Rosamond Lehmann, one of the most distinguished British writers of this century, published eight acclaimed works of fiction. Her only autobiographical work, The Swan in the Evening, recreated first the child she was and the experiences that made her the woman she became, moving on to tell the story of her beloved daughter Sally and the tragedy of her early death at the age of twenty-four. Then, tentatively and persuasively, Rosamond Lehmann relates the totally unexpected, overwhelming and scrupulously recorded psychic and mystical experiences she underwent following that terrible loss. The meaning of such events, their messages of hope and comfort to others she then, through a letter to her grandaughter, passes to us.
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(196mm x 128mm x 13mm)
Virago Press Ltd
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
While the title keys the mood here, furthered by a prose style as opalescent as a moonstone, the sub-title really defines this memoir which is "sub-autobiographical" or interior. In the early pages which deal with Miss Lehmann's protected and materially privileged childhood at the turn of the century, the recurrent allusions to death (of a stableman's daughter, of a dog, of a girl in a sweetshop) foreshadow the main incident and intention of this book - the death of her daughter Sally in Jakarta at 24, synchronized with that of a blackbird against the window of her own house. This is one of Miss Lehmann's "numinous" and "luminous" - psychic and/or paranormal experiences which cemented her belief in the afterworld and its continuing communication with the physical world and those left behind. . . . The book is dedicated to Sally's daughter, and while admittedly partial and personal, it is also sufficiently sensitive in either sense of the word to be fully persuasive. And there is always that longstanding audience which finds both confirmation and consolation in this kind of mystical testimonial. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Rosamond Lehmann
Rosamond Lehmann (1901-1990) was born in Buckinghamshire, the second of the four children of R.C. Lehmann. She was a scholar at Girton College, Cambridge and one of the most distinguished British novelists of this century.