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Dictionary of World Biography
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 played no part
in King *Charles’s trial and was resolutely opposed
to *Cromwell’s becoming king though he helped
to make him protector. After Cromwell’s death he
put down a rising in Cheshire (1659), expelled the
parliamentary ‘Rump’ and became virtual dictator.
But any future plans 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 imprisoned for life.
Lamennais, Hugues Félicité Robert de (1782–
1854). French political theorist. He was a Roman
Catholic priest who, in his chief work Essay on Religious
Indifference (1818–24), 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 (1709–175l). 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.
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 *Bolivar 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