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Dictionary of World Biography
Lasker, Emanuel (1868–1941). German chessmaster and mathematician. He was world chess
champion from 1894 until 1921 when *Capablanca
defeated him in a great contest at Havana.
working population. He died from wounds received in
a duel for the hand of Helene von Dönniges, which
he fought outside Geneva with a rival favoured by her
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 Reflectionson 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.
Lasso, Orlando di (Orlandus Lassus) (1532–1594).
Flemish 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 (1556–94). His works (reputed
to number 1183) include Mass motets, psalms
(especially the Seven Penitential Psalms) and hymns,
in addition to many secular pieces. 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.
Martin. K., Harold Laski. 1953.
Latham, Sir John Grieg (1877–1964). Australian
judge and politician, born in Melbourne.
AÂ conservative rationalist, he was the son of a
tinsmith. He graduated in law from Melbourne
University, became a barrister, and 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 and, having been
a strong supporter of appeasement, Minister to Japan
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 cofounder 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, Ferdinand (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 gained notoriety by conducting a
protracted law suit (1846–57) on behalf of the Countess
Sophie von Hatzfeldt whose estate had been seized by
her estranged husband; gratitude and an annuity were
the rewards of his success. He was imprisoned for
six months during the revolution of 1848, by which
time he was a confirmed socialist. He came to know
Karl *Marx, but differed from him in his nationalist
approach and in advocating state intervention rather
than revolution to secure social reform. Later, when
Marx was living in poverty in London, Lassalle
gave him generous help. When *Bismarck came
to power (1862) Lassalle, as a rationalist, gave him
reluctant admiration. He founded (1863) the General
Workingmen’s Association, which later developed into
the Social Democratic Party. The main feature of its
program was universal suffrage, which Lassalle thought
would place the power of the state at the service of the
Cowen, Z., Sir John Latham and Other Papers. 1965.
Latham, Mark William (1961– ). Australian Labor
politician. Member of Parliament 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 was 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.
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