature of the soul; Book 4 with the doctrine of perception and with sexual emotions; Book 5 is devoted to the theories of Epicurus concerning the evolutionary development of mankind, the earth and the universe; Book 6 covers a variety of topics and includes a description of the great plague of Athens. He denounced all forms of religion and superstition and considered that since death means annihilation it should present no terrors.
Greenblatt, S. The Swerve: How the Renaissance Began. 2011.
Lucullus, Lucius Licinius (c.110–c.57 BCE). Roman soldier and administrator. Of noble birth, he first became prominent under *Sulla in the war (88–85) against *Mithridates, King of Pontus in Asia Minor. His later campaigns (from 74) were also waged against Mithridates and his ally Tigranes of Armenia, but though Lucullus gained many successes and did much, by his financial measures, to restore prosperity to the Asian province, he was unable to bring the wars to a decisive conclusion before he was superseded by *Pompey. After his return to Italy his great wealth enabled him to lead a life of luxury in Rome, where his gardens were renowned, or in his villas at Naples and Tusculum. The banquets for which he was famous were distinguished for the conversation as well as for their splendour.
Ludendorff, Erich Friedrich Wilhelm (1865–1937). German soldier. Son of a railway official, he had a staff officer’s training. The deployment of the armies at the outbreak of World War I was largely due to his planning. When the Russians achieved their early successes in East Prussia, Ludendorff and *Hindenburg, to whom he was Chief of Staff 1914–18, turned the tide by the Battle of Tannenberg and other victories. This partnership—Ludendorff, the brains, and Hindenburg, the character, personality and prestige—remained in being until the end of the war. He was Quartermaster General 1916–18 and virtually ruled Germany through Hindenburg and puppet chancellors. He allowed *Lenin’s return to Russia via Germany (1917). Transferred to the Western Front in 1916, they restored the German line’s stability, shaken by the Battle of the Somme, and planned the great offensive of spring 1918 which so nearly achieved a complete breakthrough. Ludendorff’s defects of character showed, however, when the situation was once more reversed and the Allies again pressed forward. He lost his nerve and left it to Hindenburg, whom he despised, to bring the army back to Germany. After Germany’s defeat, which he attributed to ‘a stab in the back’, he fled to Sweden and did not return to Germany until 1920. Associated with the Kapp putsch (1920), he marched with *Hitler in the attempted Munich putsch of 1923, was tried for treason but acquitted. He contested the German presidency in 1925, polled badly and founded the Tannenberg League, a mystical-religious sect, anti-Christian and anti-Jewish, which tried to revive the old Teutonic religion. In his last years he became a pacifist.
Goodspeed, D. J., Ludendorff. 1966.
Ludwig I (1786–1868). King of Bavaria 1825–45. His artistic taste led him to enrich Munich, his capital, with many buildings and paintings. The cost of these extravagances, and the money Ludwig lavished upon the object of his infatuation, the dancer Lola *Montez, exacerbated the indignation caused by his increasingly arbitrary rule and he was forced to abdicate (1848). His tastes were shared in an exaggerated form and to the point of eventual madness, by Ludwig II (1845–1886) who succeeded to the throne in 1864. He was the patron of *Wagner, for whom he built the theatre at Bayreuth. His mania for fantastic castles endowed Bavaria with buildings, Neuschwanstein the most famous, which have become tourist attractions. In 1886 he was declared insane, and shortly after drowned his physician and himself in Lake Stainberg.
Ludwig, Karl Friedrich Wilhelm (1816–1895). German physiologist. He held chairs at Marburg 1846–49, Zürich 1849–55, Vienna 1855–65 and Leipzig 1865–95. He was able to keep animal organs alive in vitro (1856) and invented important instruments, such as the mercurial blood pump (1859) and the flowmeter (1867) for measuring the rate of blood flow. His own research concentrated mainly on the kidneys and their secretions. The problem of how secretion takes place through membranes was a lifelong preoccupation and the secretion of the saliva via the glandular nerves was another field in which he worked. The circulation of the blood also attracted his attention. He investigated how blood pressure related to heart activity, and the role of muscles in the fluidity of the blood.
Lueger, Karl (1844–1910). Austrian lawyer and politician. A co-founder of the Christian Socialist Party (1889), he became—despite Emperor *Franz Josef’s strong objection—an immensely popular lord mayor of Vienna 1897–1910, promoting municipal socialism, universal suffrage and cynical anti-Semitism. As he said, ‘I decide who is a Jew’. Lueger significantly influenced the young *Hitler.
Lugard, Frederick John Dealtry Lugard, 1st Baron (1858–1945). British colonial administrator. He had a varied career as soldier and administrator in India, Burma, the Sudan, Central and West Africa before he was appointed the first high commissioner of Northern Nigeria 1900–06. Here he put into practice his principles of ‘indirect rule’ through native rulers and institutions, for which he became famous. He left Africa (1906) to become Governor of Hong Kong 1907–12 but returned to govern North and South Nigeria (amalgamated 1914) and was Governor-General of Nigeria 1914–19. He wrote The Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa (1922) and received a peerage in 1928.
Perham, M., Lugard, the Years of Authority. 1960.
Lukacs, Georg (Gyorgy Szegedy von Lukacs) (1885–1971). Hungarian philosopher and literary critic. The most influential of 20th-century Marxist scholars, he revived interest in the Hegelian background of Marx’s work and emphasised the concepts of ‘alienation’ and ‘reification’. He took an active, but not always consistent, role in politics and served as minister of culture in two revolutionary governments (1919 and 1956). He was an advocate of ‘cultural realism’, opposing both Modernism and *Brecht, and appears as Naphta in Thomas *Mann’s The Magic Mountain.
Luke, St (Loukas in Greek) (d.c.90 CE). Christian apostle, one of the four evangelists. Regarded as the author of the third Gospel and of the Acts of the Apostles, the only known facts of his life are contained in three passages in the epistles of St Paul, which describe him as a Gentile, a physician and a close associate of St Paul, and his companion in imprisonment in Rome.
The strong tradition that he was the author of the Gospel attributed to him and of the Acts dates from the late 2nd century and there seems little reason to dispute it. Critical examination of the texts suggests that the two books were almost certainly by one hand and it is clear that much of the Acts must have been written by someone in the closest touch with St Paul. The Gospel was probably written for Greek-speaking Christians at Antioch in the years before Paul’s death (c.67 CE). It is clear that the author consulted St Mark’s Gospel and had access, as did the author of St Matthew’s Gospel, to the source known as ‘Q’. Other sources must have also been available as there are discrepancies in detail and some incidents not found elsewhere. For example the incidents concerning the Virgin Mary are elaborated, and several women are mentioned who are not referred to elsewhere. He may have died at Ephesus (or Antioch).
Lula da Silva, Luis Inácio (1945– ). Brazilian politician, born in Pernambuco. He had very little formal schooling, learning to read at the age of 10, growing up in São Paolo where his father had two households, becoming a street vendor, then an assembly line worker in a motor parts factory. A co-founder of the Workers’ Party (PT—Partido dos Trabalhadores) in 1980, he ran unsuccessfully for the presidency in 1989, 1994 and 1998. He won in 2002 and 2006, serving as President 2003–11. He introduced a series of domestic reforms, reducing poverty and promoting education, pursued an activist foreign policy, seeking international cooperation on disarmament and climate change issues. Convicted of money laundering, after a highly politicised trial, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Lully, Jean Baptiste (Giovanni Battiste Lulli) (1632–1687). French composer, born in Florence. As a child he was taken to France and when his musical talents were discovered he was a scullion in the service of a cousin of the king. An appointment in the royal orchestra quickly followed and soon he was presiding over his own players and composing ballets (some of them as divertissements in *Molière’s plays) in which *Louis XIV himself liked to dance. Both in ballet and in opera (from 1652) he so transformed the musical techniques as almost to create a new art, and he defined the form of the French overture. He also introduced female dancers to the stage. Among his 15 operas are Alceste (1674), Atys (1676) and Aeis et Galathée (1686). He died from blood poisoning resulting from striking his foot with a heavy baton while keeping time during a performance of his Te Deum.
Lully, Raymond (Ramon Lull) (1232/5–1315). Spanish theologian and mystic, born in Majorca. After a life of ease in his youth, he was converted by a vision and fired with the desire to convert all Muslims to Christianity. He became an Arabic scholar and also wrote Ars Generalis sive Magna which was to be the intellectual instrument of his mission. Having spent some 30 years in travelling Europe in the hope of getting support for his plan, he made a direct attempt to convert the Muslims of Tunis (1292) and Bougie (1306). Imprisonment and banishment were the only results. In a third mission he was stoned, and died on shipboard in sight of his native Majorca. In Llibre de Contemplació, which reveals the mystical side of his complex personality, he was a pioneer in the use of the Catalan language for serious works of this kind.
Lumière, Louis Jean (1864–1948). French industrial chemist and pioneer photographer. With his brother Auguste Lumière (1862–1954) he constructed (1895) a practical motion-picture camera and a projector that incorporated what have since become the standard devices for photographing and projecting motion pictures.
Lumumba, Patrice Émery (1925–1960). Congolese politician, born in the province of Kasai. He was a post-office clerk before setting up in business in Leopoldville. In 1958 he founded the Mouvement National Congolais (MNC), and on independence (June 1960) became first Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo. Katangan separatists, supported by Belgium, broke away from the central government, the army mutinied and Lumumba’s appeals for support from the US and UN were refused. By September, he had lost control of the central government, though he still governed in Stanleyville, with the support of the USSR. In December, he was arrested by troops sent by the central government and flown to Katanga, where he was executed. *Mobutu Sese Seko then ruled the Congo. Part of the University of Moscow reserved for African students was named for Lumumba.
Lunacharski, Anatoli Vasilievich (1875–1933). Russian educationist and Communist politician. A brilliant orator and propagandist, he supported the Bolsheviks from 1903 and lived in Italy and France until the October Revolution of 1917 brought *Lenin to power in Russia. He became Commissar for Education 1917–29 and introduced many important reforms in public education, including drama, music and dance. He was dismissed by *Stalin. He wrote 14 plays and much literary and artistic criticism. Asteroid 2446 was named for him.
Fitzpatrick, S., The Commissariat for Enlightenment. 1970.
Lunt, Alfred (1893–1977). American actor and producer. With his wife, Lynn *Fontanne, he appeared in many plays, e.g. Amphitryon 38, Love in Idleness etc., in the US and Britain, and was also a successful producer.
Lupescu, Magda (1895?–1977). Romanian adventurer. Mistress and (from 1947) wife of *Carol II of Rumania, whose exile she shared, she was created Princess Elena.
Lurçat, Jean (1892–1966). French artist. His great contribution as a tapestry designer of striking designs and flamboyant colour gave a new lease of life to the tapestry industry of France.
Lustiger, Aaron Jean-Marie (originally Aaron) (1926–2007). French cardinal, born in Paris. Son of Polish-Jewish immigrants, his mother died in Auschwitz. He became a Catholic convert, studied at the Sorbonne, and was a university chaplain, Bishop of Orléans 1979–81 and Archbishop of Paris 1981–2005. He was elected to the Académie française in 1995.
Luther, Martin (1483–1546). German Protestant leader, born in Eisleben, Saxony. From a modest family, after schooling in Magdeburg and Eisenach he went to Erfurt University, where he studied law. The death of a friend turned him towards religion, he became an Augustinian friar and was ordained priest (1507). In 1508 he moved to Wittenberg in Saxony to teach philosophy and theology at the university. On a mission to Rome (1511) he was shocked by the luxury and corruption of the papal court, but for several years he remained faithful to the Church, attracting thousands by his lectures and sermons and working out a personal theology based on the Augustinian doctrines of faith and grace and the study of St *Paul, rather than on the writings of *Erasmus and the humanists.
The arrival (1517) of Johann Tetzel, a Dominican friar sent by the Archbishop of Mainz to raise money for the rebuilding of St Peter’s, Rome, by the sale of indulgences (i.e. remission of the penalties of sin), a practice against which Luther had already preached, caused him to write to his bishop proposing 95 theses against the sale of indulgences. (The story that he nailed his theses to the church door is regarded as metaphorical.) Within a few months, the 95 theses had been printed, translated and widely circulated. Luther refused to withdraw his theses before a papal legate at Augsburg (1518) and in disputations, especially in one with the theologian Johann Eck (1519), he was goaded to take a more extreme position and even challenged the condemnation of Jan *Hus as a heretic. Luther next published his address To the Christian Nobility of Germany (a call to resistance and reform), The Liberty of a Christian Man (on the doctrine of justification by faith alone, not by good works), and The Babylonish Captivity of the Church (on the Sacraments, especially rejecting transubstantiation). To these attacks on the Church the pope replied by a Bull of excommunication, which Luther burned publicly.
The printing press was a central factor in the Reformation, both as cause and effect, because it had enabled the production of indulgences on an almost industrial scale, the rapid dissemination of Luther’s writings, accessibility to his German translation of the Bible, and the familiarisation of his image by his supporter Lucas *Cranach.
An attempt at conciliation was made by the emperor *Charles V who summoned Luther, under safe conduct, to the Diet of Worms (1521), but Luther withdrew nothing. (‘Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me, God’.) He was allowed to depart but, with the issue of an imperial ban, the Elector of Saxony placed him under protection in the Castle of Wartburg. He risked leaving his security (1522), however, as his deputies were unable to control the fast growing movement. Luther still hoped that separation from Rome would be only temporary but the issue of the Augsburg Confession (1530), mainly the work of *Melanchthon, and still the basic statement of Lutheran belief, was tantamount to creating a new Church. Meanwhile, in 1525, Luther had married (a decisive step for a former priest), Katharina von Bora, herself a former Cistercian nun, and she bore him three sons and two daughters. Their happy home became a meeting place for his friends and admirers.
The Peasants’ Revolt (1523–25) partly the result of the example set by his own rebellion and the ensuing violence, so shocked Luther that he urged its repression with extreme ferocity but the political result was that the Reformation ceased to be a largely popular movement and came to rely on the support of the princes. The compromise finally established by the religious peace of Augsburg (1555) cujus regio ejus religio (i.e. that the religion of the state should follow that of the ruler) set a limit on the extent of the Lutheran reformation. Luther was extremely intolerant of other Protestant groups: he despised the English reformers and Catholic moderates such as Erasmus, joined with the Catholic Bishop of Munster in suppressing the Anabaptists, and quarrelled bitterly with *Zwingli and *Carlstadt over the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper. He was deeply pessimistic and superstitious, convinced of the reality of demon possession. He insisted that Scripture is ‘the sole rule of faith alone’, believing mankind to be totally depraved and vehemently rejecting reason.
He was anti-Roman, but also virulently anti-Semitic, described by Lyndal Roper as ‘proto-Hitlerite’, driven by conviction that his followers had become God’s chosen people, and that Jew-baiting was integral to Protestant identity. (Ironically, Judaism was far closer in form to Lutheranism than the Catholic church: based on the Scriptures, non-hierarchical, austere in practice.) He was not ascetic, had a robust sexuality and liked to eat and drink well.
Luther’s translation of the Bible into German was not the first, but incomparably the most important, with a unique influence on the development of the literary language. Confined in the Wartburg, he translated the New Testament in 11 weeks, working directly from the Greek edition of *Erasmus: it was published in 1522. The Old Testament, translated from Hebrew, was completed in 1534. Throughout his life he was engaged in writing and expanding his theories—controversies with such contrasting opponents as *Henry VIII and Erasmus were innumerable—and his sermons, letters and theses all show the vigour and clarity of his mind.
Todd, J. M. Martin Luther. 1964; Oberman, H. A. Luther. 1989; Pettegree, A., Brand Luther. 2015; Roper, L., Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet. 2016; Schilling, H., Martin Luther. Rebel in an Age of Upheaval. 2012/17; Stanford, P., Martin Luther. Catholic Dissident. 2017.
Lutosławski, Witold Roman (1913–1994). Polish composer, conductor and pianist, born and educated in Warsaw. His father and brother were executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918. His works include three symphonies (1947, 1967, 1983), Concerto for Orchestra (1954), Chain 1 for chamber orchestra (1983), Chain 2 for violin and orchestra (1985), Chain 3 for orchestra (1986), concertos for cello (1970) and piano (1988). He also wrote compositions for films, theatre, radio and children’s groups. His international awards included the Grawemeyer and Sonning Prizes and the Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society, London.
Stucky, S., Lutosławski and His Music. 1981; Bodman Rae, C., The Music of Lutosławski. 1999.
Lutuli (Luthuli), Albert John (1898–1967). South African (Zulu) chieftain and politician, born in Natal. The son of an African Christian missionary, he was educated by American missionaries at the Adams College and later taught there for 15 years. He was elected by tribal elders to succeed his uncle as Chief of the Abasemakholweni Zulu tribe at the Umvoti Mission Reserve 1935–52, until dismissed by the South African Government for refusing to resign as President-General of the African National Congress, an office he held 1952–67. He was arrested on a charge of treason in 1959 but released in 1960, although banned from leaving his village at Groutville without permission. He burned his pass in public after the police shot blacks at Sharpeville. Lutuli repeatedly urged that South Africa become a multi-racial society but adopted *Gandhi’s policy of passive resistance. He was awarded the 1960 Nobel Prize for Peace.
Lutyens, Sir Edwin Landseer (1869–1944). English architect, born in London. His earlier country houses, of which he built, enlarged or restored over 40 between 1899 and 1909, showed the ‘picturesque’ influence of William *Morris and he worked closely with the garden designer Gertrude *Jekyll. He later turned with equal success to the Renaissance style. In 1908 he was architect to the Garden Suburb scheme in Hampstead, where he built the church and other buildings. His public buildings and especially the architectural scheme for New Delhi (the Viceroy’s house and other official buildings) designed in collaboration (from 1912) with Sir Herbert *Baker, revealed his talent for the grandiose. Other works included the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London (1918), and the British Embassy at Washington (1926). His plans for a massive Catholic cathedral in Liverpool (1910) were abandoned because of cost after World War II. Lutyens was President of the Royal Academy 1938–44 and received the OM (1942). His daughter (Agnes) Elisabeth Lutyens (1906–1983) was a composer, working in the 12–tone technique, independently of *Schoenberg. She set Japanese poetry and texts by *Canetti and *Wittgenstein.
Hussey, C., Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens. 1950.
Luxembourg, François Henri de Montmorency-Bouteville, Duc de (1628–1695). French soldier. His aunt was the mother of the great *Condé whom he supported against the crown in the wars of the Fronde. Subsequently pardoned by *Louis XIV, he became one of his most brilliant generals and was in charge of the French armies in the Netherlands in 1672. Created a marshal in 1675, he was out of favour for 12 years, having quarrelled with the minister of war, *Louvois. He then returned to achieve his most famous victories: over *William III in Flanders, in the battles of Fleurus (1690), Steinkerk (1692) and Neerwinden (1693), none of which, however, was fully exploited.
Luxemburg, Rosa (Róża Luksemberg) (1870–1919). Polish-Jewish-German philosopher, economist and revolutionary leader, born in Russian Poland. She gained a PhD in Zürich and was imprisoned (1915–18) for opposing World War I, but after the German defeat she founded, with Karl *Liebknecht, the Communist group known as Spartacists, whose revolt in January 1919 she organised. She was a brilliant orator and political writer and is regarded by Communists as one of their great heroes. Both she and Liebknecht were murdered by officers who arrested them.
Nettl, J. P., Rosa Luxemburg. 1966; Evans, K., Red Rosa: A Graphic Life of Rosa Luxemburg. 2015.
Lu Xun (real name Zhou Xujen) (1881–1936). Chinese author. Trained as a physician, his sardonic and incisive short stories and essays, e.g. The True Story of Ah Q (1921) and Call to Arms (1923), were derisive of Chinese traditionalism and fatalism. He refused to join the Communist Party but was an active fellow traveller, hailed as a revolutionary hero by *Mao Zedong. He is the most widely read author in modern China.
Lvov, Georgy Yevgenyevich, Prince (1861–1925). Russian statesman. A leading liberal member of the Duma 1905–17, he was prominent in developing a system of local government (zemstvo). As Chairman of the all-Russian Union of Zemstvos it devolved upon him to head the provisional government in the first months of the Russian Revolution (1917). His moderation and dislike of violence made him unsuited for a revolutionary situation and he resigned later in the year in favour of *Kerensky. When the Bolsheviks came to power he escaped to France.
Lyadov, Anatoly Konstantinovich (1855–1914). Russian composer. One of the most brilliant of *Rimsky-Korsakov’s pupils, he wrote a number of symphonic poems, national in spirit, including The Enchanted Lake Kikimora and Baba-Yaga.
Lyautey, Louis Hubert Gonzalve (1854–1934). French soldier and administrator, born in Nancy. He joined the army in 1872 and, although a conservative royalist, developed an enthusiasm for social reform and education. He served in Indo-China, Madagascar and Algeria and was Resident-General in Morocco 1912–16, 1917–25 where he created a relatively modern infrastructure. He was Minister for War 1916–17. Elected to the Académie française in 1912, he became a marshal of France in 1921. In Morocco he faced a revolt by *Abd el-Krim, who was finally defeated by *Pétain in 1926.
Lycurgus (9th century BCE?). Spartan lawgiver. Traditionally he was the author of the rigid social code by which the Spartiate aristocracy was kept apart from the other inhabitants, and of the system of military education by which, from the ages of six to 20, the strictest obedience, self-discipline and rigorous training were imposed on all Spartan boys. (These institutions almost certainly belong to a later date and the very existence of Lycurgus may be mythical.)
Lydgate, John (c.1370–c.1450). English poet. Almost certainly born at and called after Lydgate in Suffolk, he was a monk of Bury St Edmunds. He produced long narrative poems, mostly adapted or translated, e.g. Troy-Book (from a Latin work), The Falls of Princes (from *Boccaccio), The Siege of Thebes (intended to be a supplement to The Canterbury Tales by *Chaucer, his acknowledged master), and a drearily prolix allegory,The Pilgrimage of Man (translated from the French). The satirical London Lickpenny, a shorter poem, gives a lively picture of the contemporary scene.
Pearsall, D. A., John Lydgate. 1970.
Lydia of Thyatira (fl. c.50 CE). Greek merchant and convert. A trader in purple, she met *Paul and *Silas in Philippi, offered them hospitality and was the first named Christian convert in Europe (Acts xvi:14–15).
Lyell, Sir Charles, 1st Baronet (1797–1875). Scottish geologist. A barrister, from 1827 he devoted himself to geology. After investigatory tours in Europe (1824 and 1828–30), he published Principles of Geology (3 volumes, 1830–33), which had immense influence on the development of the science. Equally important was The Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man (1863) which gave powerful support, from the evidence of a different science, to *Darwin’s evolutionary theories. Further publications (1845 and 1849) resulted from travels in North America. Lyell was professor of geology at King’s College, London 1832–33, President of the Geological Society 1836, 1850 and President of the British Association 1864.
Lyly, John (1553–1606). English dramatist and novelist. His best known work is Euphues a romantic ‘novel’ in two parts (1578 and 1580). It is written in an amusing but rather affected (‘euphuistic’) style, which *Shakespeare both adopted and parodied in several of his plays. His comedies were mostly written for troupes of boy players and probably for this reason have more delicacy and a gentler wit than others of the time.
Lyons, Joseph Aloysius (1879–1939). Australian politician, born in Tasmania. Son of Irish immigrants, he became a teacher, then a Tasmanian MP 1909–29 and Premier of Tasmania 1923–28. Elected to the Commonwealth Parliament in 1929, he was Postmaster-General and Minister for Works 1929–31 in the Labor Government of J. H. *Scullin. He broke with Labor in 1931 following personal clashes and policy differences with E. G. *Theodore about combatting the Depression and, with the Nationalist Party, formed the United Australia Party (U.A.P.), won the 1931 election in a landslide and served as Prime Minister of Australia 1932–39. Fearful of the prospect of a World War, he was a despairing appeaser of *Hitler’s aggression, faced a serious challenge from his deputy, Robert *Menzies, and at Easter 1939, under enormous stress, became the first Australian prime minister to die in office. His wife, Dame Enid Muriel Lyons (née Burnell) (1897–1981), was the first woman member of the Commonwealth Parliament 1943–51 and the first woman minister 1949–51.
Henderson, A., Joseph Lyons: the People’s Prime Minister. 2011.
Lysander (d.395 BCE). Spartan leader. He won a crushing victory over the Athenian fleet at Aegospotami (405), and in 404 took Athens, thus ending the Peloponnesian War. By imposing oligarchic regimes in the Greek city states, he secured Spartan domination throughout Greece. He died fighting in Boeotia, which had become restive under the assertion of Spartan power.
Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich (1898–1976). Russian biologist. He claimed that his experiments showed that acquired characteristics could be inherited and bolstered his presentation with ‘Marxist’ argument, hoodwinking both *Stalin and *Khrushchev. He persecuted the geneticist N.I. *Vavilov and was attacked by J.B.S. *Haldane. His theory is at variance with the genetics of *Mendel, and never found support outside the Soviet Union. Even there it was discredited after 1953, with some revival 1957–64.
Joravsky, D., The Lysenko Affair. 1971.
Lysimachus (c.662 BCE–281 BCE). Macedonian general. One of the Diadoche (‘Successors’), generals who fought for control of *Alexander the Great’s empire on his death, he became King of Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedonia. He was killed in the battle of Corupedium by the forces of *Seleucus.
Lytton, Edward George Earle Bulwer-, 1st Baron Lytton of Knebworth (1803–1873). English author and politician. Son of General William Bulwer, educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, he inherited the Lytton estate, Knebworth, from his mother (1843) and added her name to his father’s. He wrote furiously, lived extravagantly, had a marriage from hell, made many enemies, including *Tennyson and *Thackeray, but was admired by *Dickens and *Disraeli. He wrote 30 novels, mostly on historical themes, including Eugene Aram (1832), The Last Days of Pompeii (1834) and The Last of the Barons (1843). MP 1831–41, 1852–66, he was Colonial Secretary 1858–59. In 1862, he was offered the throne of Greece. He coined some famous remarks, including ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’ and ‘the great unwashed’. In his science fiction novel The Coming Race (1871), he described a mysterious people energised by a substance called Vril, an idea that captivated Theosophists and (later) Nazis. The name was incorporated in Bovril.
His only son, Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton (1831–1891), educated at Harrow and Bonn, had an unremarkable career as a diplomat, becoming Minister to Portugal 1872–76 until unexpectedly chosen by *Disraeli to be Viceroy of India 1876–80. The unpopular Afghan War, which he helped to provoke, led to Disraeli’s defeat (1880) and his own removal. He became Ambassador to France 1887–91. He wrote copious poetry, now forgotten, under the name of ‘Owen Meredith’. He called himself ‘a sensitive second rate poet’ (but he was even less).